« AnteriorContinuar »
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT.
The University has been so uniformly prosperous and successful during the past year, that there is but little of incident in its history needing mention in my Annual Report. No change was made in the Faculty, none in the courses of study, all Departments were larger than in the preceding year. The year was singularly free from disturbances or difficulties of any kind. The number of students was as follows:
Department of Science, Literature, and the Arts. Seniors,
43 Juniors, ..
93 In Higher Chemistry,
70 In Selected Studies,
The number of Graduates during the year in the various departments was as follows:
Department of Science, Literature, and the Arts: Civil Engineer, 7, Bachelor of Science, 6; Bachelor of Arts, 30; Master of Arts, 19; Master of Science, 5. In the Department, 67. Department of Medicine and Surgery: Doctor of Medicine, 74. Department of Law: Bachelor of Laws, 108. Also the Honorary Degree of LL. D. was conferred on one person, and the Honorary Degree of M. A. on one. Total number of degrees conferred, 251.
But very little addition has been made during the year to the Endowment Fund, or to the property of the University. So extensive are the grounds, and so numerous are the buildings, that all of the money collected from the students, for incidental expenses, will not suffice to make the necessary repairs and improvements.
An effort has been made to improve the Astronomical Observatory, which, if fully successfal, will be of great value to that essential part of the University. It was at first proposed to remove the Obeervatory from its present site to the University Square, and dispose of the present lot and building, and for this purpose the city of Ann Arbor offered to pay $10,000, provided that an equal sum was raised elsewhere. But, on mature reflection, it was deemed not wise to give up of ground, the present beautiful and eligible Observatory lot. The city is rapidly growing in that vicinity--it will soon be surrounded with dwelling houses, and the streets to it will be improved. The city, therefore, has promised to present to the University $3,000, of which $2,500 is to be expended for the improvement of the building, under the direction of the Regents, and $500 for the improvement of the streets about the Observatory lot., under the direction of the City Government -all of which is on condition that an equal sum of $3,000 be devoted to the improvement of the Observatory by the Regents. These conditions have been complied with. Prof. Watson has secured subscriptions, mostly in Detroit, amounting to $3,000, and the city of Ann Arbor has issued bonds for the payment of $3,000 at 7 per cent. interest, $2,500 of which
áre in the hands of the Regents. These bonds need to be authorized by the State Legislature.
It is exceedingly desirable that this improvement of the Observatory shoull be now carried to a proper completion. It has been demonstrated that the work which can be done here is equal to that performed in any other Observatory in the world. We should not be satisfied with merely re-roofing the small building, so as to protect the instruments, and adding to it a few rooms for the accommodation of the Director, but should also seek an endowment of the Observatory by a fund of at least $25,000, the interest of which would pay the salaries of those employed in it, and afford some means for publishing valuable papers. If this matter is suitably presented before the friends of science in our State, particularly in Detroit, to whom we are indebted for the Observatory, we have reason to believe that this fand can be raised.
To see the necessity of this endowment it may be well to notice the resources of other Observatories with which ours is to co-operate and compete. Many of them are richly farnished with means and men, and yet, we may ask, which of them has contributed more to science, during the past few years, than the "Detroit Observatory” of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor ?
The celebrated Astronomical Observatory, at Palkowa, Russia, under the Director, Prof. Struve, has a corps of seven observers and computers, a library of 1,525 volumes and an annual appropriation of $25,000. The observatory at Washington hasa Superintendent and from eight to twelve observers; about $25,000 per annum is expended for it, besides the printing, which is done at the Government printing office. The Observatory at Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a Director and two assistants, and expends about $7,000 annually.
Let the liberal friends of science in Detroit complete the work which they have so happily begun; let the building be enlarged, and let the Observatory have an independent endowment of about $30,000, the interest of which will support tho Director and pay for the printing of valuable observations and calculations and other papers, and the whole will be a perpetual and noble monument of the far-seeing liberality of its founders.
In my last Report I called attention to the pressing wants of the Museum. The prompt and liberal response to the requirements then made, has produced most valuable results. It has been enlarged and improved more than before for several years. The new cases in the Zoological Department are filled, and much material, formerly useless, has been put into good condition. The annual statement of its condition, made to me by Prof. Winchell, I append to this Report
The state of the finances, at present, until the new Law and Medical Buildings are paid for-and not even then, without enlarged resources—will not allow any further considerable improvement of the Museum.
The General Library has beón preserved in good condition, and some valuable additions have been made. The experiment of keeping the Library open during the proper hours of study, both day time and evening, has met with encouraging success. Many students avail themselves of this privilege, and at all hours, when open, some may be found in the Library Room.
The Law Library has been enlarged by a liberal donation by Hon. Richard Fletcher, of Boston.
In response to this gratifying recognition of the usefulness of the University by one in a distant State, and in recognition of the eminent ability of the donor, the fourth Professorship in the Department of Law has been designated as the Fletcher Professorship.
It is evident from the frequent and complimentary allusions to the University of Michigan in various periodicals of the country, and in the addresses and writings of eminent educators, that it is now generally regarded as one of the most flourishing Universities in America. Astonishment is often expressed at its rapid growth within the past few years, at the great number of its students, and at its exemption from a class of difficul. ties growing out of political differences of opinion, wbich havebeen deemed by some inseparable from a State University. The criticisms and eulogies upon the University have not however always exhibited correct views of its character.
The University of Michigan is designed simply to complete the system of public education in the State, by offering to its youth opportunities for study and discipline, to succeed those presented by the highest departments of our Union Schools. It is not modeled after any other College or University, but aims to supply the existing demand.
The preparatory studies required for admission are supposed to be those which can or ought to be easily pursued in all the Union Schools of the State. It is & deserved reproach upon any Union School in Michigan, if it cannot prepare pupils for both the classical and the scientific courses of study pursued in the University. Many of our students also are from other : States.
Entering the University, the student finds several parallel courses offered, more or less independent, and more or less connected with each other. No preference is expressed for one above another, but the student is supposed to be mature enough to choose for himself a pathway, which, after he has made his selection, he is expected faithfully to pursue. The old classical degree of Bachelor of Arts is to be earned in the thorough way, with no lightening of its burdens, or substitution of some modern superficial study for the genuine classical languages and mathematics and philosophy, which it is rightly supposed to indicate. The degree of Bachelor of Science must be earned by a rigid course of study. Civil Engineer and Mining Engineer are degrees given only to those who are fitted to accomplish all that could be justly expected in their professions. It is intended that all the certificates given to those who complete courses of study shall be thoroughly deserved.
The University of Michigan has also adopted the method of treating its students as competent and inclined to perform