« AnteriorContinuar »
number of them cordially responded, so that very considerable labor was thrown upon the Faculty in the critical examination of the numerous “theses” presented.
Frequent review examinations were conducted, both of the junior and senior classes, at irregular intervals, and during otherwise unoccupied hours.
Much time and labor have necessarily been employed by the Faculty in the preperation of means of illustration, which the limited appropriations at their disposal have prevented them from otherwise procuring. By this course, they have been enabled to elucidate many of the more important subjects of remark, although much additional exertion and expenditure will be necessary to place the several departments on a proper footing in this particular.
Near the close of the term, several gentlemen having duly announced their intentions, and having presented the requisite creden. tials, were admitted to an examination for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Of these, six were found to possess the proper qualifications, and, on the recommendation of the medical faculty, were admitted to that degree at the meeting of the Board of Regents in April last, being the date of the annual commencement of the Medical Department.
Twenty-three students passed the examination, holden about the same time, preliminary to their being admitted as candidates for graduation the next ensuing term. These were severally graded according to their merits, as shown on examination; it being understood that this will influence to some extent the mode and degree of their final examination.
It was deemed expedient, in order still further to aid the efforts of the Board of Regents, to elevate the standard of Medical Education, by faci'itating the means to establish a summer reading term, free to all the students in this department. This has accordingly been done. Daily examinations have been held by the Faculty in the various branches of medical study. The number in attendance the present term, from the lateness of the notice, is small; yet it is be. lieved that when the advantages of this course shall be more fully known, a large number will annually avail themselves of its benofits.
The Medical Faculty cannot allow this opportunity to pass without expressing their sincerest thanks for the cordial co-operation of the profession throughout the State, as well as the public generally, in
sustaining their efforts to build up and give character to this new in- stitution. Nor is this without a reason—the conservation of the public health is second to no other object of public interest.
Whether we can look for a largely increased number of students in this department, the ensuing course, is a matter of some little doubt. It is true, the fees actually paid are small, in comparison with those of similar institutions; yet, it is to be recollected, that the extraordinary length of the lecture term, whilst it increases largely the opportunities of the student, involves at the same time an increase of personal expenditures, so as very nearly to balance the amount. The examination upon preliminary branches, it appears, has also repulsive features to many students. From these causes mainly, it is thought, that although a large majority of the late medical class were residents of this State, yet still the catalogues of foreign institutions show that many students from this State were abroad. The extended term and the strict enforcement of the rules of examinanation are, however, it is believed, paramount to mere numbers, and should in any event be sustained.
The medical faculty are gratified in being able to report to the Board, that there are but few particulars in which further action of their body is deemed necessary. The plan of the institution, they are happy in being able to state, has been submitted to many of the most distinguished members of the medical profession throughout the country, and has met with their decided approval. It is essen. tially the one which has been recommended by that learned body, the American Medical Association.
It would largely facilitate the course of instruction in this department, were it more adequately supplied with appropriate apparatus, plates, drawings, models, &c. It is hoped, however, that the proceeds of the matriculation fees, which have been appropriated by vote of the Board to this object, will, if scrupulously devoted to that end, soon relieve the institution from the great disadvantages under which it at present rests from their deficiency.
To defray the expense of the diplomas granted, and still further to augment the contingent fund, it is recommended that a small fee
be charged on each diploma which may be issued from this department.
The medical faculty was re-organized June 5th, 1851, by choosing Prof. Denton, President, and Prof. Allen, Secretary.
All which is respectfully submitted.
