The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  425


THE appointment in 1841 of the Reverend George P. Williams as Professor of Mathematics and that of the Reverend Joseph Whiting as Professor of Languages signalized the opening of the University in Ann Arbor and the birth of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which multiplied almost a thousandfold in students and more than a hundredfold in faculty within a hundred years. The curriculum offered by these two professors to the seven* students who first enrolled was limited to the Greek and Latin classics and to the more elementary branches of mathematics. Ten years after the first classes were conducted in Mason Hall, the number of students had grown to almost one hundred, and an additional building, now the South Wing of University Hall, had been erected to provide them with living quarters. The faculty had increased, likewise, during this first decade, until four more chairs had been filled — zoology, moral and intellectual philosophy, chemistry, and logic, rhetoric, and history. These additions to the teaching staff resulted in considerable expansion in the college curriculum and permitted the students to become acquainted with some of the newer, scientific disciplines.

The second decade of the University's existence gave evidence of the vigorous, directing hand of President Henry P. Tappan in all departments (see Part I: Tappan Administration). For no department of the University was this energetic direction more beneficial than for the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, as it was officially named until the year 1915. Tappan helped to bring about the introduction of a scientific course which paralleled the instruction in the classics. This "course," including work in physics, astronomy, chemistry, and civil engineering, led to the degree of bachelor of science. The inclusion of this science curriculum in the Literary Department was a departure from the precedent of Yale and Harvard, where scientific schools separate from the faculty of the humanities had been established.

President Tappan also inaugurated a greater amount of student freedom in the selection of courses than had been possible before that time. The introduction of the course leading to the bachelor of science degree provided an alternative to the customary classical curriculum. His belief that students should be permitted to pursue their individual interests led to a second alternative, an optional course which permitted a student to spend his entire time in the department of his special interest and receive at the end, not a diploma, but a certificate of proficiency. This optional course was clearly the precursor of our present permission to register as "not a candidate for a degree." The expansion of the curriculum provided a further range of choice. The student was allowed in addition to choose some of his courses during the senior year; this was the beginning of the system of free electives prevalent at the turn of the century.

Page  426During President Tappan's term of office the number of students and faculty members increased rapidly. Old departments were divided, and new ones were established. The classical languages were divided into Greek and Latin; the work in philosophy was strengthened; and the number of courses in French and German, which had been begun before 1850, was tripled. The new men called to the faculty were, in general, younger scholars who were chosen wholly on their academic qualifications. It was Tappan's belief that "there is no safe guide in the appointment of professors save in the qualifications of the candidate."

After the dismissal of President Tappan, the Reverend Erastus O. Haven of Boston, a former member of the staff, was invited to accept the presidency of the University. During his six years of office the curriculum was expanded and the admission requirements were altered (see Part I: Haven Administration). A new Latin and scientific course, which substituted modern languages for Greek as cultural and disciplinary subjects, was begun and soon became popular. This course led to the degree of bachelor of philosophy, which was conferred for the first time on six students in 1870. The requirement for the optional course was defined more strictly as the passing of the examinations for admission to the freshman class. Edward Olney, who was appointed Professor of Mathematics during President Haven's administration, succeeded in having the admission requirements in mathematics increased to include a knowledge of quadratic equations.

The dismissal of President Tappan necessitated some changes in the faculty. The new appointments which were made resulted in a separation of the chairs of English and history. Moses Coit Tyler, who came as Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature in 1867, emphasized the study of English literature more than had any of his predecessors. Charles Kendall Adams was promoted to the chair of history in the same year.

After the resignation of President Haven, Professor Henry S. Frieze was appointed Acting President and was in office for a period of two years (see Part I: Frieze Administration). During his administration women were admitted as students for the first time. The question of coeduction had been debated for many years, and in January, 1870, the Regents adopted a resolution stating that "no rule exists … for the exclusion of any person from the university who possesses the requisite literary and moral qualifications." By June, 1871, according to the Catalogue, some fourteen women had entered the Literary Department, including those in special courses.

