The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 80
The Faculties and their Power — A Contribution to the History of University Organization
The Faculties and their Power
A Contribution to the History of University Organization
Since the question of reorganizing the Faculties and giving them larger powers is now under the consideration of the University, it will not be out of place to put together some account of their past history here and their present organization elsewhere.
Our present Faculties have no connexion with the earlier Faculties which existed in mediaeval Oxford, but the history of those bodies, and of the causes which led to their decadence, throws some light on the present
As Dr. Rashdall points out, the early constitution of this University was in the main an imitation of that of the university of Paris: 'the constitution of Oxford may be said to represent an arrested development of the Parisian constitution.' But at Oxford 'the predominance of the Faculty of Arts was still more conspicuous than at Paris'. At Paris 'this predominance was broken down by the growth of the Faculties into organized bodies'; at Oxford 'the superior Faculties never acquired a separate existence of this kind'. We do find occasional instances of the separate Faculties at Oxford, as at Paris, making statutes for the regulation of their own internal discipline, but they are very rare.
'As a general rule, statutes relating to all Faculties—even those dealing with educational details or with internal discipline—were enacted by the Congregation of the whole University. The want of independent corporate life on the part of the superior Faculties and their complete subordination to the inferior Faculty of page 4 Arts, is one of the most remarkable peculiarities of the Oxford University constitution.'
'The greatest constitutional peculiarity of Oxford—more remarkable even than the position of the Chancellor—is the almost entire absence of separate Faculty organization. At Oxford we find, as we never find at Paris, the University itself settling every detail of the curriculum and internal discipline of all the Faculties.'
The result was the degradation of the higher degrees.
'The practical extinction of all the higher Faculties in the English Universities is partly due, no doubt, to the absence of endowments for University teachers and to the presence of these endowments in the Colleges, enabling them to monopolize that instruction which the Universities themselves were unable to supply. Partly, too, it is accounted for, as regards the legal Faculty, by the non-Roman and unscientific character of English Law, and as regards Medicine by the comparatively small size of the University towns. But the suppression of all effective instruction in the higher Faculties was also promoted by the control which here alone, among the Universities of the world, the Regents in Arts—that is to say, after the decay of University lectures, the youngest Masters—had acquired over the degrees in the higher Faculties. In other Universities each Faculty regulated the conferment of its own degrees. At Oxford and Cambridge an unlimited power of dispensation was vested in the Regents oi all Faculties, the majority of whom, of course, were Regents in Arts. The extent to which this power was abused, even in the middle of the fifteenth century, was already such as to prepare the way for the total suspension of the residence and study required by the Statutes for these degrees, while the Professors lacked the power or the inclination to convert the remaining "excerises" into effective tests of competence. The higher degrees continued to be taken almost as much as formerly especially degrees in Theology. In many cases College statutes bound the Fellows by the most solemn obligations to study and graduate in some superior Faculty, and the title of Doctor has always been more or less in page 5 request. But mere " standing " was at last unblushingly treated as equivalent to residence and study.'1
Of these old Faculties little remains now save titles, and some ceremonial relics, such as the robes of the higher degrees and the pokers of the bedells, but the causes which prevented the development of the corporate life of these Faculties in mediaeval Oxford still exist to-day. It is only by diminishing the power of Congregation over the curriculum, and by effecting some agreement with the colleges about the teaching, that the independent development of our present Faculties is possible. For that reason, in discussing the re-organization of the Faculties, it is necessary to consider the constitution of the University too, and the relations which should exist between University and College teaching.
Our present Faculties and Boards of Faculties are nominally the creation of the second University Commission, and date from a statute made by the Commissioners in 1882.2 But their real origin seems to go back to the Boards of Studies established by the University about 1872. By a number of statutes passed during 1871-2 the various examinations then existing were placed under the supervision of ten Boards. There were three for the First Public Examination, viz. one for Honours in Classics, one for Honours in Mathematics, and one for the Pass School. That for the Pass School still exists. There were seven Boards for the supervision of the Second Public Examination, viz. for Literae Humaniores, for Mathematics, for Natural Science, for Jurisprudence, for Modern History, for Theology, and, finally, for the Pass School and the Rudiments of Faith and Religion. The Board for the Pass School survives, subdivided into two committees.3
1 Rashdall, Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, ii, 370-2,
2 . Statutes, ed. 1908, p. 118. Tit. V. Section i.
