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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
As the structure of the new School of Public Administration begins to assume a definite form, it can be seen that the suggestions of the Dodds Commission are being followed almost to the letter. It is a deserved tribute to the work done by the men who made the recent report and a happy inaugural for the program of the latest addition to Harvard's family.
The main problem of the school, as the Commission predicted, will be to achieve a position which is neither that of a symposium in political philosophy nor a mere trade school for the mechanics of government. It is of great importance that this middle of the road be closely followed. The higher realms of political theory are proper fields for those who intend to teach, but those whose immediate business is the government service have neither the time nor the energy to spare for such studies. On the other hand, the Littauer school cannot fill the shoes ordered for it if it provides nothing more than narrow vocational training. Its business, in the words of the Commission's report, is to give the student "a grasp of public administration in its broader phases as a branch of the science of government."
Differing distinctly from all other branches of the University, the new school should maintain the closest possible connection with the government at all times. In the long run the government will be the chief beneficiary of the work done by School of Public Administration, and must cooperate with it, both by assisting with the teaching program and providing openings for the small group of graduates. In acordance with the completely changing sentiment towards the civil service the trained men should be welcomed with open arms. The attitude of the country has almost reached the point where Jefferson's motto might be changed to read, "The government governs best that governs most." How good this expanding government will be depends in large part upon the training of the young men by such schools as the one Harvard is founding now.
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