CLARENCE COOK LITTLE (Harvard '10, Ph.D. ibid., '14) was elected to the presidency of the University at a special meeting of the Regents held September 10, 1925. The story of his selection was unusual, for soon after the death of President Marion LeRoy Burton the Regents had appointed three members of their own body — William L. Clements, Junius E. Beal, and Walter H. Sawyer — and three members of the faculty — G. Carl Huber, Jesse S. Reeves, and Herbert C. Sadler — to act as a committee on the presidency. This committee considered a large number of possible candidates, made a visit to New York for the purpose of a consultation, and also called upon Dr. Little, then President of the University of Maine.
At the time Dr. Little accepted the presidency of the University of Michigan he was thirty-six years of age. He had been a well-known athlete at Harvard University, and there he also had cultivated his keen interest in biological research. After his graduation he had served as secretary of the Harvard Corporation and engaged in research work both at Harvard and at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. He was known as an excellent scholar, a ready speaker, and an educator with progressive views, which he was bold and outspoken in advocating.
President Little's favorite theories of education were soon expressed by him in speeches and in reports after his arrival at Ann Arbor. He was much concerned with the methods used by colleges in dealing with their students and felt that the individual was being unhappily neglected in the present-day scheme of things. He held that the fitness of an individual for college should in the first place be carefully weighed, and once the student was enrolled his special capabilities should be considered at every point. The standard curriculum, too, was to his mind inadequate as a means of training for women students, and gave them little help toward fulfilling their responsibilities in the home and family.
Furthermore, President Little believed very definitely that in the planning of the curriculum a division should be made at the end of the first two years. Such a division was already practically recognized by most educators, and the Page 89growth of the junior-college movement served to emphasize the division. He felt, too, that at that time students were being turned out of the colleges without any common stock of knowledge which one could count upon each individual's possessing. He thought in general that the earlier division of the curriculum should remedy this situation and, like many others dissatisfied with the habit of subdividing the fields of knowledge and leaving little common ground for interplay between the various arts and sciences, he looked with some favor upon the device of general courses.
This outline will serve as an introduction to the discussion of the major project which was undertaken during his administration and was left unfinished when that administration abruptly ended, namely, the University College proposal. His first presidential report stated that in the fall of 1926 there might be expected a statement on the desirability of organizing junior and senior colleges at the University, and in fact the subject was then raised. In December, 1926, the Regents requested the University Senate to create what came to be called the Senate committee on undergraduate studies. This was done at a meeting of the Senate held January 16, 1927. A committee was organized with the President as chairman, Dean Alfred H. Lloyd as vice-chairman, and Registrar Ira M. Smith as secretary. This group proceeded to discuss the situation, and a tentative report was drafted by a subcommittee and was sent to the various faculties for discussion. The report which was adopted by the Senate committee began with certain observations about the difficulties of the present system and a statement of the problem which had to be met. As a definite recommendation it was proposed that a University College be organized, with its own dean and faculty composed of the members of other faculties who were giving instruction in the College, that it should determine its own requirements for admission, and should have jurisdiction over all students during their first two years in the University.
It was proposed that the Senate request the Regents to establish the University College under lines such as these. Very active discussion and criticism developed in the faculty meetings which were held to consider this report, and as a result the committee thought that it was better to submit less specific recommendations to the Senate and devote the year 1927-28 to further study. The briefer report was adopted without opposition at a meeting of the Senate held June 7, 1927, and was transmitted to the Regents. It was to the effect that the Senate should request the Regents to authorize the establishment of such a college as has been described, but with the proviso that any existing college should be allowed the optional privilege, at least for the time being, of admitting its students directly in cases in which the curriculum was importantly determined by conditions not fully controlled by the University, or if it could be shown that the best interests of the students would be jeopardized by their being required to enter the University College. The word "jeopardize" was one which was frequently heard on the campus during the succeeding months. The Senate's report also requested the Regents to authorize the President to name a committee of representatives of the various schools and colleges to work out a definite plan for the University College. This was done, and subcommittees were also appointed to outline the general courses in the physical sciences, physical and mental hygiene, general subjects, the social sciences, and the fine arts, which were expected to be a part of the curriculum of the University College.
