It was not the President of Harvard but the President of Dartmouth who lately declared that chief among the problems of university administration is the "emotional alumnus." The phrase flashed memories of ragtime hands and acrobatic cheer leaders, of snake dancers, of comic opera commencement costumes, of hand-organs and monkeys and goats. But more than such things, it now appears, proceed from the emotional graduate. In his intellectuals also there is ragtime and motley.
On its financial side the modern university is a huge and multiplex corporation. Requiring sound business organization in a mass and flexible administration in every detail. Educational it confronts a well high insoluble problem, that of teaching modern scientific methods without neglecting the humanities, and of inculcating a liberality of mind that stops short of destructive radicalism. Conceivably, the graduate, in the intervals of carnival rejoicing, might accuse his Alma Mater of sacrificing teachers of might to a balanced budget, of accumulating laboratories while the classics decay, of grinding the face of liberalism beneath the heel of the business man's conservatism. Such things have been. But to upbraid it for including a man of any religion or of none in the administrative board of the corporation - one rubs one's eyes! A "Fellow" is chosen because he is a professional and business man of distinguished ability, because he is a patriotic American and a loyal alumnus. His religion has about as much importance in "establishing a precedent' as the color of his hair. And since when has Harvard been in danger of too much religion of any kind?
They manage these things better at Dartmouth. There they have not only diagnosed the psychic cause of snake dances, commencement masquerading and goats, but have set about removing it even in the midst of bright college years. A psychiatrist attached to the Faculty makes it his business to look into the mental and emotional problems of undergraduates and to treat them with a view to their adjustment. Contrary to expectation, the undergraduates have responded in numbers. This may be set down to the ego's delight in the study of the ego, which is accountable for so much of the vogue of the new psychology. But the authorities at Dartmouth think otherwise. The results of psyching the student, they say, are "of inestimable value" chiefly no doubt, as preparing a future in which no graduate will accuse the hard-headed Fellows of the Corporation of lending themselves to propaganda "De Fide" or other. New York Times.
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