The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  241


THE oldest existing record of the kind of work now done in the Registrar's Office is contained in the first catalogue of the University, which was published by the faculty of four men in 1843. In this interesting twelve-page booklet the students were listed by class, and a small numerical summary, the beginning of an uninterrupted series of enrollment tables, was also included.

The only faculty during the first nine years of instruction in Ann Arbor, 1841-50, was that of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and the earliest official who had the duties of a registrar was the secretary of the faculty. It was in the spring of 1846, when the faculty authorized a permanent written record of its proceedings, that this office was created, and it was filled by the election of a different person every year, as was the position of president of the faculty. These two were the only officials in the University before the formation of the Medical School, with faculty officers of its own, in 1850. None of these were officials of the central University administration, as the term is now understood; they were under the authority of their respective faculties, and until the inauguration of President Henry Philip Tappan in 1852, the faculties were directly responsible to the Board of Regents.

The present registrarship, although a part of the central administration, evolved directly from the faculty secretaryship of the Department (now College) of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In the years 1863-72 that faculty elected both a secretary and a registrar, and the two offices were not held by any man simultaneously. With this exception, the officer known as secretary of the faculty until 1888 performed ex officio the services of a registrar. Likewise, from 1888 until 1925, the officer called the registrar sent out notices of faculty meetings and kept the faculty minutes.

Subject to the approval of the Regents, the faculty of the 1840's determined, or at least altered, the requirements for entrance and graduation. Presumably, such of its rules as were not expressly disapproved by the Regents were put into effect.

The rudimentary nature of the education offered by secondary schools made the problem of admissions difficult (see Part I: Branches). It had been expected that the students who completed the work of the University's branch schools could make the transition into the University without special examination. But the Regents thought it wise to establish a special "preparatory school" in Ann Arbor at the time when they opened the University in September, 1841, so that if any students unprepared for even the freshman class should present themselves (supposedly from schools in other localities), they could make up their deficiencies (R.P., 1837-64, pp. 208, 212). It is revealed by a faculty discussion in May, 1846, that up to that time the University had admitted students from its branches without examination, but that the quality of their preparation had not pleased the faculty. One professor proposed a measure to require all students, "without exception," to pass the standard entrance examinations before being admitted, but action was postponed. Two months later several resolutions with regard to admission were passed, and the requirement thereby set up was that no student could be admitted into any class, freshman or higher, without examination satisfactory to the faculty. According to Page  242other rules then drafted, one final examination embracing the year's work was given at the end of the year to all freshmen, another to the sophomores, and so on; and in December, 1846, the faculty decided to give a supplementary examination to each of the four classes just before Easter, over the work of the first two terms. (At that time there were three terms, the last extending from Easter vacation until Commencement in the month of August. It was not until 1852 that the school year was shortened, and the three terms were retained until 1855.)

Secretary of the faculty, 1846. — The duties outlined for the secretary of the faculty in 1846 included the keeping of student records, but not notification to students regarding their delinquencies nor the admission of either freshmen or upperclassmen. All the students lived in the building now called Mason Hall. In accordance with the traditional college system then prevalent in America, the faculty took very seriously its responsibility to act in loco parentis and spent many hours upon disciplinary problems. Each case was separately discussed and settled by the convened faculty, and very often the student himself was summoned.

Registration was simple for all except the new students, since the curriculum was single and inflexible, all courses being "required."

The secretary collected the class "merit rolls" from the instructors and made out an average for each student in every subject. In place of the usual finely distinguished comparative grades, only three marks were used in the Literary Department for the first seventy years — Passed, Conditioned, and Not Passed. The secretary also recorded demerit marks given for all violations of good order and for absence from recitations, prayers, and student rooms during study hours. Both scholastic and deportment records were read aloud to the assembled students and faculty members at the close of each term, and the delinquent students were accordingly admonished, conditioned, or dismissed. A condition could be removed by satisfactory standing on a special re-examination, or by good conduct if imposed for disciplinary reasons. A course not passed had to be taken a second time with the class below.

The first medical students came in 1850. The medical faculty regulated their admission and graduation requirements, subject to the approval of the Regents. Not until the formation of the University Senate, about 1858 or at latest 1859, was there again a unified faculty organization of the entire University (see Part II: University Senate and Senate Council). In the meantime a president of the University had been appointed, and the lines of authority and responsibility between the Regents and the staff led through his hands.

The faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts nevertheless continued to elect its own secretary and president every year. Almost the only duty that remained to the president was to conduct faculty meetings in the absence of the University president. By the end of the decade the officer previously called president of the faculty was designated in the University bylaws as vice-president and dean of the faculty (Bylaws, 1859, p. 13).

University enrollment increased during the Tappan administration, 1852-63, from 216 to 652, and enrollment in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, from 60 to 266. The work of admission, of educational counseling, and of academic record-keeping in the department was affected not only by the increase in numbers but also by various new regulations.

Apparently to be in accord with certain provisions of the act of 1851, the Page  243University opened its doors in the fall of 1852 to students not working for degrees. Even for the four-year students, the time for the single, rigid literary curriculum had passed, for they could, if properly prepared — and this involved an alternative set of admission requirements — choose the scientific course leading to the bachelor of science degree. Engineering was introduced as a subdivision of the scientific curriculum. A special sequence of courses in analytical chemistry also was taught.

The only students not required to take the regular freshman entrance examinations were those not working for degrees. A student coming with advanced standing was examined also in all the previous studies of the class he proposed to enter.

The practice of deciding a surprising number of individual student cases in sessions of the whole literary faculty, although necessarily modified by the rapid rise in enrollment and the disuse of North College (Mason Hall) for living quarters by 1857, was continued. Students could be notified of their standing on final examinations only after the faculty had met to determine by formal vote which ones to pass. By 1859, votes involving suspension, expulsion, or final recommendation for a degree were taken by secret ballot. One method of supervision, at any rate, declined. In Regent Kearsley's time there had been oral finals, which two or three Regents attended and then reported upon to the Board; the rules of 1855 and of 1859 contained provision for the appointment of such a committee, but the bylaws of 1861 did not.

The president of the University relieved the faculty officers of many student interviews, as, for example, interviews for permission to leave town or to be absent from church or chapel. Nevertheless, there were many disciplinary rules still administered by the faculty. Every infraction was likely to bring a demerit mark, and any student could "automatically" dismiss himself by obtaining ten such marks. His parents were notified as soon as he had accumulated five. Such was the academic recording assigned to the secretary of the faculty.

Registrar of the faculty, 1863. — The earliest use of the word "registrar" in a title at the University occurred in the autumn of 1863, the first year of the Haven administration, when the two types of duty performed by the secretary since 1846 were separated. Like the dean and the secretary, the registrar was elected for a term of one year. Edward P. Evans, Professor of Modern Languages, was the first. Edward Olney, Professor of Mathematics, was the only one in the early period to hold the office of registrar longer than one year (1864-67). Before the office was discontinued in 1872, the second year of the Angell administration, six men in all, in addition to their teaching, served as registrar of the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The other faculties formed in the meantime, in medicine and in law, made their own provision for such work, but this early position in the Literary Department was the one out of which the present office grew.

Beginning in the fall of 1863, special students were admitted only by fulfilling the entrance requirements for one of the several four-year curriculums. This restriction was relaxed in the autumn of 1878, but then only for persons twenty-one years of age or older. In the meantime, in 1869, the minimum admission age, for special as well as regular students, had been raised from fourteen to sixteen years.

Preparation for the Latin and scientific course, begun in 1867, and for the Greek and scientific course, in 1869, was a little less strictly prescribed than was that for the older courses. These two sets of entrance requirements did not include Page  244the advanced mathematics and physics required of candidates for the regular scientific and the scientific-engineering courses, but were like the requirements for entry into the classical course, except that high-school work in only one of the ancient languages was demanded.

Within the acting presidency of Henry S. Frieze (1869-71; see Part I: Frieze Administration) came two important reforms — the beginning of admission on diploma from approved Michigan high schools, adopted in March, 1871, and the opening of the doors of the University to women, in January, 1870.

Very few women took advantage of the offer at first, but once a start had been made, and perhaps particularly because of President Angell's strong encouragement of coeducation, the percentage of women students began to increase noticeably. This aspect of the enrollment statistics was especially prepared every year — probably by the secretary of the faculty — and was set forth and commented on with evident interest by the President in his annual reports. Women today comprise nearly one-third of the total University enrollment during the regular academic year, and approximately two-fifths of all students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (see Part IX: Coeducation).

