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Courses in Electrical Engineering.
137 144 108 169 100 607 230 125 83 48 288
33 220 33
5.4 5.6 4.2 6.6 3.7 23.8 8.9 4.9 3.2 1.8 11.3 1.7 7.5 1.3 8.6 1.3
CHAIRMAN TYLER.—Is there discussion of Dean Potter's paper?
DEAN STOUT.—Mr. Chairman, there is only one point that occurred to me, that might be added supplementary to the paper, and that is the fact that there is sort of a twilight zone between the primary and secondary fields, as we have defined them; that is, there are some activities in which a man's sympathies and predelictions perhaps should be primarily agriculture, but his engineering training should be a little more along the primary lines than would be acquired simply by engineering electives from an agricultural course.
Just as an instance of this, to illustrate what I mean, I think I quote the director of the United States Reclamation Service with substantial accuracy to the effect that, after they had constructed their reclamation projects and come to the management of these projects in operation, they tried out their construction engineers and found that almost without exception those men were not fitted, largely on account of temperament and sympathies, for the work of managing the enterprises.
On the other hand, it did require, in addition to the temperament and sympathy, an ability to work with the class of people that they would have to work with and in the way that they would have to work, a high degree of engineering training. So that possibly, or more than possibly-almost certainly-in our work with agricultural engineering, I think we should take that twilight zone, as I have called it, into account. The management of irrigation enterprises I mention simply as an instance of what I mean.
DEAN POTTER.—There would be a diversity of opinion as to the amount of agriculture to be given in an agricultural engineering course in order to cover the twilight zone mentioned by Dean Stout. In the various options in the agricultural engineering course at Kansas we are devoting about ten per cent of the total time to purely agricultural subjects. This amount should be sufficient to enable the agricultural engineer to handle the problems mentioned by Dean Stout.
A separate department of agricultural engineering was not established at Kansas for two reasons:
1. We felt that such a department would mean a considerable duplication of work and would probably react unfavorably to the Division of Engineering.
2. We thought that the various engineering departments were more capable of handling the applications than would a separate department of agricultural engineering.
This objection does not apply, of course, to an institution like the University of Nebraska where the agricultural work is given, I believe, several miles away from the University campus and where a certain amount of duplication of shops and laboratories becomes a necessity in order to enable the agricultural students to obtain instruction in engineering branches.
If a large number of students pursue the agricultural engineering course, it may be well to have a professor of agricultural engineering who would act as an administrative officer and would help correlate the work of the various branches in that course. The professor of agricultural engineering, however, should not aim to teach the various branches any more than a professor of chemical engineering should try to teach the various branches of that course.
DEAN BENJAMIN.—I have been very much interested in Dean Potter's paper, and I am in accord with the method which he has outlined for starting the work in agricultural engineering.
It seems to me that the case is somewhat analogous to that of
chemical engineering. When we undertook at Purdue to establish a course in chemical engineering, we found that practically all the subjects which would be needed in such a course were already taught in the different schools and in the different departments. In establishing a course in chemical engineering about all we had to do was to co-ordinate these and to tie a knot at the top. The work in engineering in that course is carried on in the usual way, in the usual engineering laboratories and class rooms. The work in chemistry is carried on in practically the same way as before in the different chemical laboratories. The only addition to the previous force and the previous equipment was the introduction of a practical chemical engineer as the head, the administrative head of the school, and the introduction of certain technological industrial subjects to form the capstone, of this other instruction. It involved very little disturbance in our schedules or in our curriculum, and simply combined things that we already had to make a whole, which would be called chemical engineering.
It seems to me very much the same thing can be done in our land grant institutions for agricultural engineering, if there is a suitable feeling existing between the different departments.
CHAIRMAN TYLER.—Is there any further discussion?
In the absence of Commissioner Jackson, the first president of this association, his paper is presented by title, and will be published in the proceedings.
PRESENT SITUATION OF LAND GRANT COLLEGES.
HON. JOHN PRICE JACKSON, HARKISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA.
Evidence presented by a number of speakers at this convention last year, including that contained in an article prepared by the writer bearing directly upon the subject, reasonably and fully proves that the legislative enactment establishing the Land Grant Colleges was for the definite purpose of aiding all divisions of the industrial peoples of the country.
The broad intent of Senator Morrill, who drew the measure, and of the Congress and President who enacted it into law may be expressed briefly somewhat as follows:
To publicly support colleges to which young men and women from all classes, including particularly the “Industrial Classes," could have ready access irrespective of inancial barriers.
6. To teach higher branches of learning, such as were to be found in the curricula of the colleges of the day; to add thereto scientific teaching in industry, including agriculture and mechanic arts; and also to furnish instruction in military tactics.
To carry on experimental investigations in the applied sciences and “record any improvements and experiments made."
d. To collect State industrial and economic statistics and report upon the same, making them useful to the people.
In short, the colleges established under the enactment were to be liberal institutions, developing special energy to (1) instruction in the entire field of industry; (2) experimental investigation such as is now carried on in the agricultural and engineering experiment stations allied with Land Grant Colleges; and (3) the collection of valuable economic and industrial information, either as the result of experimentation or otherwise, and its distribution-this activity is now quite commonly termed extension work, and is developed to a
greater or less extent by the Land Grant Colleges along the lines of the agricultural and mechanical industries and economics.