3 The Boards first appear in the University Calendar for 1873,
These Boards were composed on the principle of taking the professors of the subjects concerned, and adding an equal number of other persons. For instance, the Modern History Board consisted of the Regius Professors of Modern-History and Ecclesiastical History, the Chichele Professor of Modern History and International Law, the Rawlinsonian Professor of Anglo-Saxon, and the Professor of Political Economy. To them were added the three examiners in the Modern History School for the time being, and not more than three persons co-opted by the Board itself. The powers of these Boards were limited to prescribing books, periods, and special subjects, but they were not content with this modest function, and assumed 'the position of being charged with the general academic interest' of the studies their examinations con-cerned. They had been practically invited to assume this position in 1873, when the Vice-Chancellor sent a circular to them and to the professors in general asking them to state the requirements of the studies they represented.1 The result is well stated in the evidence oi Mr. J. R. Thursfield before the Commission of 1877.2
1 See Statement of the Requirements of the University adoptd by the Hebdomadal Council on the 19th of March1877, with the papers upon which it was founded.
2 Minutes of Evidence taken by the Commission, 1881, p. 116.
1,922. (Professor Smith): You think that the great predominance given to actual examiners in the boards of studies does not fit those boards for the wider range of duties which it has been proposed to assign to them?—I would not say that it unfitted them; but if we had been constructing boards of studies for the purpose of exercising a general supervision over the branches of knowledge and studies represented by them we should probably have constructed them originally in a somewhat different way.
1,923. (Mr. Bernard): Could you suggest any remedy for that?—I should not be prepared at this moment to say exactly how I would amend their constitution, but I think that it might be altered. The point which I wish to make clear is that we constructed the boards of studies for one purpose and devote them to another purpose and another set of duties, for which they are ipso facto not so well constituted or qualified as for the original purposes.
1,924. Do you not think it almost inevitable that a board of studies having been created for the purpose contemplated by the statutes should come to be considered as the representative of the group of studies which belonged to it?—I think, certainly, it is almost inevitable; but I am not sure that it is altogether desirable.
1,925. I understood you to say that if that tendency is to take effect it might be well to modify the constitution of the boards of studies?—That is certainly my view. It should be quite understood what their function is, and if it is to be enlarged so as to comprise the general interests of the studies they represent, their meetings should be more formal and their transactions should be more systematic, and they should not depend as they do at present on the precarious and irregular attendance of the various members; moreover, they should be strengthened, I think, by a larger element of persons known to be interested in particular studies, but not necessarily having or having had any direct relation to the examinations.page 8
1,926. (Chairman): Do you think that all the intercollegiate lecturers in the different subjects should belong to the Boards of Studies?—That would make the Board a little unwieldy I should think, but it is proposed in the Cambridge report that 'the intercollegiate lecturers recognized by any board who are not university readers shall be entitled to choose two of their number to represent them on the board by which they are recognized.' That is a device for reducing the number of the board, and increasing its efficiency, which might perhaps be adopted with advantage.
1,927. It has been recommended, has it not, by the Hebdomadal Council, that all the university readers should be on the Boards of Studies?—Yes, I think that is so.
1,928. Is it now one of the functions of each Board of Studies to arrange the order of courses of lectures?—No, it has nothing to do with it.
1,929. Would it be desirable for the sake of good organization as to time and subjects that that should be done?—It is certainly desirable that it should be done by some agency; whether by the agency of the actual lecturers meeting and discussing the subject themselves, or meeting in concert with the Board of Studies, I am not prepared to say at this moment.
1,930. Would it also be important that the different boards or the lecturers in the different classes of subjects should arrange it together?—That is already done with regard to intercollegiate lectures. We meet terminally and decide the general range of subjects which shall be treated by the association in the ensuing term.
1,931. How are the professors' lectures taken into account in those arrangements; do they communicate with the professors, and learn what they propose?—Not always. In some cases the professors are members of the associations, and from them we generally learn what they propose to do; in other cases it has occasionally been difficult to obtain information of what the professors intend to do.
1,932. Then there is no concert?—No; that I think is a disadvantage.
1,933. (Mr. Bernard): However, the old faculty
organization seems tending to revive again in some form?—Yes.
1,934. And you think it desirable to methodize it?— page 9 Yes. I do not know that the old faculty organization was the best, but to methodize it in some new form would certainly be desirable.1
Whilst the Boards of Studies were thus practically claiming the position of Boards of Faculties, some reformers put forward schemes for the organization of Faculties with powers resembling those possessed by such bodies in German Universities, This proposal was set forth with admirable clearness in the evidence of Sir E. Ray Lankester. A suggestion for something like Faculty organization was also put forward by some of the teachers of Modern History. Mr. Boase asked that the intercollegiate lecturers on that subject should 'be organized as a University body', and that something of the nature of 'an educational council which would enable the teachers to combine' should be established.