Michigan was probably the first American university to admit students on diploma. At any rate, the venture was unusual at the time, and its effects continued to bring forth comment, mostly favorable, even after it had become commonplace.

President Angell not only took a keen interest in these two reforms, but also was impressed by the absence of grades and after a short time became convinced of the "uselessness" of grades "for students like ours." He reported that the teachers inspired the students with enthusiasm and insisted upon such standards that the classwork was better, on the average, than any that he had ever seen (P.R., 1872, p. 8). He was also pleased to observe that the entrance examinations given to prospective students from non-accredited schools were "splendidly rigid." After his first week's experience with the students, in the fall of 1871, he boasted in a letter to his brother-in-law, Peter Collier: "We turned off several who would certainly have got into any of several New England colleges and most of those admitted were conditioned" (Vermont to Michigan, p. 295).

Secretary of the faculty, 1872. — In contrast with the highly satisfactory state of affairs in scholarship, the state of student discipline was far from encouraging (ibid., pp. 280-81, 292-94). It is probable that the need of a single, influential executive authority to remedy the disciplinary situation had something to do with the faculty decision to dispense with the office of registrar, give the secretary the student record-keeping again, and leave the interviewing mostly to the president. Angell himself was undoubtedly eager for all opportunities, such as conducting interviews and answering letters, by which he could personally exert a strong constructive influence on the students; but faculty registrars, carrying a full teaching load and succeeding one another so often that none could acquire much proficiency in the work, could scarcely be expected to have an effective and consistent influence on student discipline.

A determination to watch the results of the diploma plan closely and to make it succeed may have been responsible for the new recording methods introduced in 1871 and 1872. All the extant records for the years preceding 1871, except those included in the academic and alumni catalogues and in the President's Report, are in manuscript volumes now preserved in the Michigan Historical Collections of the University. In addition to the admission Page  245book, two series of progress records had been kept, one called the "Examination Book" (Vol. I, 1852-60, 1867-74) and later known as the "Record of Examinations" (Vol. II, 1871-75), and the so-called "Mark Book." The only mark used in the examination-record series after 1871 was "P," probably for "Passed." The new record forms were printed on cards, and were adopted in November, 1871. All but a very few of them are intact; they are now in one large set of permanent-record cards for the period 1871-1925, in the basement vault in Angell Hall.

Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, 1888. — Upon the resignation of Francis A. Blackburn as Secretary of the Faculty, in May, 1875, Paul R. B. de Pont, Instructor in French, was elected. This date proved to be a turning point, for he was re-elected the next year and regularly thereafter, until, in 1888, the Regents appointed him Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts — the first sign that the tenure of this office might become indefinite. He continued to teach, his promotion to the assistant professorship having come when he was appointed Registrar. Though the word "faculty" was not in his title, he wrote and kept the faculty minutes of the Literary Department as before, but signed them as "registrar."

From a statement of President Angell's it has been commonly supposed that there was no dean in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. What the President said was:

In order to keep in close touch with students, … for several years I discharged the duties now [1912] assigned to a Dean. I registered all newcomers; I granted (or refused) excuses for absence. I took the initiative in examining all cases for discipline.

(Angell, p. 242.)

The faculty minutes show that the election of a dean of the faculty was held every year after Angell's coming as before, until Henry S. Frieze had held it so long that his tenure was taken for granted, although the Calendar of 1885-86 was the earliest published record in which this was given as a part of his full official title. (A dean of the faculty of every school or college had been designated somewhere in the Calendar ever since 1875, however, heading the list of its students, and in the instances of the Department of Law and the Department of Medicine and Surgery, deans had been officially designated even earlier.)

The division of duties among the three officers — president, dean, and registrar — is by no means clear. It was apparently about the time of Professor Frieze's death, December, 1889, that the officers of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts began to take a more active part in dealing with the students. The duties of Frieze as Dean were so light that Dean Effinger, who was then a student and who soon afterward joined the faculty, has written:

It will be remembered that for many years the College… had no Dean.… When Professor D'Ooge was appointed [1890] … he became an assistant to the President in these matters and assumed the duties of an admission officer. Professor Hudson [1897] … had increased responsibility.… With the appointment of Dean Reed [1907], the President gave up almost entirely any active participation in the administrative work of the College.

(Effinger, MS, "Report," 1909-20, p. 5.)

Apparently no attempt was made to assign the deanship to anyone else after Frieze's death until, in the spring of 1890, the Regents requested the faculty to indicate its choice. Martin L. D'Ooge was then nominated, and was made Dean of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts by appointment of the Regents in June, 1890. He continued in the Page  246office by repeated faculty nomination and regental reappointment. The small additional compensation he received as early as 1893 and the registration directions in the Calendar of 1895-96 indicate that more duties were being delegated to his office, but D'Ooge continued to teach about four courses each semester as long as he was Dean, and meanwhile Registrar de Pont also regularly taught three or four classes. As late as 1890-91, when 1,175 were enrolled in the Literary Department, President Angell was still dealing individually with all requests for out-of-town permission, and his personal correspondence with prospective students did not diminish until about 1897. Instructors dealt with tardiness, absence, deficiencies, and violations of good order in their own classes and brought only their worst disciplinary and attendance problems to the whole faculty for settlement.

In 1895-96, for the first time, all incoming students in the department took their credentials directly to the dean (Cal., 1895-96); previously they had gone to the president. Checking of admission credit was divided between dean and registrar, the dean specifically handling all incoming transcripts for credit of one or more college years. The registrar passed upon admissions of freshmen who had the customary preparation, and also of those with a very small amount of advanced credit or with extra high-school credit. Registrar de Pont probably did not have sole authority over freshman admissions, either before or very soon after D'Ooge's appointment as Dean. He had routine responsibilities that required many student interviews, however, and in general acted as intermediary between students and faculty in all matters involving study loads and student records. For example, by 1890-91 it was customary for an undergraduate who wished to proceed in his third year on the university system (see Part III: University System) to present his request to the registrar, who, if the student's work promised success, furnished him with a certificate and referred him to the appropriate faculty committee.

In the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts the academic record-keeping and the work of admission were affected not only by the general rise in enrollment, but also by the inclusion and later separation of certain large groups of professional or advanced students. The Homeopathic Medical College (1875) and the College of Dental Surgery (1876) were begun independently of the Literary Department, but the professional units in pharmacy and engineering and the School of Graduate Studies were originally under literary faculty control. The pharmacy records were probably transferred about 1875, when the separate pharmacy unit was founded. From the time when the Administrative Council of the Graduate School was formed in 1892 until its administration was separated from that of the Literary Department in 1912, the registrar of the Literary Department kept the graduate records and assisted in graduate registration. For several years after the Department of Engineering became a separate unit, in 1895-96, De Pont was Registrar for that department as well as for the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The Calendar of 1900-1901 indicated that a secretary of the engineering staff had been chosen, and two years later De Pont's duties as engineering registrar were dropped, apparently to be taken up by the secretary of the engineering faculty (see Part VII: College of Engineering).

Enrollment in the Literary Department had been 488 in the year before President Angell came and 476 at the time when De Pont was elected secretary of the faculty, with the duties of a recorder. Page  247The removal of the pharmacy students in 1876 caused a drop in the literary enrollment from 452 to 369. By 1889-90 the recording work had greatly increased, as there were 1,001 students in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Miss Marion C. Goodrich was appointed Assistant to the Registrar; she remained in the office until 1921 and in 1910 became Assistant Registrar.

By 1894 the burden of individual student appeals in course selection, records, and discipline had become too heavy to be dealt with in meetings of the entire literary faculty, and the Administrative Board of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts was therefore set up. Its work was so closely related to that of the Registrar's Office that for several years Miss Goodrich transcribed the Board's minutes in longhand into the secretary's record book. The separation of the Department of Engineering in 1895-96 reduced the count of students in the Literary Department from 1,518 to to 1,198. By 1905-6, the last year of De Pont's service as Registrar, the literary enrollment was 1,565.