Professor Frieze was responsible for the development of a functional relationship between the high schools of the state and the University. The University undertook to inspect the work of secondary schools and to admit graduates without the customary examination from the schools that were approved. Professor Frieze hoped that by this method the secondary schools could be so improved that they could take over the function of the German Gymnasia, and that the University could be relieved of instruction in elementary courses. The Catalogue of 1870-71 included the original statement of this plan of accrediting, as follows (p. 49):

Whenever the Faculty shall be satisfied that the preparatory course in any school is conducted by a sufficient number of competent instructors, and has been brought up fully to the … requirements, the diploma of such school, certifying that the holder has completed the preparatory course and sustained the examination in the same, shall entitle the candidate to be admitted to the University without further examination.

Page  427Acting President Frieze declined an invitation to become the next president of the University and recommended a former student of his from Brown University, James Burrill Angell, who was at that time the president of the University of Vermont. After a long period of negotiation, Dr. Angell was inaugurated in June, 1871, and began a long and distinguished career as President of the University of Michigan and as a diplomat (see Part I: Angell Administration). His first task was to fuse the separate colleges into a real university, and it was his lifelong aim to give practical expression to the theory of state education outlined by President Tappan on his coming to Ann Arbor.

The importation of the German seminar method of instruction by Charles Kendall Adams in 1871-72 signalized, as it were, the notable advances in educational policy which were to be introduced during the presidency of James B. Angell. The students enrolled in the classical and scientific courses were at first permitted to elect, according to their choice, one-third of the work of the senior year, but the degree of prescription of the course of study was gradually reduced, until in 1878-79 more than half of the courses might be elected freely. Special students who were not candidates for degrees might elect courses according to their choice throughout the entire period of study. These special students needed only to satisfy the professors of their qualifications in order to be admitted to any courses which aroused their interest.

Many other changes were introduced during this and the next year. The time necessary to complete the degree requirements was less fixed than it had been, so that the more able students might shorten the time required for the educational process or include more subjects in their course of study. The removal of the former temporal restrictions resulted in a shift of emphasis to the number of courses which would be required for graduation. The development of the credit system came as a logical corollary of this emphasis upon the number of courses completed. The requirements for graduation were now stated as twenty-four courses for the degree of bachelor of arts and twenty-six for the degrees of bachelor of philosophy and bachelor of letters (which was introduced in 1878), each course consisting of five exercises a week or a combination of classes which would equal five exercises each week. This gradual transition exemplifies the development of the requirement of 120 hours for the bachelor's degree.

The curriculums of the Literary Department, meanwhile, were expanding rapidly. Unorganized instruction for teachers in the secondary schools had been given since President Tappan's time, but the establishment of a chair in the science and the art of teaching in 1879 was an innovation (see Part I: Angell Administration). Ten years later this department was authorized to grant certificates which qualified the possessor to teach in any high school of the state. A School of Political Science was also founded in 1881, with C. K. Adams as Dean, in which students could enroll only upon completing two years of work in the Literary Department or the equivalent of that preparation. The school did not prove popular, however, and there was no reference to it in the Calendar after 1890. It is of interest to note that the first course in forestry was included in this program. Courses in speech and oratory were introduced in 1884; and Thomas Trueblood became Professor of Elocution and Oratory and, in 1892, head of the first department of speech in the United States.

Graduate courses at the University were for many years included in the catalogue of the Literary Department. The Page  428first conception of advanced work was introduced by President Tappan under the title of the "university course." This early beginning received little encouragement, however, and it was not until after the far-reaching changes of 1878-79 that real graduate work was possible. The removal of the former course restrictions and the introduction of the credit system permitted considerable expansion in the number of advanced courses, and this greater differentiation of each subject-matter field attracted more and more applicants for advanced degrees until, in 1912, the Graduate School was given a separate organic existence.