In response to these various demands the Commissioners made the Statute of 1882. It created four Faculties: Theology, Law, Arts, and Natural Science, making the Faculty of Natural Science include Mathematics and Medicine, and that of Arts 'those studies now included in Arts which shall not be included in any other Faculty'.
Power was given by this Statute to subdivide the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science into two or more Faculties, and to institute new Faculties.2 In accordance with this provision the University, in 1885, divided the Faculty of Arts into three divisions, viz. Literae Humaniores, Oriental Languages and Modern History, and the Faculty of Natural Science into two, viz. Medicine and Natural Science.3
1 Minutes of Evidence, Oxford University Commission, 1878.
2 Statutes, 1908, p. 118: Tit. V. Sect, i (5).
3 Statutes, 1908, p. 121: Tit. V. Sects, ii, iii.
The Statute of the Commissioners creating the Faculties charged their respective Boards with the duty of drawing up a list of the lectures to be given every term in the subjects of the Faculty, and a limited power to alter or exclude lectures in certain cases.
By the Commissioners 'Statute the University was empowered' to give the Boards such further duties and make such further provision for the performance of such duties, as well as of the duties hereby assigned to them', as it should think expedient, provided its regulations were consistent with the provisions of the Statute.2 However, the University made very little use of this power. At the moment all it did was to transfer to the Boards of Faculties the duties hitherto performed by the Boards of Studies, by substituting the words 'Faculty', or 'Board of Faculty' for the words 'Board of Studies' in the Statutes relating to the various Honour Schools. The Boards of Faculties were little more than the Boards of Studies 'writ large', and charged with the task of drawing up terminal lecture lists, as well as supervising examinations.
1 Statutes, 1908, p. 377: Tit. XIX. § 6 (3).
2 Statutes, 1908, p. 119: Tit. V. Sect, i (10).
'The number of places to be filled up by election shall be determined by each elector writing on a voting paper the number he prefers. . . . The number in favour of which most votes shall be given shall be the number of places to be filled up.'
The result was a certain variety in the constitution of the Boards. According to the Calendar for 1885, the Theology Board was then composed of 8 ex officio and 5 elected members, the Law Board of 7 ex officio and 6 elected members, Natural Science of 14 ex officio and 10 elected members, Literae Humaniores of 12 ex officio and 10 elected members, Modern History of 10 ex officio and 8 elected members, Oriental Languages of 7 ex officio and 6 elected members. The relative proportions of the two elements thus varied according to the circumstances of each particular study. In 1885, however, a statute was passed by the University providing that 'the number page 12 of places to be filled up at an election of members oi the Board of any Faculty shall be the number which, added to that of the elected members of the Board whose places are not vacant, will equal the number of ex officio members for the time being'.
This rigid rule had many disadvantages. It made no allowance for the different conditions which prevailed in different studies. Its object was to secure that the number of teachers appointed by colleges should exactly equal the number of teachers appointed by the University, but in educational as in political affairs the attempt to create an exact balance of powers usually produces a deadlock. In practice the rigidity of the rule leads to results which can hardly have been intended. Supposing a nonresident professor is made an ex officio member of a Board (as, for instance, the Professor of Poetry is of the Literae Humaniores Board) it becomes necessary to elect at once some college teacher as an equivalent. As the elected member is always a resident the theoretical balance of interests is at once destroyed. In the case of the Modern History Board the result of the rule has been to give the elected members a majority of about three to two. For of the fourteen ex officio members whom the University has placed on the Board, five at least represent studies not directly connected with Modern History, and in no way represented in the curriculum of the Modern History School or the examination the Board supervises. Consequently they have no motive for attending, and do not attend, but the presence of their names in the list necessitates the addition of an elected member for each of them. The result is that the college teachers forming the elective element of the Board can determine every question connected with the study of Modern History exactly as they please. It is plain that a regulation which produces this result in practice is directly contrary to the intention of the Statute made by the Commissioners, and was not contemplated by the University when it made the regu- page 13 lation. In view of the demand that the powers of the Faculties should be increased, the question of the composition of the Boards of Faculties needs reconsidering.
The very limited powers previously enumerated were all the Faculties possessed during the first thirteen years of their existence, but they soon began to imitate the action of their predecessors, the Boards of Studies, and to desire larger powers. Their members were not content to be mere supervisors of an examination and constructors of lecture lists. This feeling was the natural consequence of bringing together in one room a number of men interested in a particular study, and giving them very little power to promote its progress. In response to this feeling the tendency of University legislation has been steadily to increase the powers of the Faculties. In 1894, when the statute creating the research degrees was introduced, it proposed to create a special Delegacy to supervise the work of candidates and award the degrees. The Delegacy was to consist of the Vice-Chancellor, the proctors, and twelve members of Convocation. But in the passage of the measure through Congregation an amendment was introduced which made the several Boards of Faculties the authorities charged with the management of those degrees, and ever since this work has formed a steadily growing part of their ordinary business. By the same statute a step was taken towards the establishment of a Board representing the Faculties in general, for it led to the creation of a Committee which contains representatives of the seven Boards of Faculties and two Boards of Studies. The duties of the Committee, however, are confined to examining the qualifications of intending candidates for the degree of B.Litt.
