President Pusey yesterday posed the question "Is there a central, dominating idea or concept at work within the American University today which holds it together, directing its activity and animating its parts?" He then answered it with a resounding "yes."
Speaking at the University of North Carolina on its "University Day," Pusey termed this force "the devotion to learning," among both undergraduates and faculty researchers.
He considered his initial question necessary because of the "amazing variety" of people at universities today, as well as the numerous types of research carried on. In his answer, Pusey reviewed the development of two different kinds of education in American universities. The first, he felt, aimed primarily at graduating well-rounded students with "judicious" minds, while the other concentrated more on the professor and the "world of knowledge" behind him.
The second concept, which Pusey described as the "true beginning" of the modern university, came from an approach developed in Germany in the nineteenth century. He said the first theory, emphasizing the student, had come from England.
This second "beginning" in America originated about 20 years ago, Pusey declared. He cited a rise of 2600 per cent in the amount spent on research in all American universities, pointing out that in 1939-40 $27 million was spent as against $734 million in 1957-58.