Soon after the inauguration of the credit system in 1878, a complementary program of study was planned. In 1882 the "university system" was organized, to permit unrestricted study and specialization in three fields of inquiry. The individual programs of study were approved by a special committee of the faculty. The removal of the customary restrictions for students enrolled under the "university system," however, did not initiate any alteration in the amount or quality of the work required for the degree. In fact, students applying for a degree under the "university system" were required to pass final comprehensive examinations in order to satisfy the faculty as to the adequacy of their academic work. But this alternative to the credit system did not prove popular and, although the legislation was never revoked, the program soon lost its vitality (see Part III: University System).

One further innovation which was inaugurated during President Angell's administration was a combination course in letters and medicine which permitted a student to complete the requirements for both degrees in six years. The student thus received double credit for his first year of medicine. This program encouraged prospective doctors to continue their literary education longer than they would otherwise have done. Preliminary work in the Literary College was also stressed for those who intended to enroll in the College of Dental Surgery and in the College of Pharmacy.

During the greater portion of his administration, President Angell had charge of admissions and performed the administrative duties which have since been delegated to other executives.

The office of dean apparently evolved from the presidency of the literary faculty, which had existed before the time of President Tappan. This office, however, since it was elective within each faculty, was not recognized in the earliest catalogues. The deanship of the medical faculty was first mentioned there in 1869, when held by Abram Sager, and that of the law faculty two years later, when held by Thomas M. Cooley. In the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, it was not until 1875 that the annual catalogue, then called the Calendar, gave the title of Dean of the Faculty to Professor Henry S. Frieze. This position he held until his death in 1889, except for his two years of service as Acting President (1880-82), when Professors C. K. Adams and Edward Olney each served as Dean for one year. When Martin L. D'Ooge, Professor of Greek Language and Literature, was chosen by the faculty and officially appointed by the executive committee of the Regents, in 1890, the title was changed to dean of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Reappointed annually, he was, in effect, an assistant to the president in administrative matters pertaining to the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The functions of the office were limited, in the main, to the admission of students from high school and also of those applying for admission with advanced standing (see Part II: Office of the Registrar). Richard Hudson, Professor Page  429of History, was appointed by the Regents in 1897, without nomination by the faculty, to succeed Dean D'Ooge. The responsibilities with which Dean Hudson was charged became more manifold as the University grew and the administrative problems increased in difficulty. These new and complex problems became so numerous toward the end of President Angell's term of office that the President gave up any active participation in the affairs of the Literary Department except as presiding officer at faculty meetings. When John O. Reed, Professor of Physics, was appointed Dean in June, 1907, the administration of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts rested almost completely, therefore, on his shoulders.

Before 1912, admission to the College was based on preparation limited to the traditional academic subjects. No credit toward admission was granted for the newer subjects, such as manual training and home economics, which had found their way into the curriculums of the high school. In 1912 the requirements for admission were changed so that some freedom was granted to the high-school student in the subjects which he pursued as preparation for college work, but a minimum of twelve units had to be selected from the list of academic subjects. This allowed the student to pursue one-fifth of his high-school work in non-academic fields. The twelve required units consisted of three units of English, two units of a foreign language, ancient or modern, one unit of algebra, one unit of geometry, one unit of science, and four other academic units. A more radical departure from the traditional admission procedure was the arrangement whereby graduates of high schools which were members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools would be admitted without reference to the specific subjects that were presented. This second plan of admission fell eventually into disuse and was finally eliminated altogether (see Part II: Office of the Registrar).

