UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896 [PAGE 61]

Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896
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university of a state whose people have larger interests in these subjects than any other people in the country cannot be considered complete which is not abundantly equipped to pursue these great lines of intellectual investigation which so naturally devolve upon it. Yet it is here that our University stands* most in need. The learned professions organized and have always given virility and power to the universities, and in return the universities have been the conservatorsand promoters of the learned professions. No university is complete without associated professional schools. Once established, they are likely to be nearly or quite self-sustaining, and they give vitality to the thought and energy to the influence of the whole institution. An opportunity is offered for absorbing into the University, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, by the purchase of the property at itscost. This medical college, it is needless to say, is one of the leading institutions of its class in the city. Other medical colleges of ecmal standing have been already absorbed by other universities. The proposition has been frequently mentioned in the newspapers of the state, and is apparently considered very favorably. It seems to present an opportunity for securing a medical department for the University and to open the way for the University to render a service to the medical profession, while it would at the same time enlarge our advantages and our opportunities by identifying University interests with the interests of the city of Chicago. If, upon examination, this project should meet the approbation of the legislature, its consummation would accomplish the most difficult step in the direction of developing an ideal university organization. More than twenty years ago the University was opened to women on the same terms as to men. Yet the line of work we have most strongly developed is not adapted to the tastes or employments of women, and therefore the advantages held out to them are not equal to those enjoyed by the men. Accordingly the number of women students is only about one-sixth of the entire body. These considerations point to to the wisdom, even the necessity of a greater development of courses in the classics, in literature, in history, in political economy, in the fine arts, and kindred lines of learning. The information and culture studies are now richly deserving of more attention than they have heretofore had. It surely will not be said that it is not the policy of the state to do this. If that were true the state should have done less than it has done in these directions. If it is not true it should do a great deal more than it has done. Our neighboring states are all developing great literary and professional schools. Some of them organizod state universities before they opened their land grant colleges. All are proceeding on both lines now and both lines of work are imperative to a complete university. How far they have proceeded it is interesting to us to note, and it may be indicated by a very brief statement. With the great city of Chicago and its vast institutions within our borders, it would be expected that more college students would come to Illinois from the surrounding states to be educated than would be sent to those states by us for that purpose. Yet the last available report of the United States Bureau of Education shows that while we have in the colleges of Illinois 558 students from other states, we have sent 1,154 students from this state to the colleges of other states. It may be more interesting to make a comparison with our nearest neighbors, and when we do so the facts are even more striking. The states of Ohio, Michigan. Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois, comprise the old Northwest Territory. Trie mighty ordinance of 1787, ante-dating and rivaling the Constitution itself, which erected this favored Territory, declared that "religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of of education shall forever be encouraged." The history of these five great states has not been very unlike, nor the opportunities very unequal. Certainly no one will say that Illinois is excusable in being behind any one of them in any laudable undertaking and most assuredly not in the observance of beneficent work enshrined in the hearts of the people and embodied in the organic and funda-