Admission and recording during the Angell administration. — There were important curricular changes in the time of President Angell that directly affected the administrative work of the Literary Department. Beginning in 1870 the bachelor of philosophy degree had been used for both of the combined classical-scientific programs. In 1878-79 a four-year college program called the English course was added. A new type of high-school program, called by the same name, was thereby recognized and was continued in college. Other changes, even more far-reaching, were made in the same year. The credit system was substituted for a set schedule of four prescribed years, and the number of required courses in the several programs was cut down somewhat to allow for electives.

The university system, which was begun in the autumn of 1882, called for records of a new type. These records, which were kept by the faculty committees for the five general subject groups, are now in the Michigan Historical Collections. Students who had won the bachelor's degree "on examination" — that is, on the university system — were listed separately in the President's Report from 1882 to 1891.

Admission on diploma was extended in 1884 to some of the non-Michigan high schools, particularly in near-by states. In the absence of accrediting associations the University officers relied upon the judgment of the administrators of colleges and universities nearer to these schools (see p. 318). Larger numbers of students from outside the state of Michigan, together with the growth of accrediting associations after 1895, drew the University into much closer relations with other collegiate institutions, so that when the general and unprecedented rush of students into all the universities of America later raised the questions of uniformity in grading techniques and of accuracy and dispatch in dealing with many students at once, it was possible to work out time-saving procedures on a co-operative basis.

Throughout the nineties there were four separate sets of entrance requirements for the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and a high school was given separate appraisals for its work in science, in modern languages, and in other subject groups. Under this system of partial accrediting there was but one of the University's several programs for degrees open to the graduates of certain high schools, and one of only two or three such programs was open to the graduates of certain other schools.

By the new entrance requirements which went into effect in 1897, (1) more work in English literature in the high Page  248school was definitely prescribed, and (2) students who desired to enroll in any of the several degree programs except the strictly classical course — the one curriculum that led to the degree of bachelor of arts — were given three groups of entrance credits from which to choose. Any group was equally acceptable for any one of these three degree programs. Group I covered four years of Latin and two of German or French; Group II, four years of one or more of these languages (in any of six combinations), with chemistry and history added; and Group III, two years of one of these languages, with chemistry and extra work in both history and English.

In May, 1900, a single system of entrance requirements, remarkable for its simplicity, went into effect (R.P., 1896-1901, p. 508), but the old requirements were to be used optionally until after 1900-1901. The first reference to the measuring of high-school work by the "unit," then described as one subject pursued for not less than four periods a week throughout a school year, was made in a supplementary announcement of these new requirements, inserted in some copies of the Calendar for 1899-1900. The awarding of four distinct bachelor's degrees was still contemplated at that time, but in February, 1901, the bachelor of arts degree was substituted for the three degrees in the curriculums in science, in letters, and in philosophy and at the same time was continued for the classical course. The bachelor of philosophy and bachelor of letters degrees were scrapped altogether, and even the bachelor of science degree was not conferred again until 1909 (see Part II: Degrees).

Although the Calendar of 1900-1901 was prepared on the basis of the February plan to give the bachelor of arts degree for any one of the four sets of requirements for graduation, even the four optional sets of graduation requirements were abolished in May, 1901, and in their stead were placed two simple requirements for all students: six hours of freshman English and the restriction of first-year elections to three of nine specified subjects.

This was the culmination of the elective policy which President Angell, following the precedent established at Harvard under President Eliot, had been fostering ever since the early seventies. He believed that the great majority of the students earnestly aimed to secure the best from their college studies, and that restrictive rules hampered them "without getting profitable work out of the indolent and wayward." He also believed that in the absence of a marking system there was a better chance for wise elections, because there was little or no temptation to choose easy subjects and study for class rank. In 1901, as in 1879, a faculty committee investigated the students' elections and reported favorably upon the use of the "larger liberty." Several faculty members, acting as a committee on elections, were on hand at the beginning of each semester, especially to check first-year elections.

On March 1, 1906, De Pont's long term of service ended with his death. The memorial written of him by Professor Albert Stanley for the Michiganensian was particularly appreciative, for De Pont, like Frieze, had been a great lover of music. He had been very active in the University Musical Society from the date of its founding, and also in the Choral Union, of which he had been President during his last seventeen years. He was a man of engaging personality; his bearing and manner endeared him to those he met. He held the students to a high standard of honor, but in his dealings with them was kindly as well as firm.

At the time of De Pont's unexpected death John William Bradshaw ('00, Ph.D. Strassburg '04), who had been Instructor Page  249in Mathematics at the University since 1904, was Secretary of the Administrative Board. He was requested to take over the duties of registrar for the remainder of the year, and then, in May, 1906, was appointed Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Secretary of the Administrative Board.

During his two years of service in this capacity the attendance records of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts were centralized. Thereafter, the Administrative Board used them in imposing probation, ineligibility for student activities, or a lump reduction of credit as penalties for excessive absence. Although not observed with uniform strictness by the teaching staff, this procedure remained practically unchanged until about 1924, when it was decided that, because of the high enrollment, the clerical burden was out of all proportion to the value of the records.

Upon the appointment of Dean Reed in 1907 (see p. 245), practically all the administrative affairs of the Literary Department were put into the hands of its own officers, the dean and the registrar. Of the 4,282 students then enrolled in the University, 1,691 were in this department. In consideration of the growing administrative responsibility, the additional administrative budget granted to the dean was increased to an amount one-third as large as his regular academic salary and much larger than the extra compensation to the first appointed dean. Both graduate and undergraduate students had entered through the dean's office in the late nineties, and the registrar and secretary of the (graduate) Administrative Council had had an additional check upon admissions. By 1908 the complications of the elective system required some additional checking of election blanks by the registrar and the assistance of both the committee on elections and the secretary of the Council in graduate registration.

Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and editor of University publications, 1908. — At the end of 1907-8 Registrar Bradshaw discontinued his administrative work and devoted his full time again to teaching. Meanwhile, in April of that year, Arthur Graham Hall ('87, Ph.D. Leipzig '02) had been secured as Professor of Mathematics, Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Editor of University Publications. He had previously been on the literary faculty, and was then teaching in Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. In addition to his administrative and editorial work he was to teach two classes.

Before Hall had left the University in 1903 he had been Secretary of the Administrative Board for several terms. In 1908 he again took up this work, as well as that of a de facto secretary of the faculty, in addition to the more customary work of a registrar, and he continued to perform these different tasks through 1924-25.

Yet another type of duty — responsibility for publications — was assigned to the Registrar's Office when Hall returned in 1908. Until that time, although the principal official publications had always been carefully prepared and regularly issued, no one office had been made permanently responsible. At first the faculty had taken charge of publishing the Catalogue, which the Regents had authorized in 1843, and committees of faculty members and administrative officers had usually prepared it, but sometimes the work had been delegated to students altogether. Its literary style in the fifties is unmistakably that of President Tappan, and the new arrangement and title adopted in 1871-72 suggest careful supervision by President Angell. In time the work had come to be a more fixed responsibility, Page  250not of any official as such, but of a faculty member who had special aptitude for it. This was William Henry Pettee, Professor of Mineralogy, Economic Geology, and Mining Engineering. After Pettee's death in 1904 President Angell wrote:

For years he has been of the greatest service to the University in fields quite apart from his teaching, namely, as auditor of the accounts of the University and as editor of its official publications, the Calendar and the Departmental Announcements.

(P.R., 1904, p. 4.)

In June, 1904, several Regents were constituted a committee to consider how this work was to be provided for; they were to report at the next meeting, but their recommendations do not appear in the record. At least two faculty members served as editor in the interim before Hall's return — Assistant Professor Strauss in 1904-5 and Assistant Professor Sanders in 1907-8 (R.P., 1901-6, p. 605; 1906-10, p. 191). In his capacity of University Editor, Hall was the first of the registrars to be listed in the Calendar with the officers of the central administration of the University, but as Registrar he was still an officer of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts exclusively (Cal., 1908-9, p. 35).

The year 1911-12 was remarkable in the history of the Literary Department. There was a change in the deanship; the graduate work was reorganized; the elective system was modified through a revamping of graduation and entrance requirements; and a standard grading system was installed.

In March, 1912, Dean Reed secured a leave of absence because of illness, and John Robert Effinger, Professor of French, was made Acting Dean and thus began his long administrative career. He was appointed Dean in July, 1915.

