After a little more than two years the exclamations of ecstatic admiration and the charges of pampering are died away, and the designers of Harvard's House Plan may look with experience into an eternity to discover how the system may develop and succeed. Time has shown that the success lies not in effulgent gold, nor even in extra plumbing and panelled libraries, but mainly in the personalities of the resident tutors. On their backs falls the responsibility for making the plan more than a glorified house party, the Houses more than fraternities with inadequate black-balling systems.
The position of the resident tutor, inspite of his task of justifying the investment of an almost fabulous sum, is not unpleasant. He arranges his books in a wainscoted study, gets marmalade for his breakfast toast free of charge, and is left to enjoy himself pretty much as he will. He may take any attitude toward his position, considering it a comfortable, comparatively inactive, monkish life; or he may realize all its possibilities, mingling with students, pouring a few ideas into the impressionable void. For the best resident tutors, men who take the second attitude, the future holds little. Being a good fellow, drinking cocktails adolescents, does not write books, further research, or win a professorial chair. The slender stipend does not mount into a fortune which allows marriage or retirement, and the pleasure of sitting in a black tie at high table palls.
The future of the resident tutor must be attractive enough to hold men of brilliance on tutorial staffs. To continue its success the House Plan should make the position of tutor either, a stepping-stone, or enticing enough to hold men of value. How this is to be done cannot be predicted, but some answer to the question of what reward is adequate for a good tutor must be made before the best tutors leave the Houses for more exciting or more remunerative callings.