During the period which has elapsed since the passing of this statute, the authority and influence of the Faculties have steadily grown. Council has inquired their opinion on measures before it, and has referred questions to them for discussion and report with increasing fre- page 14 quency. Furthermore, in a tentative and unsystematic way the legislation of the University is beginning to give the Faculties some of the other powers which similar bodies possess elsewhere. Nearly all the statutes and regulations relating to new foundations show a tendency to give the Faculties a direct voice in the appointment of University teachers, by giving them the right to elect a representative to the appointing Committee in addition to the ex officio representatives of the particular study. Thus the Faculty of Medicine appoints an elector for the professorship of Human Anatomy and for the professorship of Pathology. The Board of Natural Science appoints one elector for the professorship of Pathology and two for the Lee's Readerships. The Board of Modern History appoints two electors for the Beit professorship and lectureship, and three for the Ford lectureship. The Board of Theology appoints three of the seven electors for the Speaker's lectureship in Biblical Studies. Three different Boards of Faculty appoint electors for the Wilde lectureship in Natural Religion. Even Boards of Studies and Diploma Committees have been in two instances given the same right (Statutes, pp. 456-7).
The same thing is happening in the case of scholarships, prizes, and other endowments, founded recently to encourage particular subjects. Two of the five managers of the Charles Oldham scholarship are elected by the English Board of Studies, and two of the managers of the same benefactor's prize by the Literae Humaniores Board. The Squire scholarships in Theology are entirely under the management of the Theology Board. The Board of Oriental Languages elects one of the managers of the Revision Surplus Fund and one of the Max Müller Memorial Fund.
Thus, during the last five or six years the University seems to have accepted the principle that whenever it is possible Faculties shall be given a direct voice in the appointment of the teachers of their subject and the page 15 management of its endowments. This historical survey seemed desirable in order to show that the demand for the grant of larger powers to the Faculties is not the result of the agitation of a few reformers, but the outcome of a natural movement which has been in progress for many years. It is now time to consider what the powers of Faculties are in other universities, and how far it is possible or desirable to give them similar powers here.
Since the example of the German universities exerted most influence at the time when the revival of the Faculties was first seriously discussed in Oxford, the German Faculties should be first described. These powers are thus described by Professor Paulsen.
'The different Faculties possess important functions as self-governing bodies. The full professors, who are the Faculty's administrative body, annually elect one of their number as dean to act as their presiding officer. . . The Faculty manages the scholarships and conducts the examinations prescribed for them, announces the subjects for prize essays and awards the prizes. It also has supervision of instruction, and must above all see to it that all subjects are fully represented during each term, and suggest additions to the teaching staff whenever necessary. Again, and most important, it holds the examinations for the academic honours and confers the degrees through the dean. It also extends the venia legendi to young scholars, which means that it confers upon them the privilege of teaching in the Faculty as Privatdocents, admitting them thereby into the larger academic teaching-corps. Finally, when a vacancy occurs in the chair it must nominate candidates for the vacancy to the Ministry of Education.'1
1 Paulsen, German Universities, p. 79 (English translation).
The organization of the German Universities naturally attracted the attention of English reformers, but it was obviously impossible to transfer the German faculty system in its integrity to Oxford. Accordingly, in 1878 Sir E. Ray Lankester laid before the second University Commission a scheme for the organization of Faculties and the combination of University and College teaching which was an attempt to adapt the German system to English conditions. It was not received with much favour by the Commissioners, but it deserves attention because it distinguishes clearly between the private teaching which it is the function of the College to give, and the public teaching which the University has the right to control. In his evidence he put the scheme forward as affording the basis of a concordat between University and Collages.
1 Paulsen. pp. 79, 104, 165.
5,150. (Mr. Bernard): Will that paper explain what you mean by recognition?—Yes. I suggest that the status of university teacher shall be accorded to everv professor in the university, and to every lecturer appointed by a college to a fellowship tenable on the condition of teaching, or to a lectureship of a definite annual value Then I propose that these university teachers should be grouped into certain boards of studies or faculties according to the subjects taught by them, and corresponding to the schools of the university, namely a faculty (1) of theology, (2) of law, (3) of medicine, (4) of literature and history, (5) of physical science and mathematics Further, I suggest that certain powers should be accorded to those faculties, and that the faculties so constituted should have very definite duties. The constitution of faculties similar to those which I suggest might differ in some details of their organization, according to circumstances, without abandonment of the general principle.
