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The President's report for 1892-93 to the Board of Overseers, accompanied by the reports of the different departments of the University and the annual statement of the Treasurer, was published yesterday.
The President first announces the deaths of Frederick L. Ames, Andrew P. Peabody, Dr. Charles P. Strong, and Henry E. Seaton, He then refers to the resignations of Professor Cheever from the Professorship of Surgery, and of Dr. Lyman Abbott from the Board of Preachers.
After a brief mention of the amendments to the Statutes of the University during the year, a few pages are devoted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts and the changes which have taken place in recent years as to the relative position of this degree and that in science and letters. These changes are significant in connection with the sudden and rapid growth during the past few years of the Scientific School.
The President then gives a careful consideration of athletics in the University. "From the college or university point of view, athletic sports are to be promoted either as wholesome pleasures which do not interfere with work, or as means of maintaining healthy and vigorous bodies in serviceable condition for the intellectual and moral life. With athletics considered as an end in themselves, pursued either for pecuniary profit or for popular applause, a college or university has nothing to do. Neither is it an appropriate function for a college or university to provide periodical entertainments during term-time for multitudes of people who are not students."
In the light of these principles most of the sports pursued here are not only unobjectionable but positively serviceable. In the highly competive sports which give rise to exciting intercollegiate contests, namely, boat-racing, baseball and football, some evils of a serious nature have in recent years been developed. In the first place, the time devoted to these sports by the principal teams and crews is excessive. No sport which requires of the players more than two hours a day during term time is fit for college uses. The large sums of gate money are often wastefully and ineffectively spent. To football there is the special objection that although its risks are inordinate and excessive, the recent development of the game has made it more and more dangerous, without making it more skiful or interesting.
After summarizing the advantages and the disadvantages which have resulted from the gret development of athletic sports at American colleges within the past twenty-five years, the President says: "If the evils of athletic sports are mainly those of exaggeration and excess, it ought not to be impossible to point out and apply appropriate checks. The following changes would certainly diminish the existing evils: (1) There should be no freshman intercollegiate matches or races; (2) no games, intercollegiate or other, should be played on any but college flelds, belonging to one of the competitors, in college towns; (3) no professional student should take part in any intercollegiate contests; (4) no student should be a member of a university team or crew in more than one sport within the same year; (5) no football should be played until the rules are so amended as to diminish the number and the violence of the collisions between the players, and to provide for the enforcement of the rules; (6) intercollegiate contests in any one sport should not take place oftener than every other year. Finally, if trial shall prove the insufficiency of all these limitations, intercollegiate contests ought to be abolished altogether.
"These suggestions are by no means of equal importance; some of them concern many persons, and some but few; but all or any of them could be put into force by a single college without diminishing that college's chances of success in such intercollegiate contests as it undertook."
In the Lawrence Scientific School, a new department of Anatomy, Physiology and Physical Training was opened last year. Fourteen students presented themselves the first year, and in the current year there are twenty-seven in the course.
The staff of the Engineering Department was enlarged last year by the appointment of two new instructors and three assistants. This change was made in anticipation of an increased number of students. The increase took place, 121 students being enrolled for the different branches of engineering in the current year, against 71 in the preceding year.
There has also been added to the school a course in Architecture, which is to be the first of a series extending through four years.
Owing to the rapid increase in the number of students in the Scientific Shool. a new building to contain lecture rooms, drawing rooms, and collections will be imperatively needed next year. In hard times the Scientific Schools have this advantage over the colleges, that they provide more quickly the means of of earning a livelihood.
In the Graduate School the largest departments far two years past have been History and Political Science, Natural History and English and Modern Languages. The great majority of students in this school are intending to be teachers or scholars, and the applications of knowledge have for them lent a secondary interest. It is interesting to note that the Graduate School is larger than Harvard College was fifty years ago.
The Divinity school has had a deficit in the year 1892-93 for two reasons: First, a gift which has been made to the school of late years, was not received until after the closing of the financial year; and secondly, the income of the addition to the Hancock fund, which had been counted on in preparing the budget of the school, was consumed in legal expenses.
At the request of the faculty considerable improvements were made in Divinity Hall, and the faculty desire ultimately to reserve the whole of the hall for students of the school.
The law faculty took a very important step in the year under review, in deciding that after the academic year 1895-96 no person should be admitted as candidates for degree without examinations, except Bachelors of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, or Science, at some one of 106 institutions named.
The report of of the Dean deals largely with the development of the school and library. The receipts of the school have again greatly exceeded the expenditures; and it has now laid up a balance of $76,301.20.
The faculty of the Medical School adopted, in the year 1892-93, the rule requiring four years of study for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. It was expected that this rule would reduce the number of students, but on the contrary, the school is larger than ever before.
The report then takes up the lesser departments in order of importance, and shows the increase in the numbers of each, and the principal changes which have occurred in these schools during the year.
The Treasurer's report shows that the year 1892-93 was a costly one. The increase in expenditures resulted chiefly from an increase in the number of salaries, and was made necessary by the increase in the number of students.
Whatever the causes of these deficits, it is the duty of the Corporation to contract somewhat the annual expenditures of the college, the Graduate School, and the library. Measures to this end were promptly taken as soon as the accounts of the year 1892-93 had been made up.
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