Page 90In consequence of this legislation a large representative Senate committee on the University College, during the earlier part of 1927-28, held eight meetings, finally adopting its report on February 14, 1928. Following the general lines already set forth, it proposed that the University College should have its own faculty but should be governed by an executive committee of nine faculty representatives, together with the registrar, which committee should exercise the powers of a dean. During the winter this report was discussed by the separate faculties, and was unfavorably received by those of the two largest units directly concerned, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the College of Engineering. The literary faculty, in its resolution, based its objection primarily upon the increased cost of operating the University College, and the faculty of the College of Engineering had recourse to the proviso in the original recommendations of the Senate which concerned the jeopardizing of the interests of the students of the given school or college. On April 24 and 25 the Regents conducted a hearing at which committees of these faculties expressed their views. The Regents, however, recorded themselves as still favoring the plan and authorized the appointment of an executive committee, with the intention of establishing the new college as of September 1, 1929. At the same time, they expressed the feeling that there should be an individual head, that is, a dean, instead of a managing committee. It was understood that the details of organization were to be worked out by the executive committee, and this committee was appointed in due course of time, Professor Lewis M. Gram being its chairman.
The committee, however, had hardly had a half-year's existence when, on January 21, 1929, President Little handed to the Regents his letter of resignation. In this document he included a recommendation that the plan for the University College be definitely abandoned unless the Regents should still find themselves wholeheartedly in favor of it, or his own successor should be so favorable to the scheme that he would personally sponsor it. The Regents decided to defer action until the views of President Little's successor should be known, but in the meantime the executive committee was requested to continue its consideration of the plans. This was undoubtedly the central episode of the Little administration.
Various measures which were taken in the general field of student-personnel work, however, were likewise of considerable importance. Freshman Week, as it was then called, was one of the more striking of Little's innovations in this field. The term was adopted to describe a program originally planned to cover an entire week, during which the freshmen would be oriented to the University and its facilities. The period just before the opening of the fall term was chosen in order that the freshmen might as far as possible be by themselves on the campus. In instituting the Freshman Week at the University of Michigan President Little was repeating a procedure which he had followed with some success at the University of Maine, and it may be mentioned that the custom has been maintained at the University of Michigan since his departure, although it is now felt that its purposes can be accomplished in less than a week (see Part II: Orientation Period).
It was during Little's administration, too, that the regulation of the use of automobiles by University students was finally modified by the passage of the present rule, which was voted by the Regents on June 17, 1927. It forbids the use of automobiles by students during their college course except as the prohibition Page 91may be relaxed by the dean of students. President Burton had attempted to deal with this problem by appealing to the parents of students, but without much success. In the summer of 1926 a rule was passed which required that all cars be registered and their use limited to upperclassmen. Experience has shown that the absolute prohibition of the use of cars was probably the only workable scheme and the most beneficial one, for if merely the statistics of deaths of University of Michigan students from automobile accidents be inspected, it can readily be seen that the passage of the regulation had in this all-important particular a decided and most salutary effect (see Part II: University Automobile Regulation).
Little became deeply interested in the encouragement of a series of nonsectarian Sunday services, organized by a group of students and carried on for several years in Hill Auditorium. The idea was first expressed in the course of conversations with a group of representative students, both men and women, who were accustomed to meet informally at the President's house, and was an expression of impatience on the part of this group of young people with the more formal religious observances of the churches. These services brought to Ann Arbor from time to time a number of the leading clergymen of the country, but did not prove successful.
In June, 1927, the campaign for the Michigan League was successfully completed. The announcement was made at Commencement time and the erection of the building followed. Another development in the field of student welfare was the establishment of the Senate committee on vocational guidance on January 28, 1926. Professor Clarence S. Yoakum was designated as the executive officer of this committee, which has since developed into the Bureau of Appointments and Occupational Information of the University. On January 18, 1926, the so-called "Day Report" was transmitted to the University Senate, and in April of the same year the Regents took generally favorable action upon it. This report, so called because Dean Edmund E. Day, then of the School of Business Administration and now President of Cornell University, was the chairman of the committee which prepared it, was an exhaustive study of the situation of the University as regards athletics, physical education, and recreational activities. It was in compliance with the recommendations of this report that the Board in Control of Athletics (now Board in Control of Physical Education) instituted its program of athletics for all and carried out the elaborate building operations financed by a bond issue, which resulted in the completion of the Stadium, the Intramural Building, and the women's athletic field with the Women's Athletic Building upon it. The Stadium was first used in the fall of 1927.