5,151. May I ask whether you propose any control by the university over the appointment of college teachers?—No, only so far as the faculties would exercise control upon the admission of new individuals to their number.
5,152. (Chairman): That is to say, if the college appointed a tutor the faculty should have the power of rejecting him?—Yes.
5,153. Would that disqualify him for being a college tutor?—No; it would disqualify him from exercising the powers of a member of the faculty.
5,156. (Earl of Redesdale): If a man is to be rejected by the faculty, and is still to continue a teacher of the college, you would at once create a double system?—He would not be rejected by the faculty except for very grave reasons, and if such an institution as the 'faculties' were once started, a college would not be likely to present a man who was not admissible. Of page 18 course he would not be rejected merely on the ground that he was somewhat inferior.
5,157. My question had merely reference to what you stated, viz. that the rejection of a man by the faculty was not to prevent his being a tutor of a college?—In spite of any difficulty which might arise in that matter, I think it is necessary to give the college that power, because otherwise such an arrangement as the creation of the faculties would be very distasteful to the colleges. It would be something like taking all power out of the hands of the colleges.
5,158. (Mr. Bernard): Do you mean by grave reasons manifest incompetence?—Yes, not merely inferiority but manifest incompetence.
5,159. Supposing that the number of teachers of a given subject is already, in the opinion of the faculty, quite large enough, that I presume would not be a reason in your view?—No; but I think there might be some plan arranged by which the faculties could control or suggest to the colleges what should be done in that way.
5,160. (Professor Smith): Would you propose that a college tutor or lecturer so admitted to the faculty should retain the same duties, which he has at present with reference to the students of his own college?—Yes, be might have special duties such as the supervision of the students of his own college. I think that each member of a faculty, whether collegiate or professorial, should have one vote in the meeting of his faculty. The faculties should meet each separately, twice only in each term for the transaction of business. The faculties should supersede and assume all the powers of the present Houses of Convocation and Congregation.
5,161. (Chairman): Do you mean all the powers of every kind?—That is what I should wish, but of course that is not a necessary item.
5,162. (Professor Smith): I presume you mean all the powers with relation to the particular study of the faculty?—Yes, with relation to the teaching and the administration of the funds bearing upon their study. The business of each faculty should be to decide by a vote of the majority the following matters:—(1) The admission of new members to the faculty, namely such as might be from time to time qualified by college nomination. (2) The election to all professorships (including those at page 19 present elected to by special boards) from time to time vacated or created by the faculty. (3) The preparation at the end of each academic year of a complete programme of the lectures and other course of instruction to be given by the various members of the faculty in the ensuing academic year, such programme to be published, and to be subject to revision by the faculty, the majority having power to reject or modify the lectures proposed by any member of the faculty. This would be the most necessary and important function of the faculty.
5,168. Do you mean such programme to be compulsory upon all members of the faculty?—Yes, in some measure compulsory. There might be exceptions in favour perhaps of the full professors in the faculty who might have somewhat more discretion, but there should be some compulsion. That would be the chief object of such a faculty. (4) Another duty would be the fixing of the fees (which would be larger than are at present charged by university professors) to be charged for each course or for combined courses (curriculum), such fees to be paid by the students to the faculty (directly or through their colleges) and through the faculty to the teacher. (5) The appointment of examiners in the schools subject to the faculty, and of examiners for university scholarships in subjects related to the faculty. (6) The arrangement of the number and the subjects of examination, with power to abolish any of the present arrangements which may be considered objectionable, such as competition for 'classes', and to institute any further degrees, such as the degree of doctor in the faculty, open to candidates who have been bachelors for two years; such doctor's degree to be awarded in consideration of an approved thesis, containing the results of original investigation. I mean that the faculty might come to the conclusion that the competition for classes such as we have now is not desirable. Such questions as that I should wish that the faculty might be allowed to settle. (7) The assignment of laboratories, lecture rooms, and museums to the use of particular teachers. That appears to be a particularly necessary function of the faculty. (8) The appropriation (subject to the approval of the combined faculties or the council of the university) of university revenue for the purpose of from time to time building lecture rooms and laboratories, purchasing apparatus and page 20 other appliances for teaching and research. Lastly, the recommendation to the council of the establishment of new professorships, of the payment of salaries for assistants or readers, and of other financial dispositions. Those who may object to many of the particulars in the plan which I have above sketched out will yet see the necessity for some system of compulsory co-operation between the various colleges themselves, and between each and all of these and the university when the working of the present system is carefully examined.1
The suggestion that the institution of Faculties would afford the best basis for combining University and College teaching was very just, but it produced little result. The Commissioners carefully evaded the difficulties of the problem by creating nominal Faculties, and leaving the University to determine whether they should have any real power or not.