The reorganization of the requirements for admission was followed by alterations in the graduation requirements. Bachelor of science degrees in biology and chemistry were discontinued after 1899, until the degree in chemistry was revived in 1914. The degrees of bachelor of philosophy, bachelor of science, and bachelor of letters were awarded until 1901 to students who had pursued successfully the specialized and fixed courses of study required. In that year the four curriculums, as well as all degrees except the bachelor of arts, were abolished (the degree in science was restored in 1909), and from 1901 to 1912 the only specific graduation requirement was freshman rhetoric. The increase in the number of courses during that period made two dangers very apparent. Without guidance the student was liable to err on the side of extreme specialization or on that of a wasteful diffusion of his energy over more fields of knowledge than he could intellectually embrace. To help the student avoid these dangers, the faculty required in 1912 that a student complete twelve hours of work in each of the following groups by the end of the sophomore year:

  • Group I. — Ancient languages and literatures, modern languages and literature, rhetoric (other than Courses 1 and 2).
  • Group II. — Mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, zoology, botany, psychology.
  • Group III. — History, political economy and sociology, political science, philosophy, education.
To prohibit excessive specialization, the elections were limited to forty hours in any department and eighty hours in a group. As a complement to these changes the requirements for graduation were Page  430stated as 120 hours with a satisfactory average grade.

The faculty felt that a more discriminating system of grading than "passed," "conditioned," and "not passed" would improve the standards of scholarship. The system adopted in 1912 included five grades: A — excellent, which was valued at three times as many honor points as hours of credit; B — good, valued at twice as many honor points as hours of credit; C — satisfactory, the same number of honor points as hours of credit; D — the lowest passing grade, no honor points; E — failure, deduction of hours of credit and honor points.

The combined curriculum of letters and medicine, which was introduced during the administration of President Angell, was followed by a similar course for prospective lawyers during the deanship of John O. Reed (1907-14). The principle of such combinations was extended during the term of Dean John R. Effinger (Acting Dean, 1912-15; Dean, 1915-33) to students preparing for the professions of dentistry and nursing.

President Hutchins' administration (1909-20) was characterized by an increasing complexity of the organization of the University, resulting from the physical growth of the individual colleges and schools (see Part I: Hutchins Administration). Shortly after the retirement of President Hutchins, the expansion of courses and opportunities in the field of education convinced the Regents of the University that the establishment of a separate school for training in education would be desirable. The establishment of the School of Education (1921) created difficulties for students who wished to receive a teacher's certificate and a bachelor's degree after four years of college work. The faculty of the School of Education contended that students should be enrolled in that School in order to become eligible for the certificate required for secondary-school positions. It was finally agreed, however, that students in the Literary College who had completed the technical courses for such a certificate would also be recommended for the certificate by the faculty of the School of Education.

The separate administration of the affairs of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which had begun so simply with an assistant to President Angell, had expanded to such an extent that in June, 1921, during the deanship of John R. Effinger it was necessary to appoint Associate Professor Wilber R. Humphreys as Assistant Dean. Dean Humphreys was placed in charge of disciplinary action for deficiencies in class attendance and scholarship as well as of the advisory work among first-year students. These duties were increased during 1922-23 to include action on student requests to add or drop courses and disciplinary measures resulting from student dishonesty in classwork.

Several changes were made in the requirements for admission to the College during President Burton's term of office, 1920-25 (see Part I: Burton Administration). The increased number of courses offered in high schools induced the faculty to decide that five of the fifteen units required for admission should be advanced studies regularly scheduled for the third and fourth year of the high-school curriculum. At the same time it was decided that the average grade which would justify recommendation for admission to the University should be distinctly higher than that required for graduation from high school. In March, 1925, the plan which permitted students to enter on recommendation of the high school without reference to specific subjects pursued was abolished. In the decade following the adoption of this resolution in 1912, only a few students had been admitted under its provisions. In Page  4311925, the admission of freshmen was placed in the hands of the registrar of the University, subject, of course, to the regulations of the faculty of the College.

In the last years of President Burton's administration, new opportunities were made available for superior students. At the May meeting of the faculty in 1924, the Department of English and the Department of History presented plans of honors courses which would permit students of unusual capacity and ability to carry on independent work during the last year or two. During 1924-25 the interest of the faculty in honors courses was stimulated by the report of the dean on the conference on honors courses which was held at the University of Iowa. A reading course in economics for seniors was also proposed, to permit a small group to correlate their study and reading in economics and its allied fields. During the next year, a similar reading course in sociology was authorized for selected students.