An investigation of a much wider and different nature which came to a less successful conclusion was a projected survey of taxes in the state of Michigan which was proposed during the last year of President Little's administration and came to an end before anything substantial had been done. On October 26, 1928, the Regents authorized the formation of a committee of twelve University staff members representing a number of the various departments which would be appropriately included in a survey of the tax situation in Michigan. Dean Edward H. Kraus was made chairman of the committee. It was understood that the committee would be a fact-finding and not a policy-determining body. Doubt as to the wisdom of this enterprise quickly grew, however, and at the meeting of December 21, 1928, the resolution passed Page 92at the October meeting was reconsidered and further action on the subject was indefinitely postponed. When the resignation of President Little was received the next month, it was evident that the project would be definitely dropped.
Under the head of curricular changes and educational reorganization the most important occurrence of Little's years at the University was the establishment, in the fall of 1927, of the School of Forestry and Conservation. Forestry had previously occupied the status of a department in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (see Part I: Angell Administration), but the death of the head of the department, Professor Filibert Roth, gave rise to much questioning as to the future of the subject. Eventually, the decision was to expand the work very considerably by the addition of a number of new men and to make it not only a school of forestry but also an institution for the study of forest products and their utilization and of conservation in general. To head the new school, Dean Samuel T. Dana was brought to Michigan. In the same year, 1927, also was instituted the custom of annual conferences between the University personnel and the owners of timberlands. In February a meeting at Chicago brought together a group from the Upper Peninsula, and in May a similar group from the Lower Peninsula met at Ann Arbor. These conferences for the discussion of questions of special interest to the owners and users of timberland have been maintained ever since that time.
In April, 1926, the Department of Library Science was formally established. This involved the giving of work in the subject throughout the entire year and necessitated the addition of several persons to the staff. Previously such courses had been given only in the Summer Session. The Department of Postgraduate Medicine, another creation of this administration, was authorized in June, 1927. Dr. James D. Bruce, who is still in charge of this much-expanded work, was chosen to direct the department. In the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts a number of departmental rearrangements were made. The death of Professor Wenley brought about the separation of the former Department of Philosophy and Psychology into two, one of which was placed under the chairmanship of DeWitt H. Parker, Professor of Philosophy, and the other under Walter B. Pillsbury, Professor of Psychology.
Much discussion of the situation as regards English also took place. In 1925-26 a committee on English was formed, which gave way in January, 1928, to a Division of English, including the work in English, rhetoric, and speech. The two former still remain associated, but the Department of Speech was again made independent some years later. Another situation concerned the work in English, mathematics, and the modern languages in the College of Engineering. In April, 1927, it was decided that these three subjects should thenceforth be University departments, heading up in the appropriate departments of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Thus, the previously existing independent departments of English, mathematics, and modern languages of the College of Engineering were done away with and the various staffs were joined. In mathematics and modern languages this arrangement still holds good, but it has since seemed best to return to the old arrangement as far as English is concerned.
An important change was made early in Little's administration in the course in dentistry. The University unit in this subject, which had previously been called the College of Dental Surgery, Page 93had operated on the so-called one-four plan, that is, a student was required to spend one year in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, followed by four years in the College of Dental Surgery. The new plan called for two years of academic training and three thereafter in professional study, and since by this change the dental college would admit only students who had had at least two years of academic work, it was thereby entitled, under the rules of nomenclature recommended in the first instance by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and subscribed to by the University of Michigan, to be called a school. From January, 1927, its title has therefore been School of Dentistry.
Research in 1925-29 was extremely active and received encouragement not only from the University but also from outside donors. This is the period of the excavations at Karanis, under the direction, at first, of Francis W. Kelsey, Professor of Latin, and after his death continued by the committee on Near East research. It is also the period of Professor William H. Hobbs's expeditions to Greenland, which began in the summer of 1926. In the same year the Lamont telescope was set up in the South African observatory. In 1927 came the dedication of the Thomas H. Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and in 1928-29 the notable grant from the General Education Board of $250,000 over a period of five years for the expenses of the Early Modern English Dictionary and of advanced humanistic research. Aside from these more spectacular gifts and enterprises, however, a really notable step was taken by the University when in 1925-26 the first faculty research fund was established. Originally this took the form of an appropriation of only $3,000 from one of the general trust funds, but in 1927-28 the budget of the University was made to carry an item of $30,000 under this title. The faculty research fund was from the first closely associated with the Graduate School and its Executive Board. It has been possible for any member of the faculty to apply to this source for aid, which might be in the form of equipment, assistance, books, or any other legitimate expense for the furtherance of his own research. Undoubtedly this fund has been of major importance in increasing the University's reputation for scholarly work and in raising faculty morale.