1 Ray Lankester, Oxford University Commission, 1878, Evidence, p. 338.
'Each Faculty, subject to a review by the Senate, and to the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, shall be responsible for courses of study and regulations as to degrees, diplomas', certificates, scholarships, and prizes faffing within the province of the Faculty, and shall report upon the qualifications of candidates for professorships, lectureships, and examinerships within the Faculty, shall nominate the Deans and other officers of the Faculty, and the tutors, fellows, and other scholars of the Faculty, and shall in general transact business pertaining to the Faculty.'
A professor who is a member of the Arts Faculty at Liverpool thus describes the work of that body.1
1 Professor Ramsay Muir.
In Manchester the Faculty system is less highly developed than in Liverpool. This is partly explained by the earlier history of Manchester, and partly due to the influence exerted by the example of the French Universities on some of the founders of Liverpool.1
The transformation of higher education in France during the last thirty years has been so remarkable and so fruitful an event that it deserves some attention in Oxford.
1 See Professor J. M..Mackay's Report on the Faculty of Arts of Liverpool, 1897, pp. 14-48-
1 Liard, L'Enseignement suptrieul' en France, 1789-1893, ii, 391.
The result of giving the Faculties higher aims, larger powers, and greater freedom was seen in the transformation of the teaching. Everywhere and in every subject there was progress and experiment: more scientific methods were adopted not only in scientific but in literary subjects too. In the Faculties of Letters, for instance, the lecture was supplemented by the 'cours pratique', and the lecture-room by the 'salle d'études'. At Paris for instance:—
'Il fut visible qu'il y avait quelque chose de changé dans Penseignement supérieur des lettres le jour oÙ, au voisinage de la Sorbonne, à quelques pas des grands amphithéâtres, toujours ouverts au pubfic et toujours fréquentés, s'élevèrent, en attendant mieux, des baraque-ments provisoires à trois compartiments chacun, une salle de conférences, sans chaire monumentale, un cabinet pour le professeur et, attenant, une salle d'études, avec aes livres, pour les élèves. Ce fut plus visible encore le jour où l'on put lire sur les affiches, à côté de l'annonce des cours publics, des mentions comme celle-ci: "Le professeur dirigera les exercices pratiques des étudiants."
'A partir de ce jour, dans beaucoup de facultés, l'école était faite, et elle allait grandir, non pas partout de la même venue, mais partout d'une croissance régiihère, les fonctions s'amplifiant et s'élevant à. mesure que se développaient et se coordonnaient les organes: tout d'abord, pour les besoins les plus étendus et les plus faciles à satisfaire, la production des licenciés; puis bientot après, avec les licenciés d'élite, la préparation aux concours d'agrégation; enfin, pour l'élite de cette élite, la pratique des méthodes savantes, les travaux personnels, les recherches originales.'1
1 Liard, ii, 404-S.
'La préparation aux grades est utile,' said a circular issued in 1883, 'mais y borner son ambition serait méconnaître les devoirs les plus élevés de l'enseignement supérieur. Ses maîtres ont d'autres obligations envers l'État; une des premières est le progrès de la science et de la haute culture intellectuelle. Ils doivent y concourir par leurs travaux et par ceux de leurs élèves . . . Les réformes accomplies jusqu'ici étaient nécessaires; elles en ont rendu d'autres possibles. ... Tout en enseignant les connaissances nécessaires pour la licence et l'agrégation, les facultés doivent choisir des jeunes hommes d'avenir qu'elles prépareront et armeront de telle sorte qu'ils deviennent des maîtres et que, dès l'école, ils aient en vue des œuvres personnelles oÙ ils pourront par la suite donner leur mesure.
