If Conant Prize Fellows are to make up 1-5 of the college, where will the other 4-5 fit in? As mentioned yesterday 37% of the College is at present in Group III or above; add these high ranking students to the Prize Fellows and you get approximately half of the College, perhaps a little more, ranking in the top brackets.
These men could be termed the scholars, among the undergraduates, but the term "scholar" is a misleading one. For present, purposes a scholar should be defined as one who is primarily interested in scholastic work, as such, with a view to becoming an expert in one limited field. On this definition, many high ranking men in the above group would have to be listed under a different heading. The number remaining under the pure scholar heading would still be large, however, and growing as more Prize Fellows were imported.
The other 1-2 of the College, ranking below Group III, would include men interested in other College and outside activities and a certain amount of dead wood. In this second group could be included the non-scholars above who are, nevertheless, on the Dean's list. This would bring the total in this second group to something over 60% of the College.
From both of these groups will be drawn future leaders in every field of endeavor in the United States. Undeniably, however, more managers of government and business will be drawn from the non-scholar group. Even if the scholar group, on the above definition, amounted to 40% of the College, yet it would supply a smaller proportional numbers of leaders. The men in the non-scholar group will not, for the m most part, use the knowledge learned in College in their professions; rather it will serve as a cultural foundation and a mind trainer.
Will Mr. Conant's new research-teachers be able to stimulate this large group, mainly interested in outside affairs, along the paths of study? According to comments of present concentrators in many fields, the research man has his nose on the grindstone continually, is annoyed by pestering students. He will cooperate only with students who are scholars as he is; only a few exceptions are mentioned here. Mr. Conant's claim is that research will keep teachers alive and inspire them to keep abreast of their general field. Will it not rather bury them in one cubby hole in many cases?
The non-scholar group need to be led by men with personality, speaking ability, interest in students; men who have an adequate knowledge of their field and an ability to criticize and analyze their subject; not walking dictionaries with heads crammed with knowledge.