From the time when the separate Graduate Department was organized, early in 1912, on the basis of official action passed the previous December, it had its own appointed dean and Executive Board, and its student records were kept separately.

In spite of the optimistic predictions with which the free elective system had been ushered into the Literary Department at the turn of the century, the underspecialized and overspecialized student programs were by this time causing concern. The faculty therefore recommended the group system of requirements for the degree, together with restrictions on the number of hours allowed in any one subject and in any one group of subjects, and asked the Regents to require that two-thirds of the junior and senior work be in courses not open to freshmen and that students who were transferred from other colleges fulfill a minimum-residence requirement. The Regents approved these proposals in February, 1912.

The new entrance requirements adopted in June of that year had a threefold effect: (1) They encouraged more continuity and greater concentration in subject matter in the high school. (2) They encouraged the newer, "nonacademic" high-school subjects such as agriculture, commerce, domestic science, manual training, and drawing, even though these were allowed only in admissions on certificate, and although the amount was limited to three of the fifteen minimum units. (The unit had been redefined in 1908-9 as a year's work of five, rather than four, recitations a week.) (3) Specially recommended graduates from schools approved by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and from certain other approved schools were allowed to enter without any specific admission requirement, although with the restriction that twelve of the minimum fifteen units had to be selected from the "academic" listing. Dean Page  251Effinger later commented that, theoretically, this measure permitted entrance without any foreign language, but that in practice such a case was extremely rare because language was required in nearly all the North Central schools.

A new tendency in the attitude toward marks and special distinctions for good scholarship began to be noticeable; the old belief that such rewards set up false goals and encouraged an undesirable type of competition was being abandoned. In the second semester of 1911-12 the Literary Department replaced its traditional marking system (Passed, Not Passed, Conditioned), which had always been supported strongly by President Angell, by a set of comparative grades, as had the Department of Engineering in October, 1907. The engineering system did not provide for honor points until April, 1922, when the present four-point plan was introduced, but in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts a three-point plan went into effect with the first use of letter grades in June, 1912, and has remained for all classes graduating before June, 1941 — i.e., three points for each credit hour of A (excellent), two for B (good), one for C (fair), credit without points for D (barely passing), and no credit and no points for E (failed). Absence from examination was indicated by X and incomplete work by I.

It was announced for four years, beginning in 1911-12, that, in place of the 120 points then needed for the degree, 135 points would be required of all graduates, effective in June, 1916. This demand was dropped, however, four months before the class of 1916 was graduated (R.P., 1914-17, p. 376).

The diploma of merit, forerunner of the degree with distinction or with high distinction, first offered in 1915-16, was established in 1912-13 and was conferred upon the students voluntarily recommended for it by the faculty. By 1912 the University had had a chapter of Sigma Xi for nine years and a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for five years.

Registrar Hall became a member of the Senate committee on student affairs when he succeeded Professor James Glover as Auditor and Comptroller of Student Organizations in 1912; from then on he carried this additional responsibility.

The Regents appointed the Registrar and Professor Isaac N. Demmon members of a committee on nomenclature in 1914. This committee recommended changing the names of the schools and colleges to accord with national standards adopted by the Association of American Universities and by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; it also recommended changing the names of the official University publications. These recommendations were approved, in January, 1915, and the oldest academic unit of the University became the "College of Literature, Science, and the Arts." The title, Calendar of the University of Michigan…, was changed to Catalogue of the University …, to indicate the contents more precisely. Announcement was approved as the name for the publication of each school or college, and Bulletin for that of a program in a special group of studies within a school or college.

Students were received on diploma in 1914-15 from more than 240 secondary schools which had not sent any the previous year (Effinger, MS, "Report," 1914-15, p. 1). The enrollment was increasing rapidly, the College having become by that time one of the largest in the country, and the work of its dean included correspondence and interviews incident to both freshman admissions on diploma and advanced admissions. Faculty advisers met with incoming students during the rush periods, thus assisting the committee on first-year elections, and also continued to interview students Page  252throughout the year at regular hours; another committee controlling the size of classes kept the sections uniform.

Registrar Hall was in the habit of sending scholarship reports to parents at the end of the students' first semester in the University, and to each high school, in February, a detailed record of the work of freshmen admitted from that school (Effinger, MS, "Report," 1914-15, p. 1).

Registrar, 1915. — In July, 1915, when John R. Effinger was appointed to the full deanship, the Regents transferred the work of admissions on diploma from him to the registrar. Soon afterward they changed Hall's title and set forth the proportions of his salary separately appropriated for his various functions. Three small amounts were set aside for (1) editing, (2) passing upon admissions on diploma, and (3) auditing of the student accounts, whereas nearly three-fourths of his salary was allocated to "his work as Registrar and such incidental teaching as he may do." At the same time the Board of Regents changed his title to that of Registrar and Professor of Mathematics, and accepted a recommendation of its executive committee that, "in order to avoid confusion, … the title of the Registrar of the Homeopathic Medical School be changed to that of Recorder of the Homeopathic Medical School." Hall retained this title of Registrar and Professor of Mathematics even after the pressure of other duties obliged him to give up his classes in mathematics in the fall of 1916. In his capacity of Registrar he was officially regarded as an officer of the central administration after this redefinition of his duties was adopted (Cat. 1915-16, p. 40), but he was still regarded also as Registrar of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In his admission and student-record work, as a matter of fact, he still dealt exclusively with the literary students, and most of the financial support for his office was still included in the budget of the College.

Dean Effinger continued to act as admission officer for students entering on advanced standing. The volume of his work so increased with the rising enrollment that in 1920 he wrote:

With the present large attendance and the corresponding increase in the faculty, it is growing more and more evident that the Dean must give up altogether his work as an admission officer and devote himself to the larger problems involved in the growth and development of the College. In this connection it may not be out of place to add that it would be a very great improvement if the University could establish one admission office, to which all students, without regard to School or College, would be compelled to apply on entering the University.

(Effinger, MS, "Report," 1909-20, p. 6.)

A plan similar, in general, to Dean Effinger's, but with no specific reference to advanced admissions, was adopted by the Regents in December, 1922, as a part of the revised bylaws that Regent Hubbard had codified at the request of the Board, but it was not meant to take effect at once. The section on the work of the registrar was preceded by the explanation: "The following draught of the Registrar's duties … is predicated on the extension of said duties over the entire University"; and the temporary situation was provided for by the provision that, "pending the extension outlined in this section, the rules for registration, the methods in use, and the functions of the different registration officers shall remain as at present, under control of the several University units" (Bylaws, 1922, p. 10). The outline of duties, stated in tentative form, began: "The University Registrar (when authorized) shall have charge of the collection, classification, distribution, and utilization of academic records and statistics (not otherwise regulated) …" The additional duties assigned Page  253were as follows: (1) to conduct preliminary correspondence with prospective students, and speed up and simplify their registration; (2) to act as chairman of a committee on admissions, on which every school or college should be represented and which should decide all questions pertaining to admission, under the rules of the several faculties; (3) to furnish necessary duplicate records to the deans and information for the use of teachers; (4) to keep a record of the use of classrooms and an estimate of the floor space needed per student for the adequate functioning of the University; and (5) to compile the Student Register and the lists of students entitled to degrees, diplomas, and certificates, as well as to keep up the records of grades, absences, and excuses.

These rules had no effect upon the status quo. A break with tradition, difficult under any circumstances, was rendered especially hard at the time by Registrar Hall's failing health. Neither these nor any other extensive changes in the position of registrar were put into effect while he was in office, except that the functions of a secretary to the faculty gradually passed to other hands.

Between 1912 and 1922 the enrollment in the College more than doubled; in 1919-20 alone it rose from 3,627 to 5,007. Although the remarkable increase from 1918 to 1921 was clearly a postwar phenomenon, the general upward trend over the longer period was also unmistakable and appeared likely to continue unless a change were made in the work of colleges and public schools. At the close of the Hutchins administration in 1920, classrooms and laboratories were strained to capacity — the building program of the twenties was yet to come. Dean Effinger, disturbed by the apparent impossibility of providing adequate instruction and classroom space for the ever increasing mass of students and by the prospect of a decreasing standard of efficiency, recommended that the congestion of "young and immature students in this university center" be relieved by the development of the junior-college movement throughout the state. Many years before, in the annual reports of 1883 and 1890 (P.R., 1883, p. 12; 1890, p. 16), President Angell also had spoken of the problem of standards, congestion, and immaturity with relation to the high schools and to the other colleges within the state.