'Ainsi, dans tous les ordres de facultés, deux degrés d'études: à la base, et pour la majorité des élèves, des cultures professionnelles; au sommet, et pour une élite, des recherches savantes. La science devenait ainsi, au-dessus des besoins et des intérêts particuliers qui séparent, l'idée qui rassemble et unit. Avec elle, chaque faculté portait désormais en soi son unité; en elle, les facultés diverses, placées côte à côte dans la même ville et si longtemps isolées l'une de l'autre, pouvaient trouver enfin la raison d'une vie commune.'1
The completion of the process was not long delayed. The General Councils of the Faculties received larger powers, both financial and educational; they were incorporated as the individual Faculties had been eight years earlier, and they were reorganized so that they might represent better the common interests of the United Faculties. Thus in 1893 the fifteen groups of Faculties became practically Universities, and in July 1896 the name too was given them.2
1 Liard, ii, 407-8.
2 Monsieur Liard's book, previously quoted, was published in 1888 before the movement which he describes had reached its goal. Its later history is traced and its earlier history summarized in an article by him, entitled 'Les Universités Françaises', published in vol. ii of Special Reports on Educational Subjects issued by our Education Department in 1898, and separately in Special Reports on Education in France issued by the same Department in 1899.
It is not necessary to enlarge on the great results produced by these changes on higher education in France. Any one who compares the figures given in the annual issues of Minerva, or in other books of reference, can trace the rapid increase in the number of students in every department and every Faculty, and any one who knows the work produced in any branch of learning by men trained in the French Universities during the last thirty years can estimate the value of the training given there. In the two subjects with which I am personally concerned, English Literature and Modern History, the value and amount of the work published during that period is veiy great, and it is the direct result of a reorganization of higher education based on scientific lines and inspired by a definite purpose.
The purpose which these Universities are intended to fulfil is set forth with French clearness by the historian of the process that created them.
'Aujourd'hui on peut dire que les Universités françaises ont vraiment conscience de leur triple fonction, ou plutôt des trois degrés de leur fonction scientifique: être au premier degré des milieux de culture générale, au second des milieux de préparation professionnelle, et au sommet, pour l'élite des étudiants, des milieux des recherches
All these Universities have been built up by the development and union of Faculties, and each Faculty performs in its smaller sphere the same functions as the University and is trusted with power and freedom to fulfil them. Take the statement of the aims of a Faculty of Letters, as set forth by another distinguished French teacher, in an address to the students forming part of it.
'D'abord, une Faculté des Lettres est un lieu d'ap- page 27 prentissage pour les jeunes gens qui désirent contribuer à l'avancement des sciences historiques et philosophiques; on y apprend à faire, conformément aux bonnes méthodes, des travaux originaux, et pour cela (car il n'y a pas d'autre procédé pratique) on y fait réellement des travaux originaux;—en outre, une Faculté des Lettres est un lieu d'apprentissage pour les jeunes gens qui se destinent à la carrière de l'enseignement secondaire: on y apprend ce qu'il faut savoir pour enseigner, en même temps que l'art d'exposer et de communiquer ce que l'on sait;—enfin, une Faculté des Lettres n'a pas seulement le double caractère d'un atelier des recherches et d'une école normale professionnelle: c'est aussi, c'est surtout un milieu oÙ s'acquiert la haute culture intellectuelle, et un foyer de pensée.'1
It is unnecessary to enlarge on the difference between a Faculty which is a mere abstraction defined as 'a study or aggregate of studies 'and a Faculty which is a corporate body composed of students as well as teachers; or on the difference between the aims of a Faculty charged with the highest educational duties and one which is merely charged with educational details and restricted administrative functions. The contrast explains much. The origin of our Boards of Faculties and the nature of the powers and functions entrusted to them help to account for their neglect of the highest duty of any body of University teachers, viz. the advancement of knowledge and the training of young men to contribute towards it by the production of original work. The increase in their powers which took place in 1895 produced some improvement in this respect, though not enough.
1 Ch. V. Langlois, Allocution aux Étudiants en Sorbonne, November 8, 1897, in Questions d'Histoire et d'Enseignement, 1902, p. 158
In conclusion it is necessary to state the powers which the Faculties should possess, supposing the reorganization of University teaching to be seriously attempted.
I. Central Organization.
The Faculties are at present a number of isolated bodies representing different studies, with no central organization to represent them all, and to enable them to consult and co-operate in matters of common interest. In foreign Universities this co-operation and consultation is ensured by giving all Faculties representation on the higher body which deals with general University interests-In a German University the Faculties are represented in the Senate by their Deans, who are ex officio members of that body. In the University of Paris the council which governs it consists of the Deans of the six Faculties and, in addition, of two prof essors elected by each of them. In the rest of the French Universities the organization is the same.
1 For an account of the organization of the typical Faculty in an American University see President Eliot's University Administration, 1909, chap. III.
