UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874 [PAGE 96]

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Report of the

departments, and especially in those of architecture and drawing. I need not add anything to show the exceeding value, on more general grounds, of such a collection as that here proposed. The fine arts have played too important a part in the history of civilization to require any new defence of their utility or power. The University will derive from the presence of such a collection, advantages and renown of no small extent. I respectfully ask that the large hall just ahove the library he set apart for the Art collections already gathered and to be hereafter received ; and such appropriation as you may deem suitable be made for the fitting up of a room and framing and mounting of pictures, etc., and for freights on the same.


A notice has reached us of an investigation, ordered by Congress, in the condition and work of the colleges founded under the grant of Congress for industrial education. This seems to me a most favorable opportunity to lay before Congress and the country the true character and extent of the work the University is doing, and I am confident that this investigation will serve to establish on a firmer basis this great national interest of industrial education. I respectfully recommend that authority he given to return full answers to the inquiries addressed tons.


I t is expected that a large space will be given in the buildings of the coming International Exhibition, to be held in Philadelphia in 1876, to the educational institutions of the country. In the late World's Fair, at Vienna, the exhibition of educational institutions and their work was "one of the most imposing parts of the show. The German educational department occupied one entire large building. The Austrian department was nearly equally large; whiie France and Belgium made exhibitions of no mean proportions. I t will be a matter of proper national concern to niake, at this our first great International Fair, a full exhibit of its educational work. I call the attention of the Trustees thus early to this matter that it may be decided whether this Institution will participate in the exhibition, and if such participation is determined on, that early application may be made for the space we may require.


The library, now numbering volumes, continues to be one of our most useful and powerful agencies of instruction. The constant and abundant use of the books necessarily wears out many of the bindings, and in time the books themselves, requiring a considerable annual expenditure for repairs, and for replacing books used up. Besides this, there is a constant demand from our several scientific departments for the new books which record the new advances in science and art. ^Nothing has contributed more than its library to the high success and growing reputation of the University. No stronger attraction exists to draw and retain students here. The maintenance and steady increase of this library ought to be an object of prime concern. I trust that the state of our finances will soon enable us to restore to this use the entire income froni matriculation fees.


I am happy te call your attention to the progress that has been made during the year by the voluntary literary and scientific associations of the students. These associations are four in number, embracing the Philomathian, the Adelphic, the Scientific, and thw Alethenai, the last of which is composed entirely of ladies. During the present winter these several societies have fitted up the halls, that you provided them, with an elegance and good taste and at a liberal expense, from their own means, which must certainly command your warm appreciation. The Adelphic society ask you to cause a partition to be erected to cut off a portion of the unused passage next their room to afford them a committee and library room, as the other societies are provided"" with such rooms. I cordially commend the application as reasonable and desirable.


students demand.

I t has seemed best to gather together in one place the several recommendations for the improvement of the University. 1st. In regard to the Faculty. I t has been the steady purpose to fill the vacancy in the chair of agriculture at the earliest moment. The proper work of this Chair has been efficiently performed by the several Professors whose departments were connate. So that, in fact, no one of the schools in the University has had more labor bestowed upon it. But the increased number of agricultural students, and that grand uprising among the agricultural classes of our country which must give a new impulse to agricultural education, as itbrings new power and responsibilities to farmers themselves, demands that this department of our work shall be promptly and largely reinforced. I hope to see not less than two hundred and fifty students of agricultural science within our halls the coming year, for whose thorough instruction the most ample provision will be needed. Besides the Veterinarian and the Prof, of Horticulture, there will be needed a man thoroughly familiar with Agricultural Chemistry, as well as with the theory and practice of Agriculture, and a separate laboratory will be needed for his use, such as is provided at all the Agricultural Colleges of Europe. If assistants shall be 1 eeded we can doubtless obtain them from among our own advanced students or graduates from this department. I also recommend the employment of a lady instructor of the highest attainments and of large experience, who may in some sense stand as a preceptress to the female students. The number of these students has steadily increased till over eighty appear on our roll. They are from all parts of the State and are admitted to all the classes of" the University. But their best interests demand that there shall be in the Faculty a woman of high character and culture, who shall be specially charged with their oversight. If a lady can be found who can properly open and direct the studies in the School of Domestic Economy,'her employment will be of double use and value. In this connection, I wish to repeat the recommendation, that at the earliest day piacticable, you provide fully for a School of Domestic Economy and such other schools as the wants of our female