Some of the outstanding gifts which were received by the University during Little's administration have already been mentioned — such as the Memorial Institute for Medical Research, given and endowed by Mrs. Thomas Henry Simpson, of Detroit, in memory of her husband, to encourage research in pernicious anemia and related blood diseases; the telescope and dome, the gift of Robert P. Lamont, of Chicago, which were erected at Bloemfontein, South Africa, for astronomical research in the southern heavens; and the appropriation made by the General Education Board for the encouragement of research in the advanced humanities and for the compilation of the Early Modern English Dictionary. Mention also should be made of the Legal Research Library and the John P. Cook Building, which were added to the Law Quadrangle in 1928-29 by William W. Cook, of New York; and likewise of the cancer research fund, amounting to $225,000 over a period of five years, provided by a group of anonymous donors to finance President Little's own researches on the inheritability of cancer; the Brosseau Foundation of $115,000, donated by Alfred J. Brosseau, of New York, President of Mack Trucks, Incorporated, to provide scholarships and loans for students; the bequest in the will of the late Avery Hopwood, who died on July 1, 1928, on which have been Page 94based the Hopwood awards and prizes for creative writing, the gift of $78,000 from the Daniel Guggenheim fund for the promotion of aeronautics, on which was based a professorship in aeronautical engineering and from which equipment for the then young department was procured; and the generous provision for the prosecution of research in the Near East which was made year after year by the late Horace H. Rackham of Detroit. In 1927-28, too, Howard A. Kelly presented to the University his fine mycological library, which now forms one of the major research facilities of the Herbarium, and in 1928-29 Orla B. Taylor, of Detroit, deposited in the General Library the remarkable collection of autographs of Napoleon and his marshals which is on display in the Library delivery room. In the same year the Carnegie Corporation assigned to the University the sum of $100,000 for the promotion of its work in the fine arts. With the help of this fund notable advances were made in providing study material in this subject. These are but a few of the larger donations to the University during the years under discussion.
The program of the Alumni Association during the Little administration is marked most notably by the institution of the Michigan Alumni Ten-Year Program and by what was called the "Alumni University." Little subscribed heartily to the idea that the University is decidedly not through with a student as soon as it has conferred a degree upon him, and the Alumni University which was proposed and explained by him was a device to provide for continuing individual interests on the part of alumni. A pamphlet called The Catalog of the Alumni University, which described the work of the various departments and their needs, was prepared, in order to suggest to the individual some line of special work carried on by the University with which he might voluntarily identify himself. This idea was publicly proclaimed at a dinner sponsored by the Ann Arbor University of Michigan Club and held January 21, 1928, at the Michigan Union. Representatives from nearly all the alumni centers throughout the country attended this dinner, and the plan was well received. It played a part also in the program of the second alumni triennial which was held at the Hotel Blackstone in Chicago, May 10-12, 1928. Both the Alumni University and the Michigan Alumni Ten-Year Program engaged the interest of the alumni for several years thereafter, and resulted in the eventual establishment of the Bureau of Alumni Relations, as a part of the University's program.
The University's first regular broadcasting was begun during the early years of President Little's administration. In 1923 a homemade broadcasting station was set up in the West Engineering Building and at irregular intervals a few programs were sent out over it. This did not, however, prove satisfactory, and inquiry showed that to provide a really suitable outfit would entail more expense than the institution could possibly afford. In 1925-26, therefore, an arrangement was made with Station WJR of Detroit for the regular broadcasting of programs originating on the campus, thereby presenting to the people of the state both talks on educational subjects by members of the faculty and music by student organizations, such as the varsity band and groups from the School of Music. With the changes in the station over which Michigan programs have gone out, this policy has ever since been followed, and Waldo M. Abbot, who became the program manager during the early years of President Little's administration, has continued in that capacity until the present day.