The privilege of condensing the work for the bachelor of arts degree by means of a combined course of study was extended (1924) to students preparing for postgraduate study in the School of Business Administration.

The proliferation of departments of the College continued throughout the administrations of President Burton and of President Little (see Part I: Little Administration). In 1923-24 the Department of Geology was divided into the separate units of geology and geography. During the next year a new department of instruction, the Department of Library Science, which had been authorized by the Regents, was included in the scope of the College by unanimous vote of the faculty. Students entering this curriculum were required to have ninety hours of college work with an average of 1.33 honor points per credit hour and a reading knowledge of two foreign languages.

From the foregoing description of the development of the instructional facilities of the University it should be evident that most of the separate professional schools and colleges began as chairs of instruction within the Literary Department, and that, as their subject matter became more complex and as they became of greater importance to the development of the commonwealth, they finally were established as independent units of the University. Classes in pharmaceutical chemistry were added to the curriculum of the Department of Chemistry in 1868. The demand for this instruction in the training of prospective pharmacists increased rapidly until the School of Pharmacy was established as a separate unit of the University in 1876 under Albert B. Prescott, the Dean. The School improved the quality of its instruction in this very essential professional field until it was recognized as one of the foremost in the country.

Postgraduate education at the University has, since its inception, been intimately associated with instruction in the undergraduate college. This relationship between the two types of instruction is one which must be expected to continue, inasmuch as the same professor will give courses in elementary physics and in research and electronics. There was very little graduate study carried on at the University prior to 1878, except in the Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy. In 1892 graduate instruction was placed under the control of an administrative council, chosen from the faculty of liberal arts. Training for advanced degrees was thus included as a part of the instructional program of this department until 1912, when the Graduate School was established, and Professor Karl E. Guthe, who had been Professor of Physics, was appointed the first Dean. This separate existence of the Graduate School recognized the increase in graduate work Page  432by students enrolled in other schools and colleges of the University.

Courses for the training of engineers had been part of the instructional program of the University from the beginning. The chair of civil engineering and drawing was authorized in the constitutional articles providing for the establishment of the University. Instruction in these subjects was not given immediately, however, and it was not until 1853 that Alexander Winchell was appointed Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering. The greatest expansion of the curriculum for prospective engineers came somewhat later. In 1872 Charles Ezra Greene was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering, and, with the help of two other staff members, began the diversification of opportunities for technical training within the department. Although mechanical and electrical engineering courses were soon added, it was not until 1895 that the Regents established the separate Department (later College) of Engineering with Professor Charles E. Greene as Dean.

After the abandonment of the first courses in forestry in 1885, when the School of Political Science began to decline, students interested in forestry elected nonspecialized courses in botany until 1902. A forestry course was then given in the Department of Botany, and a year later the Department of Forestry was established, with Filibert Roth as Professor. These courses were continued in conjunction with certain work in the Department of Botany, until the interest in conservation of timber resources of the state and country required the establishment of a separate unit of the University. In the fall of 1927, the Regents established the School of Forestry and Conservation and appointed Samuel T. Dana as its first Dean.

Courses in business administration had been conducted in the Department of Economics for some time. These courses were organized as a special curriculum in the department, and the student, upon their completion, was granted a special certificate in business administration. It became more and more evident, however, that the aims of pure economics and of applied economics were very different, so that the special curriculum became essentially a school of business administration in the fall of 1924. Edmund E. Day became the first Dean.

