The Harvard board of trustees, following the recent collapse of the Carnegie foundation's pension endowment, has come handsome to the rescue of its faculty, arranging to make good out of the University's treasury the difference between the pensions promised in 1915 and the amount the foundation has discovered it can afford since the January overhauling of its accounts.
Hereby has Harvard, with a reputation for doing consistently right by its faculty, set a precedent that the rest of the universities on the Carnegie list must follow. Comparatively low salaries, painfully slow promotion, and constant demands for more and more esoteric research have already brought the teaching profession into bad enough repute without adding the prospects of a penniless old age. Some financial provision must be made for the retirement of devoted servants who have divided their activity between expounding the learned book and worrying over the account book.
The necessity and humanity of this old-age provision for men who have given their best to education without sufficient pecuniary remuneration to provide for their own retirements scarcely needs further exposition. Nor do we need to dwell on the inconvenience, not to mention the cruelty of making professors with their families change their standards of living as soon as released from the active payroll. The fact, as has been accused, that professors live like nabobs, travel all over the world, and die without leaving a cent should not be invoked to show they could, if more provident, retire in comparative luxury without assistance. If a teacher is to inspire the admiration, respect, and cooperation of his students in this material age, besides fulfill the social obligations of a university community and preserve the external tranquility that precedes mental efficiency, he must hold to a higher standard of living than the day laborer, the artisan, or even the average merchant. Michigan Daily