The policy of Johns Hopkins University in the matter of buildings and equipments has been from the first, as is stated in its annual register, "to defer the formation of museums, and the purchase of collections for remote and general purposes, and the reconstruction of costly buildings." It is partly in consequence of this policy and of a strenuous striving to apply its generous funds to the best apparent uses that institution has been able in so short a time to rank among the very first of American universities. It has been visibly the case with her that men and quality of instruction have gone before unwieldy buildings, constructed mostly for the future, and expensive equipments "for remote purposes." On the other hand, several years ago there was great complaint among the friends of Princeton College that her policy had come to look almost exclusively towards the acquirement of large and showy buildings, and to neglect far too much all effort towards perfecting her corps of instructors and her courses of instruction. In consequence of these remonstrances, we believe, the authorities of that institution have abated to a considerable extent their efforts to secure more buildings, and now chiefly solicit professional endowments and similar aids. During the past twenty years Harvard has more than doubled the number of her buildings, chiefly, no doubt, to keep pace with the growth in the number of her students and of her courses of instruction, and to afford adequate accommodations to these. It would clearly have been bad policy for her to refuse to do this. But of late there has been arising among her friends and constituency a vague apprehension lest she may not soon be found erring through an extreme execution of this policy, and thereby incur the same blame Princeton once incurred. For it is beginning to be felt that possibly there are or soon will be better uses to which to apply the liberal endowments of her benefactors than even the finest and most satisfactory buildings. As soon as the new law school, the medical school and the physical laboratory shall have been completed, will Harvard have a need for further buildings by any means so pressing as for an increase in the number of and better endowments for her teaching force? When the college has an annual deficit of $20,000 or $30,000, and in consequence thereof is compelled to seriously cramp and injure her active instruction, should not efforts be made to remove these disabilities before they are made for securing accommodations chiefly for future use or for minor aims? The Nation, a paper which is one of the most intelligent friends of the university, has often commented upon the ill-organized and poorly paid instruction of the freshman year at Harvard. And even if the faculty does intend soon to remodel and raise the standard of our freshman course, that is no reason why it should be left so much at loose ends for the present. Although a fine-arts building and new dormitories would be acquisitions greatly to be desired, such things are by no means the chief aims of a genuine university, which is always an association of scholars primarily and only secondarily an association of buildings; and the lack of such material advantages by no means signifies so much as the lack of other and intellectual endowments.
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