Like the captain of industry, or the political ruler, [a university president] must have skill, capacity, and knowledge; must be inventive and constructive in his thinking; and must welcome care and responsibility. His inducements to laborious and responsible service are, however, different from those which are effective with other sorts of leader. A high salary, or the prospect of luxury for himself and his family, will not tempt him. These inducements will not draw the right kind of man into university administration any more than into teaching or research. Hie cannot be induced to do his best work by offering him any money prize, and he will manifest no desire whatever for arbitrary power over masses of human beings, or for what is ordinarily called fame or glory. The effective inducements will be the prospect of eminent usefulness, public consideration, the provision of real facilities for his work, enough relief from pecuniary cares to leave is mind free for invention and fore looking, long tenure, and income enough to secure healthy recreations. He will not wish to receive a salary so high as to distinguish him widely from his colleagues the professors, except so far as the proper discharge of his functions involves him in expenditures from which they are exempt. He will want to work with a group of associates whose pecuniary recompense and prospects are not very unlike his own. -- Charles W. Eliot, "Academic Freedom," Science, Vol. XXVI, No. 652, pp. 1-12 (July 5, 1907)It cannot be inconsequential to the health of the academy that university presidents by and large do not fit this pattern today.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Educational Wisdom (IV)
Unlike previous posts in this sequence, which have been century-old observations that seem very fresh today, this one seems hopelessly anachronistic, alas.
Posted by Harry Lewis at 8:43 AM