UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1878 [PAGE 42]

Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1878
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42 ask the question: Why change ? The strongest" reason urged is that similar institutions grant degrees: and that the position of our graduates seeking employment as teachers, and perhaps in other capacities, is not one of equality in competition with the graduates of other institutions who have received degrees. Our attention has thus been called to the practice of other institutions: We find in the report of the commissioner of education for 1864 that 18 of the institutions founded on the national grant of lands, are reported as granting degrees. Nearly as many more received students, but from the short time since their foundation or other causes, had no graduates. We may assume that a considerable majority of Uiese colleges have granted or will grant degrees. Where the grant has been given to old institutions the prevailing degree is that of B. A.: in the newly organized institutions that of B. S. Is it best then to confer degrees on our graduates, and if so what degrees ? We must confess that we cannot approve the practice of granting degrees at all. Degrees are of little value in themselves and have become to be conferred with such facility as to no longer distinguish the scholar-from the charlatan. Unless the convictions and wishes of a majority of the alumni require it we cannot recommend the granting of them. In case it is found the demand for degrees is pretty general, we may recommend a recession from this position, but only as a concession to a prejudice which should be gratified perhaps, but can hardly be approved, in that case we may be culled upon to determine what degrees shall be conferred. This we recommend should be done by granting a specific degree according to the college or school attended by the pupil. We would recommend for students in the college of agriculture, the degree of Bachelor of agriculture ; in the college of engineering, the degree of Bachelor of engineering ; in the college of natural science the degree of Bachelor of natural science; in the college of literature and science, the degree of Bachelor of letters. This is what we would recommend if forced to take action now, but we conclude and recommend that correspondence be had with other institutions on the same foundation, with a view to securing some uniformity of practice and requirements in the conferring of degrees, or of securing their abolition entirely, as may be found most expedient after due examination. W. C. FLAGG-, J. H. PICKRELL, ALEX. MCLEAN. T h e report was received and adopted. Dr. Gregory was requested to send copies of the above report to the industrial colleges of this country, and invite correspondence with a view toward uniform action in the matter of degrees. Dr. Gregory submitted recommendations, which were acted upon as follows : Voted to authorize Dr. Gregory to have the woodwork in the first and second stories of the main building grained, expense not to exceed $125, chargeable to state appropriation; to allow $25 to repair coal shed and move privy at mechanical building, to be charged to t h e same appropriation. Cases in library and museum, not needed in those rooms hereafter, were ordered to be distributed under the direction of the regent and faculty in other rooms, as may be found necessary. T h e regent was authorized to expend the state appropriation of $1,000 for library, in the purchase of such books as he and the faculty may select. Voted t h a t the regent and Prof. Taft be authorized to make t h e necessary purchases for the mineralogical, geological and cabinet of natural history within the amount of the state appropriation, and to employ a taxidermist at a cost not to exceed $150 for the year. A committee of three was appointed, to consist of Messrs. Sabin, Brown und Pickrell, to report resolutions of thanks for various donations received for the cabinets, in accordance with Prof. Taft's recommendation. On motion, the bids received for new laboratory (nine in number) were opened by the chairman. S. M. Walker, of Champaign, 111 Geo. Besore, of Urbana, 111 S ' KrGiltllCller' } ° f VTbvnz, HI $29,500 00 28,500 00 28,500 .00