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Victoria University of Wellington 1899 ~ 1999 A History

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

1 Jordan recommended the American ‘majoring’ system which allowed for advanced study, and giving greater power to the professors.

2 In 1912 Victoria's annual income was £9700, Auckland's £10,200, Canterbury's £15,000 and Otago's £17,800 (figures given by H.N. Parton, The University of New Zealand, Wellington, 1979, p.31).

3 Stout, letter to the New Zealand Herald, undated clipping in University Reform Association papers, J.C. Beaglehole Room.

4 Spike, 1949, p.64. He had ‘personally tried to forget the existence of the external examinations,’ he told Parliament's education committee in 1913; ‘the best thing is to forget if one does not want to get into the depths of despair’. Report of the Education Committee on the petition of James Adamson and 27 others, AJHR, 1913, I–13A, p.11.

5 University Reform Association minute book.

6 University Reform in New Zealand, Wellington, 1911, p.31.

7 Report of the Education Committee, 1911, AJHR, 1911, I–13A, pp.71, 68–9; J.C. Beaglehole, Victoria University College, Wellington, 1949, p.114.

8 Stout, letter to the New Zealand Herald, undated clipping with University Reform Association papers; Senate minutes quoted in J.C. Beaglehole, The University of New Zealand, Wellington, 1937, p.184.

9 Council minutes, 16 Oct. 1912, pp.331–2.

10 H. Reichel and F. Tate, Report of the Royal Commission on University Education in New Zealand, 1925, AJHR, 1925, E–7A, p.9.

11 The £250 Hogben had recommended as the minimum each college should spend on its library annually was less than Victoria spent already, which was more than twice what the other colleges did: the Reform Association pamphlet reported that Victoria spent £274 a year on its library, compared with £62 at Auckland, £110 at Canterbury and £130 at Otago. Especially taking into account Victoria's late start, its library collection was admirable (comparatively). It had acquired 8770 volumes, an average of 626 per year; Auckland acquired 5535 volumes (191 per year), Canterbury 4378 (115 per year), Otago 5196 (124 per year). Victoria's law collection numbered 1258 volumes, compared with 111 in the other three libraries combined. University Reform in New Zealand; A.D. Osborn, New Zealand Library Resources, Wellington, 1960; Beaglehole, 1937, p.273, fn 113.

12 Report of the Education Committee, 1913, p.60.

13 The act followed the main recommendations of Hogben's report on finances, which he had presented in October 1912, and administrative proposals made by the Senate's constitutional committee.

14 Spike, foundation number, 1934, p.29.

15 Annual report for 1916, AJHR, 1917, E–7, p.13.

16 Annual report for 1915, AJHR, 1916, E–7, p.14.

17 NZPD, 1915, Vol.173, p.145, pp.4–5.

18 Report of the Victoria University College Council concerning the case of Professor von Zedlitz, Wellington, 1915.

19 In addition to running his tutorial school, von Zedlitz gave WEA lectures and was a prominent broadcaster, and wrote the introduction to F.A. de la Mare's pamphlet on academic freedom and the Beaglehole affair (Academic Freedom in New Zealand, 1935).

20 Evening Post, 13 Nov. 1954.

21 Reichel and Tate, p.11.

22 Parton, p.66. The commissioners saw the federal arrangement under a full-time executive officer as preparation for future separation, but only Victoria promoted practical measures to achieve this: it was suggested by Victoria that the college councils become more involved in academic matters in preparation for their becoming university councils.

23 Reichel and Tate, p.55.

24 Annual report for 1920, AJHR, 1921, E–7, p.15.

25 Professorial Board minutes, 3 Sept. 1920, pp.47, 52.

26 Peren, quoted by Reichel and Tate, p.41, and in T. Brooking, Massey, Its Early Years, Palmerston North, 1977, p.29. Peren's selection was made by the recently established government Board of Agriculture as well as the usual committee of experts in London.

27 Annual report for 1925, AJHR, 1926, E–7, p.18. The college was founded under the New Zealand Agricultural College Act of 1926 and the Massey Agricultural College Act, 1927. A rearguard action fought by Canterbury to save Lincoln College led to the change of name, a £10,000 grant to Lincoln and the promise of equal university status.

28 At Canterbury James Hight had titled himself director of studies of the faculty of commerce since 1906; at Auckland J.P. Grossmann had been appointed to teach the trilogy (economics, history and geography) in 1905, but there were few advanced commerce students, and Auckland spent most of its specialisation grant on its school of mines.

29 Council minutes, 9 Mar. 1927, p.21.

30 Annual report for 1913, AJHR, 1914, E–7, p.15.

31 F.P. Wilson to G. Hogben, 18 Sept. 1913, AJHR, 1913, I–13A, p.110.

page 386

32 Sir William Ashby wrote to the Department of Education protesting at the appointment (neither his letter nor the Council's reply justifying its decision – which was taken in committee – is transcribed in the Council minutes, however).

33 Spike, 1954.

34 Victoria University College calendar, 1920; Murphy to the Council, 30 Oct. 1928, VC file 1395: box 2F, P8; Professorial Board minutes, Oct. 1921, p.104.

35 The comparative figures (given by Reichel and Tate) were 13% at Auckland, 11% at Canterbury and 14% at Otago.

36 Annual report for 1924, AJHR, 1925, E–7, p.20.

37 Ibid.

38 C. Cotton to the Council, 20 Aug. 1924, VC file 1395: box 2F, P8.

39 Beaglehole, 1949, p.186.

40 Cotton to the Council, 8 Oct. 1926, 20 Aug. 1924, VC file 1395.

41 Beaglehole, 1949, p.160

42 P. Munz (ed.), The Feel of Truth, Wellington, 1969, p.11. Robertson published A Soul's Progress: mezzotints in prose (London, 1920) and an autobiography, Life and Beauty (1931). Munz continued the above portrait: ‘He was very lean and looked somehow elegantly distinguished in a very old-fashioned stiff collar and he once confided to me that he could not bear people to look at the back of his head.’

43 Beaglehole, 1949, p.265.

44 Annual report for 1921, AJHR, 1922, E–7, p.14.

45 The arts faculty comprised the departments of English, classics, modern languages, philosophy, history, economics and education, with mathematics and constitutional history ‘attached’. Science included mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and geology, with modern languages attached. English, Latin and philosophy were also attached to the law faculty. Commerce was economics, accountancy and commercial law. The growth of college staffs also saw the foundation of a national Association of University Teachers in 1923, on Hunter's initiative, and he was its president for the first two years.

46 Only Auckland also had a professor of law, and four lecturers and one assistant, but 620 law students (Beaglehole, 1937, p.274, fn 115). The law lecturers were mostly part time (practising lawyers) and appointed session by session.

47 Annual report for 1926, AJHR, 1927, E–7, p.19.

48 Reichel and Tate, p.19.

49 Seventy-seven of 346 arts students, or 22.5%, responded that they were able to attend classes during the day, as did 28 out of 122 science students (23%), 39 of 223 law students (17%), but only one out of 25 commerce students. (Council minutes, 14 May 1924.)

50 Annual report for 1926, AJHR, 1927, E–7, p.19. The roll had fallen from 806 in 1925 to 745 in 1926.

51 Plans for a war memorial of some kind were first discussed in 1916. A fundraising appeal was launched in 1920. The first design for the window commissioned from Smith & Smith was found ‘unsatisfactory’, for reasons that were not recorded.

52 There were two odes written in fact; another, ‘On the insetting of the memorial window’, by Reo Fortune.

53 Silver Jubilee Celebrations and University Tournament Programme, Easter 1924, VC file 191.