Many routine changes were made in the organization of the departments of the College during the next three or four years. In 1927-28 the faculty agreed that the Departments of English, Rhetoric, and Speech should co-ordinate their several activities in order that a unified freshman course, which included both composition and literature, might be developed to replace the former course in rhetoric. Instruction in anthropology was offered for the first time in the second semester of 1923-24, by Colonel Thomas C. Hodson, of London, England. The Department of Anthropology was established in 1928, when an introductory course was offered jointly by Dr. Carl E. Guthe, Director of the Museum of Anthropology, and Mr. Julian H. Steward, Instructor. During 1928-29 the scholarship requirement for the combined course of letters and library science was increased to one and one-half honor points per credit hour. In addition to this factor of selection, the students enrolling in this course were required to present the degree of bachelor of arts or that of bachelor of science. Another combined course was approved by the faculty in addition to those already in existence, providing preprofessional training for students who planned to transfer to the School of Forestry and Conservation. On the death of Professor Robert M. Wenley (1929), the courses in philosophy and psychology were separated, and the staff Page  433was divided into two separate departments. The courses in composition which were particularly appropriate to training in journalism were separated from the other courses in the Department of Rhetoric, in order to establish the Department of Journalism. In 1929-30 the Department of Rhetoric and the Department of English were combined, and in that same year the Department of Economics and Sociology was divided.

Certain revisions of the organization of the College and of the curriculum had been considered by the faculty in 1925-26 upon the recommendation of President C. C. Little. These discussions continued for several years and culminated in 1930-31 in the establishment of a program of concentrated study during the last two years of college — one of the most significant alterations in the educational program of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts since its establishment. The faculty was primarily concerned with the proposal to divide the four-year course into an upper and lower division or a junior college and a senior college. In May, 1931, the faculty committee recommended the adoption of a plan of concentration for the junior and senior years, and recommended further that the inauguration of this plan be postponed until the reorganization of the work of the first two years had been completed. The discussion continued at intervals during the next two or three years, and eventually it was decided that the first two years toward the bachelor's degree should consist of a general program of liberal arts courses and that a somewhat more specific degree program in a field of concentrated study should occupy the next two years. The caliber of the students who would be admitted to a degree or concentration program was assured by the regulation that a student must have completed sixty hours of college work prior to admission and must have attained at least an average of C in all of that work. Similarly, during the last two years the student must have completed sixty hours of course work with an average grade of C in order to qualify for a degree. The department chosen by the student as his field of concentrated study was permitted to specify the courses which should be pursued during one-half of the final sixty hours of college work. It was also possible, at first, for a student to concentrate in a group, in which case sixty hours, or the entire last two years, might be specified. These programs, in addition to the English composition and group requirements, became the requirements for graduation.

In order to achieve the desires of the curriculum committee it was necessary to appoint a large number of the faculty as advisers to students concentrating in particular departments. Underclassmen who were not yet eligible for the work of the last two years were advised by a group of special, paid counselors who served throughout the year, under the general authority of the Office of the Dean. The advisers during the last two years were of necessity chosen by the department in which the student wished to study. This entire plan, including as it did a fundamental alteration in the undergraduate instruction of the Literary College, affected students entering the College in September of 1931 and all subsequent classes.

On June 7, 1933, Dean John R. Effinger, after twenty-one years of conscientious leadership, died very suddenly of a heart attack. The necessity of selecting a new head of the College provided an opportunity for reorganizing administrative and departmental functions. A temporary executive committee was appointed from a panel chosen from the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, to perform the duties and exercise the authority of a dean Page  434until the appointment of a successor to Dean Effinger. The membership of this temporary committee was as follows: Professors D. H. Parker, M. Gomberg, L. C. Karpinski, J. R. Hayden, and E. H. Kraus, chairman.

The terms of a permanent organization of the administration of the College, adopted by the Regents in September, 1933, may be summarized as follows: The executive functions of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were placed under the control of the dean assisted by an executive committee of six members appointed by the president from a panel selected by the faculty. The executive committee was charged with the duties of investigating and formulating educational and instructional policies for consideration by the faculty, and of acting for the College in matters of budget, promotion, and appointment. Edward H. Kraus, Professor of Mineralogy and formerly Dean of the Summer Session and of the College of Pharmacy, was appointed Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in August, 1933, with the first executive committee to be appointed under the terms of this new organization — Professors J. W. Bradshaw, J. S. Reeves, A. E. R. Boak, D. H. Parker, W. H. Hobbs, and I. L. Sharfman.

