In his address to the students of Cornell University, President Adams spoke as follows on the way a college should be governed:-
"There are certain necessities in connection with university work which it is well enough to bear in mind; and the first of all necessities in the university, as in the heavens above us, is order. Order has been said to be Heaven's first law, and certainly it is the first law of a good university. There are two ways of securing good order in a university. One is what may be called the old way of tyranny, of an absolute government, of a government by the proclamation to the students of a code of rules declaring precisely the things which they can do. The other way is one that is founded upon the principle of liberty, and that is upon a presumption, which in a nation based upon the principle would seem to be not a very violent presumption, that liberty is the foundation of good government and that a university governed well must be governed in accordance with the principles of liberty. This university wisely has not very many rules. I do not know that I would have more than one rule in a university for the government of the conduct of students, - and that rule would be something like this: that whenever at any time any student is found to be not fulfilling the purpose for which he came to the university, the president of the university shall direct the parent or guardian to withdraw him therefrom, and if he is not withdrawn within a reasonable time he will be dismissed."