The Harvard Business School, that most odious of serpents in the academic garden, has found one more defender in Mr. C. E. Ayres, an editor of the New Republic. Mr. Ayres declares, in the current issue, that Harvard has saved liberal education by separating the new curriculum of commercial education from the humanistic tradition.
The miscegenation of liberal arts and business science has been fruitful in unnatural monsters, in which the more brutish or commercial traits obliterate the human and academic nature. The attempt to infuse a strong dose of business training into the sluggish veins of impractical humanism destroys, rather than modifies the academic nature of the college. The professors of commercial science seem determined to scrape the ivy and mould from off the academic wall, and to replace aesthetics by the applied philosophy of the "go-getter".
But Harvard has passed the danger-point. The possibility that emphasis upon technical training might, as in some institutions, shift the balance of interest and support away from the humanities, is destroyed. The requirement of an academic degree for admission to the business school has removed from the undergraduate the temptation to sacrifice liberal arts to business; and the physical separation of the two departments will soon be carried out to the relief of both. Meanwhile, Harvard receives Mr. Ayres' commendation humbly, with one eye on the pitfalls recently negotiated, and one eye on the dubious quagmires of future policy.