UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
Bookmark and Share

Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874 [PAGE 97]

Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874
This is a reduced-resolution page image for fast online browsing.

Jump to Page:
< Previous Page [Displaying Page 97 of 146] Next Page >


Illinois Industrial



2d. The Practice Departments. I t has been found that in these departments in which the University is obliged to furnish tools, apparatus, materials or models for the use of the students there occurs a constant loss from ordinary wear and waste and from occasional breakages. This loss, though small in the separate items, is large in the aggregates, and would in a few years leave us almost destitute of the means of instruction which have been provided at such great cost. The Faculty have had this matter under frequent consideration, and they concur in recommending that some regular charge shall be made in all of those departments where the University is required to provide instruments or materials for the students' use. Such a charge has been made from the outset in the Chemical Laboratory, where each student on entering deposits $12, from which is deducted the cost of all chemicals and apparatus which he does not return. The same rule should be applied to the Physical Laboratory, to the Engineering instruments, to the Shop practice, to the several Draughting departments. These small payments would not be burdensome to the student and would help to keep up in full measure and in good condition the apparatus of instruction for succeeding students. When it is remembered that we afford, free of charge, instruction which, at the Stevens Institute, and Massachusetts School of Technology, and other similar institutions, costs the student from $15@ to $200 a year, these small charges will not seem unreasonable. The Mechanical Department will also require, as heretofore, a small appropriation to cover the expense of material and instruction in Shop practice. This practice has been very wisely made a part of the course in Mechanical Engineering, and must be provided for. I t is mentioned here for the purpose of calling your attention to the fact that, while you justly ask the shops to pay their own way in all proper work done by the students, there is a proper demand for art appropriation to meet this Shop practice, which, simply because it is made carefully educational, cannot be made at the same time remunerative. , The laboi in the wood working shop is not so intimately connected with any mechanical study as that in the machine shop; yet it is sufficiently important to demand some further efforts to give it a more regular and practical character. Our former plan of a foreman, who should at the same time be a partner in the business, having failed, the shop has been for the past year under the direction of the Instructor in Architecture and his Assistant. I t seems desirable that some more instruction shall be given to the beginners than we have thus far been able to afford. If your funds will not-allow any appropriation for this purpose I suggest that a class may be authorized, to be formed at the expense of those who shall receive the instruction, with some small charge for use of tools and materials. A single term spent under close and competent instruction would enable the diligent student thereafter to do remunerative work.


The condition of the grounds around the new building will demand your attention. The want of funds may not allow the full plans prepared for these grounds to be carried at once into effect, but I earnestly recommend that whatever shall be done shall be carefully conformed to those plans. In no other way can we secure ourselves from expensive changes, and reach at last the best results. We have already the trees on the ground or in nursery for the planting^ and shall need but a limited appropriation to complete the walks to the northwest corner, and the drives to the west entrance and around the building, and to smooth and seed the lawn and to transplant the trees and shrubbery. Besides the ordinary summer cleaning and repairs, some painting should be done to preserve from injury some of the frame buildings, as the Veterinary building and the wood work of the old University. The old gardener's house and small dormitory building near the new University building, also, will soon require re-painting, and it could be done cheaper now than when the boards shall become quite bare. The small observatory building ought to be removed to higher ground near the main building, both for safety and use.


The recent changes in the laws affecting the University, renders still more inconvenient the time of the annual meeting. I t occurs neither at the close ©f the academic year or at that of the financial year. I t does not come even at the close or beginning of a term. If designed to come in time for the employment of managers of the farms, or to decide upon their policy for the year, it is too late. If intended to prepare for the coming college year, it is too early. The statistics presented at this time, made up as they are from parts of two academic years, are neither complete in themselves nor will they agree with any of the other reports we are required by law to make. Chosen at first by accident, it has been perpetuated simply because the Board have not found time to change it. I now respectfully suggest the inquiry whether you may not now, by resolution, declare your meeting, which will occur in Commencement week, in June, your next annual meeting, and from that time hold your annual meetings at that period of the year'


But we also request the attention of the Board to the importance of clearly defining the duties, powers and responsibilities of the Kegent under the new law. Formerly the Regent was the recognized executive head of the Institution, and all its employees, of whatever rank or character, were under his supervision, and looked to him for instruction, when not fully instructed by resolution of the Board itself. I t is for the Board now to determine whether anything"in th*e new law changes this relation, and to determine clearly the exact nature and extent of the functions of the Regency. I ask this less for myself than for the interests of the Institution, and to avoid trespassing upon the authority of any other officer of either the Board or of the University. In offering for your consideration these amendments, I have sought to do simply my duty, without a thought of controling your action or directing your policy. And if, on any former occasion, I have in any instance used any undue effort in urging the adoption of any measure whatever, I trust posterity, at least, will attribute it to my all-absorbing zeal for the best interests of the University, and not from any overweening fondness for my own opinion. But the best opinions always prevail, who ever may suggest it, t h a t I n the successful result we may all have reason to rejoice.

Before the report was finished, the Board took a recess until 1:30 o'clock P. M.