Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874
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chards, the small fruit plantations, and the forest plantations are full of interesting and valuable facts and suggestions. The usual amount of grafting, etc., for practice, has been performed by the students, and the experiments with apple grafts may help to settle some vexed questions in that branch of horticulture. Some experiments made by Mr. Hays, who has charge of the green-house, will also repay attention.
T H E AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT.
The Stock Farm.—The report of Mr. E. L. Lawrence, the Head Farmer, exhibits a very satisfactory condition of the affairs of his department. Notwithstanding the almost entire destruction of the corn crop by a violent hail storm, his balance sheet exhibits a net profit of $97 85. The loss on the corn crop cannot be estimated at less than $500. I recommend to your favorable attention Mr. Lawrence's request for another short-horn cow or heifer, and for suitable swine pens. The Experimental Farm has been-under the chaige of Hon. W. C. Flagg, whose report will be laid before you in its due order. To favor the economy demanded of us by the temporary diminution of our funds, it has been suggested that both the stock and experimental farms may be united under the care of one man. An additional argument for this union, in the fact that this would enable us to bring to the lower barn the fine stock, and thus make them more available for the instruction in stock husbandry. I cannot for the reasons named withhold my approval of the proposed union, if it can be carried out under such regulations as will secure the great objects we have had steadily in view. I t has been falsely asserted that it is the design of the Trustees to lessen the extent of our farming operations and even to sell off fine stock. I mention this only to give it a public contradiction, and to reiterate my own judgment, at least, that the very extent of these operations adds value to our experiments, and lends to our Agricultural Department a dignity and importance which are essential to its highest success. As this department shall increase in numbers the extent of our farms will be of great value in the opportunities they will afford for observation and practice in different classes of cultures
T H E MECHANICAL DEPARTMENT.
The report of Prof. Robinson, which I henewith transmit to'you, exhibits the work of his department and offers some suggestions and estimates, which I cordially commend to your attention. The law of Congress, which gave the same prominence to mechanical arts and agriculture, can only be met by a full support of this Mechanical Department. I t is the opinion of many of the best men of the State that this one of the most useful of the several branches of the University, and this, like the Agricultural Department, must necessarily entail considerable expense if well'maintained. I t ought to bo held steadily in mind, both by the Trustees and by the people of the State, that scientific education, and especially when it is carried out in its application to the arts, will entail expenses unknown to ordinary plans of education. To cut off these expenses, and to shut up these practical departments, would at once change the character of the institution from that of a sehool of practical learning and applied science, to a simple institution of ordinary education, different from others, perhaps, in the fact that its instruments of culture are scientific rather than literary studies. We cannot well overestimate the influence this School of Mechanical Engineering is calculated to exert on the manufacturing interests of the Stat©. The great World's Fair held last year in Vienna was a most magnificient testimony to the Polytechnic Schools of Europe, and one may safely predict that the great International Exhibition, to be held in Philadelphia in 1876, will teach us some lessons in this respect which will not be easily forgotton.
T H E SCHOOL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING.
The work of this department, as shown by the report of Prof. J. B. Webb has been carried on with increasing success. The number of applications for this school is steadily increasing, and though you have heretofore provided a full supply of transits, levels, compasses, chains, etc., the numbers who now require field practice occasions a demand for additional instruments.
T H E SCHOOL O F ARCHITECTURE AND DRAWING.
There has been a marked increase in the number of proper students in Architectnre, and the classes in both free-hand and projection drawing show a gratifying increase of attention to these most useful and practical branches of the study. Their importance to all the useful arts and to all industrial education demands a reinforcement of the teaching force by the employment of an assistant thoroughly acquainted not only with all the principles of the art but also with all the methods of teaching, both in copying and desigiis.
SCHOOL O F CHEMISTRY.
A report frsm Prof. Stuart shows that the whole number of students instructed in that department during the year was 114. The Laboratory now occupied is altogether too small for the large classes to be instructed, and the question will soon force iiself on your consideration to provide other and spacious quarters.
SCHOOL O F MILITARY TACTICS.
This school has remained under the charge of Prof. Snyder, who was commissioned last autumn as Colonel; and Captains'Commissions were conferred on several of the class of 1873. I t has cost some constant care to keep in full force our drill, but we have the satisfaction of reporting that the laws of Congress and of the State have been fully complied with, in the the instruction in Militaty Tactics. Other departments need not be mentioned in detail. The work of instruction has gone on in all ot them in a satisfactory manner, and the University is steadily working its way to higher efficiency and to wider usefulness.'
A movement has been set on foot to obtain for the University a collection of fine casts of some of the great master pieces of scripture, and nearly $2, 600 is already subscribed for this purpose by citizens of Urbana and Champaign. The value of this collection, not only as a means of general culture of the taste and practical judgment, but as a direct and important aid to the practical instruction in several