These colleges, as indicated in their history, started out in an effective manner in developing education along industrial lines other than Agriculture, and became a most potent influence, not only in advancing industry, but also in shaping the whole field of higher education in the United States. In agricultural instruction, however, the institutions lagged behind until the late nineties through difficulty in formulating useful courses in that subject.
Though possibly, at the beginning, these useful institutions of the people had a tendency to become somewhat distorted through lack of suitable agricultural departments, the first distinct step away from the original broad and useful purpose of their creation was taken in the passage of the agricultural experiment station act. The stations created by this measure, were undoubtedly much needed, and have fully proven their value, but they could have accomplished as much, or possibly more, for the benefit of agriculture, and have, at the same time, been of untold additional benefit to the country had they been created upon a broader foundation, such as that of the colleges with which they are allied. Thus, these experiment stations, to carry out the original broad purpose of Senator Morrell and Congress, should have been dedicated to the investigation of scientific problems related to agriculture and mechanic arts.
The second step away from the original broad purpose of the creative act was taken in the recent passage of the Lever bill which calls for the spreading of information to the people engaged in the pursuits of agriculture and domestic arts. Here again, much greater good could have been accomplished had the bill been written in such a way as to benefit all industrial workers including those engaged in agriculture, mechanic arts, and domestic activity. This last enactment carries with it the eventual, appropriation of $3,000,000 a year, which will result in large additional annual incomes to the institutions of some of the States.
The means thus furnished for agricultural experimental investigation and extension teaching, combined with the very praiseworthy and proper growth of agricultural instruction, are tending to seriously dwarf the original broad purpose of the Land Grant institutions. If such conditions continue, they will not only seriously injure the power for usefulness of these institutions among the producing classes, but will actually injure the possibilities of the best work along even agricultural lines.
There can be no doubt but that Congress and the people believe in these great institutions of the people, and would seriously object to their unbalanced development should it become pronounced. There fore, it is fitting and proper that at this time and without delay this Association should draught and introduce measures into Congress whereby the original broad foundations upon which the Land Grant Colleges stand may be maintained. These bills should, without question, include (1) national aid for experimentation along industrial lines not reached by the present establishment of agricultural experiment stations, and (2) for activity along lines of extension teaching for those engaged in the industries, which are not covered by the excellent Lever act.
It seems reasonable to believe that at the present time when Congress is well informed upon the subjects in question, by reason of the consideration given to the Lever and Page bills, that it would take up and enact promptly such legislation as has been suggested. However, the Agricultural Experiment Station Act, as well as the Lever Act for agricultural extension teaching, were both made possible through the organized efforts of patriotic Land Grant College men who were particularly interested in agriculture. In these efforts, such men were supported effectively by those connected with other phases of work of these institutions. In a similar manner only can the necessary bills to round out the Land Grant Colleges be enacted; that is, by organized effort on the part of representatives of these institutions. The writer is inclined to believe that if this Society will at once take vigorous measures to promote this valuable work, that the agricultural interests of the colleges will reciprocate cordially by supporting the new movement.
Most of those present, who are either engineers or in touch with the industries, fully recognize what an enormous work in connection with scientific experimentation and extension teaching can be done for the people of this country along industrial lines not now covered by present national legislation. The writer has been engaged for a year and a half in a State position, being responsible for labor and industrial conditions, and can emphatically add his testimony in this regard.
Finally, the writer assumes and recommends that the conventionits membership knowing well the conditions—at its sessions this year will instruct the proper committee to enter immediately upon the project of drafting necessary legislation as suggested, for both experiment stations and extension departments; and futher, as a most important matter, that the convention arrange to place to the credit of this committee such funds as may be necessary for traveling expenses, printing, and other costs which may arise in the course of their activities. This committee should then, of course, after formulating the proper measures, obtain the approval of the executive committee of the Land Grant College Presidents, and take such further steps as the latter committee directs.
It is taken for granted that the activity proposed will take advantage of such forces as are now operating to obtain the same or similar ends.
CHAIRMAN TYLER.—It has been suggested, in view of the disposition of one of the chief items scheduled for this afternoon, that if the association so desires, it may be practicable to dispose of the remaining business at this time, without holding an adjourned sesstion this afternoon. The chair awaits an expression of opinion from the association on that subject.
DEAN POTTER.— I move that the business be concluded this morning. DEAN STOUT.-I second the motion. (Voted affirmatively.)
CHAIRMAN TYLER.—The next business, then, is the report of the auditing committee. The secretary will please present it.
SECRETARY BISSELL.—The auditing committee appointed to examine the accounts of the treasurer asks the secretary to report that the books, vouchers, etc., of the treasurer have been carefully examined and found to be correct in form and showing, and a statement to that effect has been affixed to the report of the treasurer.
CHAIRMAN TYLER.—The report is before you, gentlemen. As many as favor the acceptance of this report will say aye; those opposed, no.
(Voted to adopt the report.)
Is the nominating committee ready to present its report? If it is not, may we take up an item or two of other miscellaneous business first?
The question has been presented at a previous session of appoint