The general tendency of the changes in entrance requirements over the decade 1912-22 had been to recognize certain subjects newly introduced into the high school, to insist upon higher teaching standards in the high school (especially in science), to encourage an earlier beginning of preprofessional training in the scientific professions, and to emphasize continuity.

Two classifications of entrance subjects had been specified by the University in 1912 — List A, composed of the older academic studies, and List B, made up of the newer branches of the curriculum, largely practical or vocational. List A was changed in 1917-18 by the addition of one year or one-half year of introductory science as a prerequisite to any other high-school science. The next year, physiography, which had been accepted since 1905, was dropped from List A, and geography was allowed in combination with geology. Geography and introductory science were kept on the list only through 1925-26. A single unit of foreign language in the A group was made conditionally acceptable for admission credit in 1918-19, provided the student satisfactorily completed another year of the same language in the University. A half-unit of economics was also allowed in the early twenties.

List B was almost indefinitely extended in 1918-19. Any certified student could thereafter present, to a limit of Page  254three units, any subject accepted for graduation in his high school but not explicitly mentioned in either list.

Registrar Hall believed that the study habits needed in college could best be acquired in advanced high-school courses and that scholarship standards, both in high school and in college, could thus be raised; he was therefore gratified when the University demanded, in 1921-22, that a third, additional high-school major be continued for one year in college, unless one-third of the required fifteen entrance units were in subjects regularly scheduled for the last two years of high school.

Six-year high schools beginning at the seventh grade were formally encouraged by the University, first by a resolution passed by the Regents in 1914, and then by the invitation to the graduates of such schools (Cat., 1915-16) to apply for special examination leading to advanced University credit for their extra high-school units.

Often between 1917 and 1922 the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts discussed entrance requirements and their relation to University standards. The "alternative plan" of admission, which since 1912 had permitted specially recommended students to enter without any precise subject requirements (p. 250), became the object of increasing dissatisfaction. In the first semester of 1919-20 the freshmen admitted on this plan (one-tenth of the class) did noticeably poorer work than their classmates did, whereupon a faculty committee opened an investigation to find out the causes of freshman failure. Records were studied; many principals and teachers were consulted. The consensus of opinion, reported and endorsed in 1922, was that the presence of a large minority of poor students was causing the colleges and public schools to neglect the more worthy but less attention-demanding majority. University faculty members were informed of causes of failure which they could eliminate, and principals took the lists of high-school failings to be discussed in their faculty meetings. Finally, in 1923, the University announced that no one could enter by the "alternative plan" after February, 1925.

There had been only one regular assistant in the office when Hall became Registrar in 1908, but before his term of service was ended in 1925 there were seven persons on full time. The dean of the College, the registrar, and the dean of the Summer Session all shared the same general suite of offices on the first floor of University Hall until the position of dean of students was created in 1921. Dean Effinger then moved to the northeast corner room on the same floor, and the room formerly his was occupied by the dean of students. When certain other offices were moved into Angell Hall in the fall of 1924 the Registrar's Office acquired additional and much-needed space in University Hall. The most important change of staff between 1908 and 1925 was the retirement of Marion C. Goodrich, Assistant Registrar, in June, 1921. She was succeeded by the Registrar's secretary, Lillian B. Hughes, who remained until 1925.

Registrar Hall kept himself informed as to the scholarship averages of all schools that regularly sent students to the University, so as to observe any change and inquire at once into its cause, and was usually able to tell offhand how many students from a given state were in attendance. He promoted state and national movements for raising the standards of scholarship and designed a scholarship chart that was widely used.

He was a member of the Board of Education of Ann Arbor, served on many committees on the campus, in the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club, and in other state educational societies, and was especially Page  255active in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars. He was elected President of the Association for 1922, but was taken ill in February of that year and could not preside at the annual meeting. Again the next autumn he was on duty, but in the winter a vacation became necessary. After remaining at the University from May, 1923, until July, 1924, he left with his family for the summer vacation. His illness very soon forced him to return to Ann Arbor, where he died at his home January 10, 1925.

During the Registrar's long absences the organization of the office work had been largely in the hands of Miss Hughes. Professor John W. Bradshaw was called in to edit the Catalogue in the spring of 1922. The present dean of the School of Education, James B. Edmonson, was then Inspector of High Schools as well as Professor of Secondary Education. His work naturally had kept him in close touch with that of the Registrar, and upon the recurrence of Mr. Hall's illness in the summer of 1924 he consented to act as an adviser to the office. He continued in that capacity throughout the next school year. It was partly upon his suggestion that the faculty discontinued the attendance-record system.

Between 1922 and 1925 the position of a de facto secretary of the literary faculty gradually became dissociated from the position of registrar. More and more often, beginning about 1922, a secretary pro tem was selected to prepare the minutes in the absence of the Registrar, Assistant Dean Humphreys often substituting. In October, 1924, "on Dean Effinger's nomination and by vote of the Faculty, H. C. Carver was elected temporary secretary, to serve during the illness of Registrar Hall." For the next two years Associate Professor Carver continued to serve as Acting Secretary; he was then Secretary from December, 1926, until he was succeeded by Secretary D. L. Rich in December, 1929. Since then, the two positions have been entirely dissociated.

Registrar of the University since 1925. — Soon after the death of Registrar Hall the Regents requested the conference of deans to consider the problem involved in appointing a successor. The committee named by the deans reported in May, 1925, recommending the appointment of Ira Melville Smith (LL.B. Indiana '09, LL.D. Ashland '37), who was then Assistant Examiner of the University of Chicago. At the same time the following plan for the operation of the Registrar's Office was submitted:

  • 1. The Registrar should be a University official in charge of all general correspondence with prospective students.
  • 2. The Registrar should act in an advisory capacity with the various record offices about the campus for the purpose of bringing about better organization and the efficient handling of statistical information.
  • 3. The admission of all students entering the University directly from the high schools should be in the hands of the Registrar, as well as such other cases of admission as may be delegated to him by the various faculties.
  • 4. All other admissions, and all admissions on advanced standing are to remain in the hands of the separate schools or colleges as they are at present and the present procedure continued.
  • 5. The various University announcements and bulletins and the University catalogue should be edited under the supervision of the Registrar. It might be advisable to have a committee on publications, appointed by the President to act in conjunction with the Registrar in this matter.

(R.P., 1923-26, p. 610.)

The Regents adopted this plan, appointed Mr. Smith Registrar of the University, with the rank of professor and with membership in the University Senate, and directed that his office be conducted according to this outline. The educational policies committee was requested Page  256to consult with him and then to change the bylaws of the Board to harmonize with this action, making the registrar directly responsible to the Regents through the president of the University.

The registrar's budget was made separate in 1925-26, but provided only for editorial, secretarial, and general office assistance. The preparation of transcripts and the recording and issuing of grades for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were performed in the same suite of offices, but the recorder and clerks who did this work remained on the administrative budget of that College and were under the jurisdiction not of the registrar but of the dean of the College.

Mr. Smith assumed his duties in July, 1925. In that year, while secondary-school officials were familiarizing themselves with the new plan of centralized freshman admissions, arrangements for more active co-operation between the University and the high schools of Michigan were under way. In December, 1925, the high-school principals formally endorsed the new plan of admission procedure which the University had adopted. The State Teachers' Association appointed a standing committee on college entrance requirements with instructions to offer assistance to the University, and the University responded by organizing a committee, widely representative of its various faculties, to modify the admission procedure in collaboration with the principals' group, "not by any change of academic standards from the scholastic standpoint but rather by seeking to understand better the personalities and capabilities of the students" (P.R., 1926-27, p. 170).

The joint committee thus formed recommended that a small booklet of information for prospective freshmen be published and also devised a new form of admission blank divided into three parts: (I) general information (filled out by the applicant), (II) personal qualifications, and (III) scholarship standing and certificate of recommendation. In preparing this blank the joint committee had the following general aims in view: (a) to stimulate prospective students to think carefully about their college plans, (b) to include questions that would acquaint parents and teachers with problems confronting the students in their transition from high school to college, and (c) to secure as far in advance as possible such information as would enable the University officials to advise students how best to anticipate some difficulties of a University course, at the same time helping principals to impress upon their students the sincerity of the University's desire to aid well-prepared, serious-minded, ambitious, and responsible high-school graduates in making their plans for college work. The principals' hearty co-operation made possible the effective use of this new admission blank, which proved so successful that other leading universities, such as Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin, adopted it almost in full. It furnished University officials with a more adequate factual basis for determining a given candidate's fitness for college; academic counselors have used information from it in student guidance; and a better understanding of the University has inevitably resulted.

