The Association of American Universities held its fourth annual conference, at Columbia University, on December 29, 30 and 31. Delegates from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the University of California. Columbia, Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Cornell, Clark University, John Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, the Catholic University of America, and Leland Stanford, Jr. University, were present. Harvard was represented by President Eliot and Professor J. H. Wright.
On December 29, the delegates were received by Deans Burgess and Van Amringe of Columbia in the absence of President Butler, and were formally welcomed to Columbia at a luncheon in the Alumni Memorial Hall. President Hadley of Yale presided at the afternoon session, in which the papers read were not of general interest. On Tuesday morning there was a discussion of the question "Requirements of Admission to the Professional Schools," on which President Eliot read a paper, advising that professional schools require bachelors' degrees of candidates for admission, excepting schools of engineering, chemistry and architecture. The experience of Harvard under this principle, he said, had been eminently satisfactory. He spoke again later, and said that to meet the age limit difficulty, three year college courses might be established.
At a dinner given the members of the Association at Sherry's on Tuesday night by the Alumni Council of Columbia. President Eliot made a short impromptu speech on the "strenuous life." On Wednesday, December 31, President Parkin of Lower Canada College, a representative of the trustees of the Cecil Rhodes scholarship fund, explained to the association the purposes and scope of the fund.
The final report submitted by the executive committee recommended that "the Association be composed of institutions on the North American continent engaged in giving advanced or graduate instruction; that other institutions may be admitted at the annual conference on the invitation of the executive committee indorsed by a three-fourths vote of the members of the association; and that no institutions shall be elected at the same annual meeting at which it is proposed."