THE increasing complexities of community life have been bringing to the University more and more requests for advice, guidance, and assistance. These relate to educational needs and personal and community problems in addition to those involving formal academic courses of study.
Interest in the general field of adult education, apart from the professional fields, has warranted a rather critical study of the operations of those various units within the University having to do with extramural service. This study also included frequent discussions with members of the teaching profession and various interested organizations of the state and revealed certain community educational needs as well as difficulties experienced by many school systems and by other local agencies in meeting these needs. Many schools have become centers of educational activities in addition to their formal classroom work. There has been an increasing demand, however, for new subject matter within the school curriculum, and also for instruction and educational guidance for those beyond local-school years, which reflects the needs of other members of the community as well as those of the school child.
The University has long maintained various agencies designed to assist in local educational and community problems. In order to assure the most effective operation of these various units and to guard against duplication of effort, at the January, 1937, meeting of the Board of Regents the following action was taken:
Resolved, That a Division of Extramural Services be organized in accordance with the general principle stated in the definition of a division as approved by the Board of Regents
(R.P. 1932-1936, p. 348). In view of the nature of the units involved in exercising advisory functions in accordance with the controlling definition of a division, special emphasis shall be placed upon co-ordinating the various allied activities and developing in a sound and progressive manner the educational services which can be properly rendered by the University to the citizens of the State. The administration of each unit included in the Division of Extramural Services and the responsibilities of the chief officer of each unit are not hereby affected.
Resolved, further, That there shall be included within the Division of Extramural Services all postgraduate activities, all of the sections and bureaus within the present University Extension Division, the Library Extension Service, the Bureau of Appointments and Occupational Information, the Bureau of Alumni Relations, the Bureau of Co-operation with Educational Institutions, the extramural work of Student-Alumni Relations, the in-service training of the Bureau of Reference and Research in Government, the industrial teacher-training of the Department of Vocational Education, and such other units and activities which may from time to time by regental action be placed within the Division. Official representatives shall be the responsible heads but the Division may include, as regular members, additional representatives from the various bureaus and units; and
Resolved, further, That Dr. James D. Bruce, in his capacity as Vice-President in Charge of University Relations, shall act as Chairman of the Division.
(R.P., 1936-39, pp. 137-38.)
During the three years since its organization, the Division of Extramural Services has been helpful in clarifying the functions and responsibilities of the extramural service units within the University, and also has led to closer associations with other state and privately supported institutions. In this development complete autonomy is maintained Page 337within the various University units as well as by the affiliated institutions.
At present this community of interests is confined largely to adult education, but promises the inclusion of other fields as community needs become clearly defined and the effectiveness of extramural co-operation becomes more apparent.
The willingness with which our institutions of higher learning, both state and private, have accepted this obligation lends encouragement to the belief that many state-wide needs, social as well as educational, may be more adequately met by still closer collaboration.