During the meetings of the joint committee of the University and the State Teachers' Association, fresh emphasis was placed upon the desirability of recommending for admission only those high-school graduates most likely to profit by University study.

The present Registrar, like his predecessor, has welcomed every opportunity to promote friendship and understanding between the University and the high-school and college officials. He is a Page  257member of the Association of School Administrators of the National Education Association and of the Association of School Administrators of the Michigan Education Association, and also has been active in the Department of High School Principals of both the national and the state associations. He was President of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars for the year 1927-28, and in 1937-38 served as chairman of its committee on special projects. Also, he has participated in the affairs of the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, and the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club, and has made many personal visits to the high schools of the state. This close co-operation means much in the way of better understanding between the University and the secondary schools.

When President Little came to the University in the fall of 1925 he was eager to inaugurate Freshman Week, which he had found effective at the University of Maine. Begun at the University of Michigan in September, 1926, it soon put new life into the movement toward an adequate advisory system. In 1930 provision was made for students entering on advanced standing, and the name was changed accordingly to Orientation Period. All freshmen are given college-aptitude and supplementary tests during this period, the program for which is now in the hands of Assistant Professor Philip E. Bursley, Director of the Orientation Period and Counselor to New Students (see Part II: Orientation Period). The Registrar has always co-operated closely with the counselors in this work. At present all underclassmen in the University are provided with regular academic-counseling service. Much credit for its development belongs to Miss Elisabeth Lawrie, Assistant to the Registrar, in Charge of Freshman Admissions.

Freshman orientation and academic counseling, although not under the registrar's charge, naturally have a significant bearing on his work. Accordingly, secretarial service and working space were provided in the Registrar's Office, where the records were available. In 1933-34 the office quarters were remodeled, especially to give conference space to the two assistants to the dean in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Both the academic counselors and the special Orientation-Period advisers have been furnished in advance with the high-school grades and personnel records of their students. Until 1938-39, progress reports from the instructors of freshmen were compiled in the Registrar's Office and sent to the counselors.

The present Registrar, very soon after he came, established individual relations with the principals by mail. Along with the letters sent to them were application blanks, Orientation-Period programs and test scores, programs for Honors Convocation, and invitations to meetings of the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club. All official publications of interest to the high schools, including reprints of the registrar's section of the President's Report, were mailed immediately upon receipt from the press.

In December, 1927, on the Registrar's invitation, the principals of the Detroit high schools spent a day at the University interviewing first-year students and others from their respective schools. In time this became a regular annual event, attended by more than one hundred school officials from Michigan and adjacent states. The interviewers are furnished in advance with special reports of the freshmen. The students write out their estimates of their previous preparation and of University instruction, as well as of outside activities and of Page  258the Orientation-Period program. A noon luncheon provides a forum for the exchange of opinions between school and University officials.

With the centralization of all admissions directly from high school and of all correspondence dealing with admissions or general information about the University, the work of the office was greatly increased. In order to ensure giving every prospective student a clear and favorable first impression of the University, special care was devoted to answering all inquiries promptly and completely, duplex window envelopes having been used since 1925 so that the desired publications could be received with the replies.

When the present Registrar was appointed, the official publications were in need of reorganization. Although the Regents had specified in 1908 that the registrar should edit the separate announcements as well as the University Catalogue, all of the announcements except that of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts had continued to be issued by the various units about the campus.

The University Senate had devoted a meeting to the subject of a University editor in the fall of 1920, and after some discussion had appointed an investigating committee, whose recommendations, adopted the next January, had provided that the president appoint nine members of the University Senate as a standing committee on publications. This committee was directed to issue the "forty or fifty different bulletins" and miscellaneous publications assigned to it, to devise a better method of distribution, and to make rules which officers of the academic units could use in preparing copy. The Senate declined to adopt a further provision that the person appointed University editor should be one previously recommended by the standing publications committee.

The only publications edited in the Registrar's Office in 1924-25 were the Catalogue, the Register, more fully described below, the Faculty Directory, and the Announcement of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In accordance with the general plan adopted in 1925 (see p. 255), the president appointed a new University Senate committee on publications, and the Registrar's Office first edited and saw through the press all the separate official announcements prepared by representatives of the respective faculties. The committee members and editorial workers required about a year to familiarize themselves with the contents and purposes of publications then being handled centrally for the first time. The Announcement of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts was carefully revised. The regular editorial reading of the Proceedings … of the Regents, delegated to this office in the same year, enabled the editorial workers to keep the official publications more nearly corrected to date as to regental appointments and changes in title or in University organization.

Between 1907 and 1923 the Catalogue became very unwieldy, for it grew from a volume of less than five hundred to one of about one thousand pages. Most of the copies of the Catalogue proper and of the lengthy official list of faculty members, graduates, and students — a section of nearly five hundred pages newly named the Register — were separately bound for the first time in 1923-24. A limited edition of the combined Catalogue and Register was issued for libraries, high schools, and record offices. One alphabetical list of students in the Register replaced thirty-eight such lists in 1925-26, when symbols were substituted for the separate listing to indicate the respective schools. The new arrangement saved time, lowered office and printing Page  259costs, and reduced the likelihood of inaccuracy in the statistical tables.

For years the Catalogue had been issued too late to "announce" the courses properly. Under this procedure it was no more than history by the time it was published. The publications committee therefore recommended a different plan, which received the Regents' approval in April, 1926, but was not fully carried out for the next two years. The plan provided, first, for a new publication called the Bulletin of General Information. This bulletin could be small and therefore inexpensive (per copy); distributed with the appropriate college Announcement, it would answer the large-scale current demand for a catalogue. Second, to preserve complete information for historical purposes was recognized as one of the principal values of a single, comprehensive publication. Its compilation was therefore to be postponed until student, faculty, and other data for the entire year were available. Third, the extra work and expense of partial duplication of the announcements in a larger catalogue was to be ended by the device of saving out a few hundred copies of the Bulletin of General Information, of the several college announcements, and of the Register of Faculty and Students, and binding them into an annual two-volume General Register Issue for purposes of record. This part of the plan did not go into effect until 1927-28, when the serial title of the official publications was changed from University of Michigan Bulletin to University of Michigan Official Publication.

Between 1925 and 1929 the practice of compiling statistics on enrollment, scholarship, and degrees was extended. A freshman ledger, containing first-year records and other data for the study of admission problems, was begun. The first regular statistical assistant was provided for in the budget of 1927-28, and additional maps, graphs, faculty statistics, and other tabular studies began to appear in the registrar's annual report.

In September, 1928, the Regents authorized President Little to appoint "such a committee as in his judgment would best function to study and report upon certain problems of records and admissions." Regents Hubbard, Sawyer, and Gore, Secretary Smith, Dean Ruthven, Registrar Smith, and Dean Huber were appointed. Regent Hubbard, as chairman, reported progress two months later, and the committee's final recommendations were presented to the Regents and approved by them in April, 1929. By this action "the work of the Recorder's office (not admissions to advanced standing) of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the work of the Committee on Classifications of that College" were put under the immediate supervision of the registrar (R.P., 1926-29, pp. 962-64).

The committee on classifications had been created by the faculty of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 1925, and Daniel Leslie Rich (Waynesburg '02, Ph.D. Michigan '15) had served continuously as its chairman. When the Regents decided to transfer the records of the Literary College they made his title Associate Professor of Physics and Director of Classification, and reduced his classroom duties to six hours a week.

