Future expansion of the undergraduate body is almost inevitable and would not affect academic standards if done gradually, Talcott Parsons, chairman of the Department of Social Relations, said yesterday.
Provided adequate additions were made to the staff and physical plants, the professor of Sociology said that the size of his department could be increased by 25 percent in the next ten years without lowering the present standard of instruction. "After that we'd have to see about still further expansion," Parsons said.
Parsons did not think any increase in enrollment would make college life too impersonal. "Large organization s tend to break down into smaller subdivision anyway," he explained. The house system is especially advantageous for preventing impersonality. If new houses were built in corresponding proportion to any in creased enrollment, he felt the social effects of expansion would be minimized.
"President Pusey's annual report was very interesting on this subject of growth, since it indicated that the College has been expanding successfully in recent years," he pointed out.
Sons of alumni should have an opportunity to come here for both traditional and other reasons, he said, even though their numbers are "continually increasing." Moreover, Parsons added, able students without a connection should "not be excluded."
Large colleges give students an "extra-ordinarily rich offering of courses," Parsons remarked. But since the individual must use his own initiative to meet people, he admitted a "certain type of student has a chance of becoming an isolate."
Such a student would be much better in a small college where social adjustment is considerably easier. "There is a definite need for small colleges just as there is for large ones," Parsons said.