The requirements for admission to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts adopted by the faculty and the Regents in 1912 continued essentially unaltered until 1933-34. In view of the experimentation which was being carried on at various institutions throughout the country, it was thought advisable at this time to appoint a committee to study the question of college admissions and to present a report to the executive committee and to the faculty. The most significant feature of the plan presented by the committee was that the student seeking admission be permitted to present work in groups; that is, that the fields of study in related subdivisions be grouped together so that physics might be counted in the same group with mathematics, and economics in the same group with history. There are in all five groups — English, foreign language, mathematics, science, and social studies. Of the fifteen units required for admission, ten must be presented from these five groups in the following manner: two subject-matter sequences of three years' work each, and two such sequences of two years' work each, foreign language being the only group in which more than one sequence is allowed. This plan, which permitted somewhat greater flexibility in the matter of choice of subjects by high-school students, was approved by the faculty on November 26, 1934, and was ratified by the Regents in December, 1934.

During 1934-35 the executive committee presented to the faculty recommendations for the administrative reorganization of the departments of the College. During the course of the year each department considered the question of its administrative organization. The various plans of departmental organization may be placed in three groups:

  • 1. Those continuing the informal arrangement under which they had been operating.
  • 2. Those adopting a partly elective and partly appointive executive committee.
  • 3. Those in which the whole staff, or those of higher rank, form a deliberative committee.

For some years the scholastic standard for admission to the various combined curriculums had remained 1.5 honor points per hour of credit, but there was a growing opinion that the minimum scholastic level for admission should be somewhat advanced. This feeling received strong corroboration when it was reported that the scholastic average of the graduating class of 1934 was 1.64 honor points Page  435per credit hour earned in residence. A committee was asked, therefore, to consider the problem, and in a report to the executive committee, two major changes were recommended: (1) that the scholastic average of the students who wished to enroll in these curriculums must be 1.75 honor points per credit hour, and (2) that such students be urged to spend two years in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts of the University before transferring to a program of professional training. This report, which was discussed by the executive committee in conjunction with the deans of the professional schools with which such curricular arrangements were operative, was adopted by the faculty in April, 1935, and was later approved by the Regents of the University. The plan became effective for students entering upon these curriculums in the fall of 1938.

The degree programs committee, appointed by the executive committee in December of 1934, presented during the academic year 1935-36 a plan for reorganization and adjustment of the degree programs of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The changes in policy which the committee believed to be advisable were steps in the direction of (a) improvement in the advisory system, the weaknesses of which were apparent to both students and faculty, (b) cultivation of those fields of endeavor which should enter into the training of every student regardless of his major interests, (c) elimination of concentration so diffuse as to belie its name, and (d) an increase in the student's co-ordination and organization of his knowledge as an antidote to the unrelatedness of separate courses.

Of the five resolutions which were proposed by the committee for consideration by the faculty, the following four were approved by vote of the faculty, with some slight alterations. The form in which they were adopted was as follows:

  • A. Resolved,
    • 1. That the Executive Committee of the College be requested to select, with the concurrence of the departments from which they may be drawn, a unified and enlarged group of academic counselors for the freshman and sophomore years, such counselors to be of academic rank and to be paid, or compensated by reduced teaching load, as early as budget conditions permit; and
    • 2. That, for further study of the functions of the concentration plan and particularly of the advisory system, the Dean, with the advice of the Executive Committee, be requested either (a) to continue the present committee, or (b) to appoint a separate committee, or (c) to create a standing committee, such committee to report to the faculty with recommendations.
  • B. Resolved,
    • 1. That no student shall be admitted to concentration before satisfying the requirements in English composition;
    • 2. That defective use of English by students be reported by members of the faculty to a faculty representative designated by the Department of English Language and Literature, and that the present regulations on page 39 of the 1935-1936 Announcement be accordingly amended; and
    • 3. That the Dean be requested to send at an appropriate time in each semester a notice to all members of the college faculty in charge of courses, calling attention to the provisions relating to defective use of English.
  • C. Resolved,
    • 1. That concentration in Groups I, II, and III be abolished;
    • 2. That "Science and Mathematics" be constituted a field of concentration, in which 60 hours would be controlled by the committee administering it; and
    • 3. That pending further action, Social Studies be recognized as a field of concentration open to students preparing for the Teacher's Certificate, the program in this Page  436field to be administered by the committee on the Teacher's Certificate.
  • D. Resolved,
    • 1. That any department or committee in charge of a field of concentration be authorized, at its discretion, to require of any or all students concentrating in that department, or in that field, a comprehensive examination as a prerequisite to graduation, and, further, that it be authorized to grant credit not to exceed six hours on the basis of this examination, such examination to be elected by the student as part of the work of the semester or year in which it is taken.
    • 2. These alterations in the regulations governing the program of concentrated study go into effect immediately unless otherwise stated in the report of the committee.

The need of freshman and sophomore students for advice upon academic matters has become more pressing each year since the introduction of the program of concentrated study during the last two years of the college course. The number of academic counselors who have been chosen to advise these students concerning their academic problems has been increased, until in 1939-40 ten members of the staff were engaged in this very important adjunct to classroom instruction. Two counselors have been assigned the problems of sophomore students who have made poor scholastic records. These students are warned against the danger of attempting to fulfill the exactions of the customary number of hours of academic work and of simultaneous outside employment. The problems of the adjustment of entering freshmen to the conditions of college life are assigned to the other six counselors. It is impossible, however, for six members of the staff, in the small amount of time at their disposal, to solve the problems of twelve hundred freshman students. At the present time it is necessary for the counselors to both freshmen and sophomores to concentrate their efforts upon the scholastic difficulties of the students. It is hoped that the number of these advisers may be increased in the near future in order that some of the emotional and personality factors contributing to academic failure may be eliminated. The advice and counsel of these members of the College staff is greatly appreciated by the students as well as by their parents.

At a meeting of the faculty in December, 1936, the method of computing the numerical equivalents for the various letter grades was altered in accordance with the following resolution:

Be it Resolved: 1. That the hours of E grade received by students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts be included in the calculation of the point-hour ratio.

2. That the point equivalents for the several letter grades for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts be as follows:

A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, E = 0.

These resolutions concerning the marking system will become effective for freshmen entering the College in the fall of 1937 and for all subsequent classes. Students admitted with advanced standing who expect to graduate in 1941 and thereafter will consequently be graded on this system. To prevent confusion, however, the marking system on a student's record shall not be altered during his residence at the University.

At the first meeting of the faculty in 1937, a resolution was carried which would make it possible to excuse students from the second semester of English composition if their first semester grades had been either B or A and their other grades C or above. The approval of this resolution indicates an emphasis upon achievement in written English rather than the mere completion of a certain number of course hours.

The conclusion of a century of life in Ann Arbor in June, 1937, brought to partial fulfillment the continuous growth and progress of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. At the present Page  437time, with a student body of approximately five thousand and a faculty numbering more than three hundred, the College has attained a position of eminence and honor among the institutions of higher education in the country. The contribution by the faculty to the sum of human knowledge continues each year through the publication of significant articles and books. While the College has not been always the first in the country to adopt new procedures, it has been often among the first to approve new departures which have become a permanent part of undergraduate instruction. The program of concentrated study during the last two years of college is being integrated gradually into the academic life of the institution. The gratifying results of the reorganization of the College so that its administration is carried on by the dean and an executive committee, and the more democratic conduct of the affairs of the departments of the College, indicate a dynamic future and a continuing contribution to higher education.


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