J. ADAMS ALLEN, Secretary.
The following MEMOIR, embracing an epitome of the transactions of the Regents of the University, with some reasons for the adoption of their more important measures, from 1837 to June 30, 1851, has been prepared by Dr. Pitcher, and, having been adopted by the Board of Regents, was transmitted to the Superintendent with the report for the past year:
Being required by the Revised Constitution of the State, which prescribes a new mode of appointing, and changes the tenure of office of the Regents of the University, to surrender the trust hitherto committed to the present members, the Board of Regents, deeming it to be appropriate to add to a careful recapitulation of their receipts and expenditures, a succinct history of their administration, assigning the motives for their action and the reasons for the policy they have pursued, directed the following memorial to be prepared as a part of their annual report:
When the members of the Board were first called together by Stevens T. Mason, then Governor of Michigan, whose short and bril. liant career constitutes an epoch in the history of the State, the important duties of selecting this site, which will remain sacred to letters, to science and the arts, so long as intelligence and virtue shall hold their seat in the affections of the people, and of providing the means by borrowing the credit of the State to adorn and improve it, were the subjects first presented for their consideration. The man- ' ner in which they performed these duties has become a matter of history. As such, it may be seen and read of all men. Of the judgment which the present or the future may form in relation to these transactions, the Board feel no apprehension and manifest no
Having selected the site of the University, secured the means of erecting the buildings, purchasing the library, and of doing other things necessary to lay its foundation, it became apparent that the materials for the construction of the living edifice were not at hand. The blocks for the statuary were in the quarry, but there were no hands to hew them into form. Our political and social institutions were yet in a transition state. The common schools were then in chaos, and our whole system of Public Instruction in the State, at best, of inchoation. Believing that the attempt to establish or organize the University at this stage of our political existence, in this condition of the other educational institutions of the State, would prove abortive, the Regents resolved (as the constitutional authority or warrant for so doing had not then been questioned,) to invert the order of things contemplated in the organic law, and proceed at once to the establishment of branches as a means of furnishing the elements necessary to give vitality to the central institution, when the time for appointing its Faculty should arrive.
In order to carry this purpose into effect, the committee on branches were authorized to employ an agent to visit the different sections of the State and engage the co-operation of citizens living at such points as seemed most suitable for the establishment of branches, and report his doings to the Board. This agent, who was restricted to eight localities, reported in favor of locating a branch at Pontiac, Detroit, Monroe, Tecumseh, Niles, Grand Rapids, Palmer and Jackson, the citizens of which were required to furnish the site and the edifice necessary for the accommodation of the pupils. On the fulfillment of these conditions, branches were organized at Monroe, Tecumseh, Niles, White Pigeon, Kalamazoo, Pontiac, Romeo and Detroit. A department for the education of females was added to the branch at Monroe, Tecumseh, White Pigeon, Kalamazoo and Romeo. Branches were also located at Mackinac, Jackson, Utica, Ypsilanti and Coldwater, but no appropriations were ever made for their support.
On the first organization of the Board of Regents, it included no clerical members. For this reason, the University, then in futuro, was stigmatized as an infidel affair, which, it was predicted, would fail to perform the functions for which it had been endowed. This
prediction was uttered with much confidence in certain quarters, and an act for the incorporation of a sectarian college was urged through the Legislature, partly by the force of an appeal to the religious feeling of the members, based on this accusation. Partly with a view to disarm that kind of opposition, and more especially because they believed it to be a duty, irrespective of it, the Board was careful to introduce the elements of religion into the branches, which they did by the appointment of clergymen of the different denominations as principals thereof.
In the adoption of rules for the government of the branches, special care was taken to guard the common school interest from injury, by requiring candidates for admission to undergo a preparatory examination. Tuition was to be paid in advance. A treasurer was appointed for each branch, who was required to make a report of the funds in his hands, at the close of each term. The course of study to be pursued therein was prescribed by the Board of Regents, which embraced the preparation of the pupil for college, his qualification for business, or for teaching, as he might himself elect.
With the design of inducing young men who had been educated at the branches, to engage in the business of instruction, a regulation was adopted which authorized the treasurer to refund the money paid for tuition, to all such persons as should furnish to him evidence of having been engaged in teaching, having regard to the time they had been thus employed. A board of visitors was also appointed for each branch, to whom such powers were delegated as seemed necessary to the practical working of the system.
Notwithstanding the pains taken to adapt these institutions to the public exigencies, so that their legitimate functions could be performed without infringing upon another portion of the educational system, they soon began to decline in popular estimation, because they were not able at the same time to perform the functions of a common school as well as a branch of the University. A feeling of jealousy was awakened in the minds of those whose children were excluded from them, either from want of age or qualifications. Consequently they were soon regarded as places for the education of the (so-called) aristocracy of the State, and the University, through the influence of the branches, began to be spoken of as an enemy to popular education. If an opinion may