Page 95Changes in the faculty during the Little administration were many and important. A number of well-known figures passed from the scene through death or retirement. William J. Hussey, Professor of Astronomy and Head of the Department of Astronomy, died suddenly in London on October 28, 1926. Nelville S. Hoff, Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry, and Howard B. Merrick, Associate Professor of Geodesy and Surveying, died also during the same year. In the spring of 1927, on May 11 and 14 respectively, the sudden deaths of Dean Alfred H. Lloyd and Professor Francis W. Kelsey shocked the entire community. Assistant Professor Herbert S. Mallory, of the Department of Rhetoric and Journalism, was accidentally killed on December 30, 1927, and in the spring of 1929 the University suffered the loss of two well-known professors, Robert M. Wenley, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, and Charles Horton Cooley, long known as an inspiring teacher of sociology. In the course of 1925-26 Professor Thomas C. Trueblood left the active service of the University, and in the next year Professors Fred Newton Scott, Cyrenus G. Darling, and Jacob E. Reighard retired. The retirements of Professors Victor H. Lane, Joseph L. Markley, and Louis P. Hall came in 1927-28. The year 1928-29 saw the retirement of Dean Mortimer E. Cooley, Dean Allen S. Whitney, and Professors H. L. Wilgus, Fred M. Taylor, and Arthur G. Canfield. By resignation, Professor John J. Travis left the University in June, 1927, and Dean Edmund E. Day and Professor Thomas E. Rankin in June, 1928. In March of that year Professor Henry E. Riggs was granted two years' leave of absence and resumed his connection with the University only as Honorary Professor of Civil Engineering. Professors William A. Frayer and Herbert F. Goodrich resigned in the spring of 1929, and Professor Clarence S. Yoakum left, though fortunately to return later, to assume the deanship of the College of Liberal Arts of Northwestern University. Among those who were added to the University faculty and staff during the years 1925-29 may be mentioned Dow V. Baxter, Margaret Mann, Henry Field, William C. Trow, Ernest M. Fisher, Charles A. Fisher, Albert C. Kerlikowski, Carleton B. Joeckel, Joseph N. Lincoln, Dean B. McLaughlin, James M. O'Neill, Leonard L. Watkins, Paul N. Bukovsky, Walter J. Emmons, Lawrence V. Kerber, Stephen P. Timoshenko, Raphael Isaacs, Cyrus C. Sturgis, John P. Dawson, Paul A. Leidy, Samuel T. Dana, Samuel A. Graham, William Kynoch, Donald M. Matthews, Alice C. Lloyd, Alvalyn E. Woodward, Peter Monro Jack, Charles F. Remer, K. T. Lowe, Benjamin D. Meritt, Henry C. Adams, Jr., Charles L. Brown, Reuben L. Kahn, William W. Blume, Shirley W. Allen, Earl L. Griggs, Norman E. Nelson, George E. Carrothers, Joseph E. Maddy, Herbert G. Watkins, and T. Luther Purdom.
The changes in the staff due to retirements and deaths as well as to administrative reorganization brought about a number of new assignments of an administrative character. In May, 1927, Edmund E. Day was appointed Dean of Administration, a new position which was intended to be closely associated with the office of the president and to have special care over the preparation of the University budget as a whole. Dean Day held this office for one year and was succeeded by Alexander G. Ruthven, who in turn became the successor of Dr. Little as chief executive of the University in the fall of 1929. The retirement of Dean Cooley left a vacancy in the deanship of the College of Engineering, which was filled in April, 1928, by the selection of Professor Herbert C. Page 96Sadler. In the previous year G. Carl Huber had been chosen to succeed the late Alfred H. Lloyd as Dean of the Graduate School. Ralph H. Curtiss in 1926-27 became Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Director of the Observatory, following the late William J. Hussey. Alexander G. Ruthven was made Chairman of the Department of Zoology and Moses Gomberg Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Director of the Chemical Laboratory. On the practical retirement of Henry E. Riggs, Lewis M. Gram assumed the headship of the Department of Civil Engineering. Edward M. Bragg succeeded Dean Sadler in the Department of Naval Architecture. The separation of the departments of psychology and philosophy as a consequence of the death of Robert M. Wenley, and the appointment of Walter B. Pillsbury and DeWitt H. Parker as their respective chairmen, have already been mentioned. In 1927, a few months after the retirement of Professor Fred Newton Scott, Head of the Department of Rhetoric and Journalism, Peter Monro Jack was appointed Professor of Rhetoric and Chairman of the Department of Rhetoric, a position which he held until the work in rhetoric and that in English were joined at the end of 1929-30. In May, 1929, the Regents voted to set aside the instruction in journalism as a department, separate from its previous association with the teaching of English and rhetoric, and John L. Brumm was designated chairman. I. Leo Sharfman in the same year succeeded Edmund E. Day in the chairmanship of the Department of Economics, and John W. Eaton was called to the faculty as Chairman of the Department of German in succession to Max Winkler, who resigned his administrative duties but not his professorship.
