Contrary to a widespread belief, there is no University rule which prohibits the return of examination blue books in any course, either at mid-years or at finals, it was learned from the Dean's office yesterday. It was clear that in the note of "Instructions to Instructors" issued by the office, that there was no provision regarding return of the books.
It has long been the custom in some of the older courses to prohibit return of the books. George L. Kittredge '92, Gurney Professor of English Literature, emeritus, never returned the books for his famous English 22, and Kirsopp Lake, professor of History, follows this practice in his Bible course.
On the other hand, History 1 and Government 1 both return students' blue books shortly after the second semester starts. Economics A, under the guidance of Harold H. Burbank, David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy, pursued a unique policy. In this latter course, Professor Burbank goes over a large sample of the books after the grades have been returned, as a means of checking the work of both the students and the faculty section men.
Then after a period of about three weeks to a month the books are returned to students with comments by the instructors. The final exam books are kept for a period of a year and then can be obtained by students.
It is evident from this brief survey of some of the principal courses how the practice varies in every course. It is believed that the faculty will not attempt to impose any set of standardized rules applicable to every course. However, there is nothing now in the University rules that prohibits the return of the books, and the decision as to their disposition is up to the faculty members in charge of each course.