Just before this action was taken by the Regents, a second study of the central-admission situation was begun. In March, 1929, the Senate committee on University affairs received a suggestion that a policy-forming board of admissions be organized, with the registrar as chairman, but that the administration of both admissions and records be decentralized, and in November President Ruthven was requested to appoint a special committee to study and report upon the question. Three professors and Registrar Page  260Smith were appointed and eventually endorsed the plan of centralization of freshman admissions. The committee also stressed the necessity of a co-operative spirit between the secondary schools and the University and the importance of "an assurance that methods of procedure agreed upon will be uniformly practiced by both parties concerned." The report suggested the appointment of a standing committee on admissions representing the several colleges and schools. The Senate committee on University affairs, however, reported a lack of unanimity of opinion among its members in May, 1930, and suggested that further consideration of the subject be left to those directly concerned with problems of admission. Meanwhile, the recording staff of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts had become a part of the Registrar's Office and had been given the task of keeping current records for the Extension Division and the School of Music. Further centralization occurred in the next three years. All recording of the College of Architecture after December, 1931, was transferred to the Registrar's Office, as was that of the School of Education and of the School of Forestry and Conservation in 1933.

To meet the demands made by these new duties additional space in Mason Hall was acquired in 1929 and 1930, and the various functions of the office became more specialized and were separated into four "divisions," namely, Admissions, Records, the Statistical Division, and the Editorial Division.

Nearly one-half of the registrar's present office staff is employed in the Division of Records, which was under the particular charge of Associate Professor Rich until 1936. Early in that year he asked that his schedule be made either all academic or all administrative and indicated his preference for teaching. Accordingly, he was returned to a full-time teaching schedule in the Department of Physics. At the same time, the full-time position of assistant registrar was again created. It was filled by the appointment of Robert Lewis Williams (Millsaps '25, Ph.D. Northwestern '28), then Registrar of Mississippi State College for Women. Dr. Williams took up his work in Ann Arbor in July, 1936.

Division of Records since 1929. — Between 1929 and 1940 the work of the Division of Records has been characterized not only by (1) the increased centralization of records, but also by (2) improvements in registration and classification techniques, (3) improved methods of academic accounting and the new services made possible by these methods, and (4) recent educational studies by the staff.

Registration for the entire University has been simplified, although in the last seven years, when the students have paid fees twice a year rather than annually, the work of second-semester registration has been much heavier than it was before. The alphabetical schedule, begun in 1936, is shifted each semester so that the privilege of early classification falls to a different group each time. For literary students and students in the School of Music and in the School of Education, the whole registration process, including classification, is now centralized under one roof and is made smoothly consecutive.

A different type of permanent record was first used for students entering in the fall of 1929, and was adapted for the purposes of each school and college as its records were transferred to the Registrar's Office. There have been some alterations in size, wording, and arrangement, but the same general style of record, a sheet of linen tracing-cloth suitable for blueprinting, is still in use. Without it, the various services in other University Page  261offices based on the use of separate sets of undergraduate records could probably not have been begun, because of the excessive cost of duplication. However, the stiff card records are more convenient for permanent filing, and some method combining the advantages of both types is desirable. Beginning in 1939, the student records posted in this office have been photostated on heavy card-stock paper as soon as the students were graduated, and the original tracing-cloth records have then been sent to the Alumni Catalog Office for permanent filing.

Since 1930, each student has annually received a print of his complete college record to date, and beginning in 1936 this print has been sent out in the summer, along with printed directions for registration and classification. The office makes an early check for the completion of graduation requirements in order to give students every assistance in electing and completing the required course of study without last-minute misunderstandings. The adoption of the degree programs in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts practically doubled this type of work for the literary students in 1931, because eligibility for concentration in the junior year depends upon so many specific conditions. This work, together with the transmission of duplicate records, helps the academic counselors and degree-program advisers to fulfill their function more effectively.

Blueprints of the student records posted in this office have been made each semester and sent to the officers of the several units concerned. Up-to-date records are of such value in counseling, classifying, and imposing academic discipline that the Registrar's Office has accepted the responsibility of posting all grades within the next working day after they are received. In 1938 this process was further speeded up by the use of tabulating-card procedures in the office of the Statistical Division. Since 1936, all seniors have received official transcripts with their diplomas at the close of the Commencement ceremony.

In order to bring about greater uniformity in the marking systems and in the calculating of grade-point averages in the various colleges (see p. 251), in September, 1936, this office collaborated with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in devising a four-point system and a calculation method based on the total amount of work attempted. The new plan was approved by the faculty in December, 1936; the first students under the new system are those who are to be graduated in June, 1941.

The increase in the production of official transcripts has been more than proportional to the increase in the centralization of records, chiefly because transcripts have been more widely used in the employment world in recent years and because there have been more educational investigations — also, however, because the use of duplicate records within the University has been greatly extended by the new facilities for rapid and large-scale production. The record cards which were used from 1925 to 1929 can be photostated at a cost of about fifteen cents apiece, and the photostats can then be converted into official transcripts by the addition of the signature and seal. The older records, not marked by semesters and without course titles, are unsuitable for any photographic reproduction process, and the first transcript of any of these must therefore be typewritten.

Since the establishment of the full-time position of assistant registrar it has been possible to make analyses of the records kept in this office. These have been submitted to the respective deans for consideration in connection with their academic procedure. Many of these studies Page  262were published, but others, because of their confidential nature, were not.

Statistical Division since 1929. — The statistical work was given a fresh impetus when, in 1929, machine accounting was introduced. The machines were later moved from the rooms of the Department of Mathematics to a room in the basement of Angell Hall, and in 1936 the statistician was given an adjacent office. These rooms were recently occupied by the Editorial Division, when the statistical office was moved with the mechanical equipment into the new building of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and Room 108 at the north end of Mason Hall was then released for the use of the academic counselors of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

One of the standard duties of the statistical office — that of preparing the annual count of degrees and certificates granted — was changed in 1929-30, the count being made to cover the fiscal rather than the calendar year. The punched-card system greatly shortens the many arduous tasks of sorting, listing, and counting assigned to this office, particularly those involved in preparing copy for the Register of Students and in keeping that publication corrected to date as it goes through the press. With the card system it is now possible to select information of a particular kind, use it or furnish it to other departments for use, as needed, and then return the cards quickly enough to be reclassified for another purpose. The names of graduating seniors are sorted geographically by home city or town and placed at the disposal of newspapermen through the facilities of the University News Service. The card system was also used in some of the studies that were made by the Division of Records.

The subjects of studies made in the Statistical Division since 1929 include, besides the regular scholarship chart: the distribution of grades to nonprofessional undergraduate students, according to subjects and departments; freshman admissions with deficiencies and those without, further subdivided by Michigan or non-Michigan preparatory schools; analysis of deficiencies by colleges and high-school units; freshman withdrawals classified by cause; and total withdrawals classified according to college, cause, and date. Other studies have been more limited in aim. For example, the grades received in a certain year by students in the R.O.T.C. were compared with those of the other men students, and by special request a table was prepared showing year-by-year enrollment of students from Korea, Japan, China, and India since 1872.

In addition, the usual tables and charts of geographical distribution and the various analyses of enrollment and faculty have been made annually.

Editorial Division since 1929. — The editorial work had grown considerably by 1929, as is roughly indicated by the increase in the number of pages and in the number of separate publications handled. The figures for 1924-25 were 4 publications and 1,645 pages; those for 1928-29, 63 publications and 4,196 pages exclusive of reprints. There were 174 publications handled by this office in 1939-40; included as one item were 270 School of Music programs. The total for the year, exclusive of reprints, was 8,011 pages.

Ever since the School of Music became a part of the University in 1929, the Editorial Division has annually edited and proofread its publications, including the May Festival libretto and the many concert programs. These programs are reprinted in slightly altered form in an annual volume.

Dr. Frank E. Robbins remarked in the first annual report of the University Press (P.R., 1929-30, p. 427) that the Page  263work of the Editorial Division had already relieved faculty members almost entirely of the burden, in time and labor, of seeing official announcements through the press. He said, further: "It is in consequence, I think, that the Senate Committee on Publications, which deals only with 'official' publications, is less active now than formerly."

The administrative committee of the University of Michigan Press and its subcommittee on official publications were created in April, 1931, and entirely replaced the Senate committee on University publications. The managing editor, besides serving as ex officio chairman of the central committee, is a member of the subcommittee, of which the registrar is chairman ex officio.

The approval of the managing editor is required before any new bulletin may be undertaken or an order for any regular publication may be delivered to the printer; otherwise, the routine procedure in the Editorial Division of the Registrar's Office was left relatively unchanged. The subcommittee adopted A Manual of Style, of the University of Chicago Press, as a standard for style.