During the Little administration two sessions of the legislature, those of 1927 and 1929, took place. At the first of these the University presented two requests, one of which was that the limit which had been placed on the proceeds of the mill tax in 1925 be removed, and the other, that a building appropriation be made. In connection with the mill tax, it was pointed out that in the budget of 1926-27 there was already a deficit of $200,000 a year of expenses over income — a situation which could only be permitted through the use of savings. The mill tax, with the limit imposed by the legislature, at the same time was producing $3,700,000 a year, and when the situation was explained to the legislature it was stated that the University was under an imperative necessity, first, to increase the salaries of key men on the faculty if they were to be retained in the face of offers from other institutions, second, to bring in new men to strengthen the various faculties, and third, to obtain an increased income for the purpose of expanding its program in certain directions — notably, the new School of Forestry and Conservation. The legislature appreciated the situation and removed the limitation as requested. The new mill-tax law, Act No. 404 of the Public Acts of 1927, introduced a new feature which seemed to be a successful solution of a difficulty experienced by previous legislatures. It was provided that the proceeds of the mill tax should be determined on the basis of the equalized valuation of the taxable property of the state as fixed by the Board of Equalization prior to the latest regular session of the legislature. This tended to remove the objection previously expressed that in passing the mill-tax bill the legislature was authorizing future appropriations the amount of which it did not know, and was in a sense making the Board of Equalization an appropriating body. The proceeds of the tax in the first year were expected to be $4,625,874.
Page 97The Regents submitted to the state authorities two lists of lands and buildings needed. List A, which included the more pressing items, totaled $4,925,000, and list B, $8,550,000. The legislature passed an act, No. 405 of the Public Acts of 1927, which appropriated $1,750,000 for 1927-28 and $2,400,000 for 1928-29. Governor Green, however, disapproved of a number of the items, and the bill as finally approved by him called for the following sums: in 1927-28, $350,000 for land for the Michigan League, $250,000 for a model elementary school, and $100,000 for heat, power, and light, with a total for the biennium of $1,300,000.
The legislative session of 1929 found the University in an unusual situation. President Little had just presented his resignation, and the leadership which would naturally be expected of him in presenting the University's situation to the legislature was out of the question. At his suggestion the Regents voted to appoint a legislative committee from their own body, consisting of Regent Sawyer, chairman, Regent Beal, and Regent Clements, together with Alexander G. Ruthven, Dean of Administration. The appropriations made in this year concerned only building matters, as the mill-tax bill was not brought up for discussion. The general bill, Act No. 324 of the Public Acts of 1929, which included appropriations for all state institutions, bore three items for the fiscal year 1930 affecting the University — $500,000 for buildings, $175,000 for land, and $250,000 for the addition of a tuberculosis unit to the University Hospital.
The building operations of the University from 1925 to 1929 were largely determined by the appropriations which have just been mentioned, together with the gifts of private donors and the initiative of semiofficial interests. The alumnae during this time carried out the plan for the Michigan League Building, and the Board in Control of Athletics, as has already been stated, built the Stadium, the Intramural Building, and the Women's Athletic Building. The Law Quadrangle was enlarged by the addition of the William W. Cook Legal Research Library and the John P. Cook Building, and the state, as has been seen, financed the erection of the University Elementary School Building adjoining the University High School. The committee of five which had functioned during President Burton's administration was, at its own request, discharged in 1925-26, and the building operations were carried out by contractors under the supervision of the Regents' building committee and University officers.
It was in 1926 that an important readjustment of the streets around the University campus was brought about by the extension of North University Avenue to meet the new extension of Forest Avenue planned to carry through traffic from Detroit into the city without passing directly under the windows of the University buildings. This involved, among other things, the exchange of the original Alumnae House, which had to be torn down to make way for the Forest Avenue extension, for the old Harriman dwelling on Washtenaw Avenue, which had come into the ownership of the University.
President Little's resignation was not a complete surprise when it was presented at the Regents' meeting of January 21, 1929, in the form of a letter addressed to Regent Murfin. In this letter President Little said that for some time it had been becoming increasingly apparent that his methods of dealing with certain situations were not consistent with policies which the Regents believed wise, and that he hoped to be more successful in scientific research and teaching than in administration. Therefore, he asked that his resignation be accepted, Page 98to take effect September 1, 1929, and that he be given leave of absence from June 20 until August 31. His further recommendations made with regard to the University College and with regard to the handling of the legislative program have already been mentioned. The resignation was accepted in the terms presented and with the following resolutions:
Resolved, That in accepting the resignation of President Little, the Board of Regents expresses the most profound regret.
His high ideals of educational standards, his initiative, his constructive aspirations, his frankness, courage, and sincerity have made the severing of relationships a heartfelt loss to us all.
We trust that the future may have for him the richest rewards.