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port of Faculty to Board of Overseers, 6 Jan., 1891; S. M. Macvane in Harvard Monthly, XII pp. 1-13 (Mar., 1891); C. S. Bartlett in Education XI, pp. 585-590 (June, 1891); President Capen in Annual Report of Tufts College, 1889-90, pp. 10-15; C. W. Eliot in Atlantic Monthly, LXII, p. 250 (Aug. 1888); F. A. Hill in Academy (Syracuse), VI, pp. 405-421.
I. This lowering of the A. B. degree is unnecessary.- (a) No general demand for it-(1) Our most energetic rivals are not adopting the three year plan.- (2) Colleges which grant the degree on easiest terms flourish the least: S. M. Macvane in Har. Mo. XII, p. 2.- (b) Harvard is not injured by maintaining present standard of the A. B. degree.- (I) No considerable number is kept away by the four years course. (x) Number of undergraduates has trebled since 1860: Min. Rep., p. 18.- (2) No loss of prestige.- (c) Advatages of three years system are already secured without value of degree being lowered.- (1) Students may now enter professional schools after three years' work.- (x) Those who need to do so may now secure their degree in three years.- (d) Time of preparation for college should be shortened if desire is to lower age of entering professions: Min. Rep., p. 19.- (1) This is entirely feasible: S. C. Bartlett in Education, XI, p. 590.- (x) Foreign preparatory schools show this.- (y) Our preparatory schools could be improved-(A) In amount taught.- (B) in the time employed: C. W. Eliot in Atlantic, LXII, p. 250.- (e) One year saved in preparation is far better than one year lost from the college course: Min. Rep., p. 19.
II. Four years residence is not an excessive period.- (a) Purpose for a college course not merely the pursuit of knowledge.- (1) Physical advantages.- (2) Social advantages.- (3) Liberalizing and educating influence of residence at Harvard.- (b) The fourth year very often the one in which a man discovers his real aptitude: S. M. Macvane in Harv. Mo., XII, p. 4.
III. Lowering A. B. degree to fit three years requirement is injurious.- (a) To good scholarship.- (1) Invites sacrifice of thoroughness to mere passing of courses: Min. Rep., p. 18.- (b) To smaller colleges: Pres't Capen in report of Tufts College, 1889-90.- (1) They educate more than half of those receiving collegiate education.- (2) Lack of endowment would not enable them to meet the new competition.- (3) Instead of being feeders to the University they would be extinguished.- (c) To Harvard.- (1) It sacrifices the net gain since 1860-the senior year: Min. Rep., p. 15.- (d) To cause of education in general.- (I) The A. B. degree is standard of liberal education; C. W. Eliot, in Century, June, 1884, p. 203.- (2) Standard is proposed to be lowered by our foremost university.
IV. This proposal has been overwhelmingly vetoed by the Board of Overseers.