The annual University of Michigan Directory was set up in the autumn of 1935 to replace the separate faculty and campus telephone directories, and all the regular publications have been gradually improved as they passed through the office. Attention has been called to confusing aspects of the numbering of courses, and many inconsistencies have been eliminated, constant watch having been kept as to agreement of the name and description of any course mentioned in more than one publication, and the use of the standard form of course description has been extended.

A master-file of courses has been compiled as a special NYA project. The official announcements of the respective courses are chronologically arranged on large cards filed by subject. This file was intended primarily as a check upon recent and current course descriptions for editorial purposes, but now its record value for educational studies is becoming evident.

Ten years ago, the service on the Proceedings … of the Regents was extended to the complete editing and proofreading process. A file of official faculty titles, begun several years before for use in the annual Register, has been revised and carefully maintained on the basis of reliable last-minute information from the Proceedings and from copies of appointment letters sent out by the president. Although the bulky list of students was left out of the General Register Issue from 1930 to 1937, the Register of Faculty and Graduates (later, … Staff and Graduates) has appeared in it continuously. In 1936-37 the Register of Students, which had appeared meanwhile as a lithoprinted nonserial volume, was again included in the official series, and the next year it was bound up with the other publications in the General Register Issue.

Several scholarly series are now handled by the office, including Michigan Governmental Studies, School of Forestry and Conservation Bulletins and Circulars, and Ars Islamica. Various other series in anthropology, botany, and zoology are proofread.

At present the editorial staff consists of five full-time members and one half-time member in addition to the supervising editor, Walter Arthur Donnelly ('23, A.M. '24), who in July, 1936, was made, in addition to his responsibilities as Editor of Museums Publications, Supervising Editor of Publications in the Registrar's Office. Since 1938 Mr. Donnelly has also been Assistant Editor of the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review.

The Division of Admissions since 1929. — The Registrar's general policy as Page  264to admission and orientation of freshmen, involving the greatest possible mutual understanding between the high-school and University officials, has been continued. Not only the Registrar but also several other members of the staff have attended national and state conventions and special events such as "college days" in the high schools.

A slightly enlarged and altered application blank was introduced in 1929. A change in the admission requirements of the Colleges of Engineering and Architecture became effective in the autumn of 1930. Requirements for admission to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were changed several times between 1929 and 1932, biology, government, and geology being added to List A and additional half-units in subjects on this list being made acceptable. Some of the restrictions in the College of Pharmacy entrance requirements were withdrawn in 1933, when chemistry and the grouping of certain half-units in science were dropped, one unit of a foreign language was allowed if additional to two units in another, and any subject recognized for graduation by the accredited high school from which the applicant came became acceptable as a free elective. Similar changes in free electives and in half-units of science were approved for the School of Music in that year.

A University committee on entrance requirements, formed to study the situation as a whole, consulted during 1933-34 with a previously appointed Literary College committee and with several high-school principals who were especially concerned. A basic requirement of two three-unit major sequences and two two-unit minor sequences in high school was recommended by this composite committee to the faculties of all schools and colleges receiving freshmen through this office, with the expectation that definite subject requirements would be added by the faculties concerned. A new set of requirements embodying these sequences was adopted by the Regents in 1934, after it had been approved by the eight faculties involved. The new requirements were made optional until September, 1937, when they entirely replaced the existing requirements. The sequences were to be chosen from five specified groups, and the remainder of the minimum fifteen units was to be made up from electives. The Regents authorized the registrar, with the consent of the departments most directly concerned, to accept other courses for certain of the units listed in the various required sequences.

Also in 1934, the part-examination, part-certificate plan went into effect. Formerly, students without fifteen satisfactory units had not been entitled to certification, but, in order to qualify for admission, had been required to take examinations in all the fifteen units presented for admission. This action gave the registrar discretionary power to give examinations in subjects in which the candidates for admission are deficient and to accept certification in all other subjects. One effect has been an increase in the number of entrance examinations, which under the all-or-none plan had been low.

There was a state-wide movement in the thirties toward more uniform entrance requirements and a smoother joining of high-school and college curricula. The need for this was especially evident after the autumn of 1928, when, by a ruling of the State Board of Education, the entrance requirements of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts were made effective in the four state teachers' colleges, it being understood that later changes in the requirements should go into immediate effect in those colleges.

The Michigan Education Association committee on articulation, comprised of Page  265representatives from the various branches of the state instructional system, took a particular interest in correlating the work of Michigan's secondary and higher educational institutions. The liberal arts colleges of the state were represented at a meeting in Ann Arbor in 1930-31, when college-entrance requirements proposed by the committee, of which the Registrar was a member, were discussed though not adopted.

The Regents and this University committee on entrance requirements had kept in close touch with the work of the Michigan Education Association committee. When the faculty recommendations for entrance requirements were adopted by the Regents in 1934 it was provided that descriptions of acceptable high-school units be revised with the assistance of the University departments concerned, and the Registrar was authorized to publish a bulletin to the principals outlining one, two, and three units of various high-school subjects, with study-time and reference recommendations, as well as stating the content of freshman courses in the University. A joint committee was made up in February, 1935. Three representatives were appointed by the head of each University department concerned, and the president of the Department of High School Principals of the Michigan Education Association appointed representatives of the preparatory schools. The Articulation of High-School Studies with Freshman Courses in the University (1936), a bulletin resulting from the work of the joint committee, won favorable comment in many quarters.

High-school principals now regularly receive from the Registrar's Office, in addition to Orientation-Period test scores and invitations to principal-student conferences, the first-semester grades of freshmen from their schools, annual summaries of the grades of the entire freshman class in June, and copies of congratulatory letters sent to the parents of freshmen with exceptionally good first-semester records. Since 1932, letters of congratulation have also been sent to the principals of high schools represented by three or more freshmen with especially high standing in the first semester. In the past four years, special invitations to the Honors Convocation have been issued not only to the honor students, as before, but also to their parents.

The University work in accrediting, outside this office but naturally affecting it in many ways, was reorganized in February, 1932. The University committee on accredited schools, the Division of University Inspection of High Schools, and the committee on inspection of junior colleges were replaced by an administrative committee on co-operation with educational institutions. The work of its two subcommittees — on relations with the secondary schools and on relations with institutions of higher learning — is carried on through the Bureau of Co-operation with Educational Institutions. The registrar was made, ex officio, one of the nine members of the central standing committee. The subcommittee on relations with secondary schools was asked to advise him on questions of admission from the secondary schools, and the other subcommittee was asked to advise the several deans as to admission on advanced standing. The Registrar, who had been an ex officio member of the former standing Senate committee on accredited schools, approved by the Regents in 1930, has been called upon frequently, as have other members of the office staff, to inspect high schools.

The first "college day" in which the University participated was, curiously enough, at an out-of-state school. It was held at Highland Park, Illinois. The idea was quickly taken up by the high schools of Michigan and of other states, until Page  266requests became so numerous that many of them had to be refused. The problem of meeting the need for educational guidance in high school without the expense and other undesirable features of "college day" has been the special concern of a committee of the Michigan Association of North Central Colleges of which the Registrar has been chairman for several years and also of a co-operating committee of the Michigan Association of High School Principals. Though a plan which would make "college day" less necessary was submitted in 1938, the committees decided to endorse the continuation and improvement of the college-day programs temporarily.

A suitable method of interviewing prospective students in large urban centers has been used for the last few years in Chicago, Boston, and New York.

Probably the most important work of the Division of Admissions in the last decade, aside from procedures already mentioned, is the practice of rating each incoming freshman as to the expected degree of his success in the University. The first predictions were made in 1931-32. The rating is determined on the basis of the scholarship and personality record of the prospective student at the time when the application is read, and the appropriate mark, which is treated confidentially, is then recorded on the back of the blank, where it can be seen in comparison with the scores received in tests during the Orientation Period. A-1 indicates decidedly higher than average; A-2, average or better. If there is a possibility of scholastic difficulty or of difficulty in adjustment, the student is rated A-3.

Comparisons of these predictions with later records are made regularly, in order to reveal any constant error in judgment and thus to show when doubtful admission cases should be decided with greater leniency or with greater strictness. These comparisons have shown that the predictions are essentially sound. The ratings have therefore been freely used by the counselors, to whom they have been of great value.


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