In financial matters the Common University Fund performs a function similar to that which the General Council or Committee of Faculties above suggested would perform in educational matters. It hears, through their representatives, the statements of different Faculties as to their pecuniary needs, and endeavours to balance and harmonize their demands, and considers them in the light of the general interest. Accordingly it has been proposed, on the one hand, to transfer the powers of the Delegates of the Common University Fund to the suggested General Council or Committee of the Faculties; and on the other hand, to entrust to the Delegates of the Common University Fund, after some change in their composition, the powers which it is suggested should be given to the General Council. The Chancellor has pointed out various objections to either course.1 It is, perhaps, best to keep educational and financial functions in the hands of different bodies. But apart from any question whether the functions of the Common University Fund should be enlarged or transferred, that body requires reorganization to make it a better informed and a more impartial judge of the questions it has to deal with at present. Reorganized it could fulfil all the functions of a financial Committee of the Boards of Faculties. But at present only about one-third of its members are elected by the Faculties, several studies are not represented upon it, and several others are over-represented.
1 Principles and Methods, p. I 37.
It is also proposed that the Board of Studies for the English Language and Literature, and that for Modern Languages and Literature, should both be made Boards of Faculty. But it may be questioned whether it would not be better to make them into one Board of Faculty, and let them manage their lecture lists and regulations by subdividing the Board for that purpose. The essential connexion between the subjects is shown by the fact that eight of the ten ex officio members of the English Board are also members of the Modern Languages Board. The real interests of both studies are the same, and the cooperation of their teachers would enable them to promote those interests better. The change suggested would facilitate the comparative study of modern languages and literatures which is the natural basis of both schools.
With the same object the various Committees for the management of special courses of study should, wherever page 32 possible, be brought into closer connexion with the Faculty or Faculties naturally representing the subjects those courses include. Political Economy and Political Science, for instance, might be associated with Modem History, Geography and Agriculture with Natural Science.
III. Powers of Individual Faculties.
(i) At present each Board of Faculty is restricted to a definite number of statutory duties, and its power to fulfil those duties adequately is further diminished by the nature of the University constitution. The first essential is that each Faculty should be given the right to discuss all the needs and interests of the studies it embraces, and to make what representations it thinks expedient thereon. At present it may give an opinion if it is asked to do so by Council: it should be empowered to take the initiative and offer one. A clause like that in the Leeds Charter is wanted to affirm this right.
'Each Faculty shall have the power of presenting recommendations and reports to the Senate upon all matters connected with the subjects of study embraced by the Faculty.'
(ii) A Faculty should be made responsible for all grades of instruction given in its subject. Provision for the training of advanced students and for the promotion of research is part of its proper business. Here it has become customary to assign these functions to a separate Committee appointed for the purpose, either by statute, like the Committee for Classical Archaeology, or by the Common University Fund, like the Committee for advanced Study in Mediaeval and Modern History. As soon as the Boards of Faculties have been reorganized the powers of these Committees should be transferred to the Boards.
(iii) Each Faculty should be given greater freedom to regulate the examinations, curriculum and teaching of the particular study it represents. At present the authority of a Board of Faculty is generally restricted by a statute page 33 which binds it to include certain ancillary subjects in the examination as necessary or optional. Its power over the curriculum is frequently limited to defining periods, fixing special subjects, and prescribing books. It is not at liberty to vary the method of examination in order to adopt the method it thinks best. It has no control over the teaching save the power to disallow lectures in certain cases, or to recommend alterations.
For changes in the curriculum or examination of the study under its charge, a Faculty usually has to obtain the leave of several other bodies, viz. Council, Congregation, and finally Convocation. Council is a body on which the Faculties are only accidentally represented, and it often happens that some particular Faculty has no representative on Council when questions affecting its interests come before that body. Nevertheless it is undesirable to diminish the authority of Council to supervise and control the studies of the University. But it is desirable that in practice it should attach greater weight than it now does to the opinion of experts, as formulated by the Boards of Faculty representing particular studies. Council would attach more weight to the opinions of individual Faculties if they were endorsed by some intermediate body on which all Faculties were represented; and, if such a body existed, a Faculty which did not happen to be represented on Council would feel more confidence that its interests had been adequately considered when its recommendations were rejected. The chief obstacle to the development of the autonomy of the Faculties is Congregation. Faculties are represented in that body in proportion to the number of teachers they possess, and the influence of each particular Faculty depends on its voting strength. At present the Literae Humaniores Board has more representatives in Congregation than all the rest put together, and consequently no legislation introduced at the desire of a particular Faculty can be passed without the leave of one division page 34 of the Arts Faculty. The remedy for this is to give the various Faculties by statute larger power to control the studies they represent. The growth of a habit of leaving each Faculty to determine its own regulations would be facilitated by the establishment of the General Board or Committee of Faculties suggested above.
(iv) Scholarships and Prizes. In modern Universities in general the Faculty determines the conditions on which the prizes and other pecuniary rewards attached to the particular study it represents shall be awarded, and awards the prizes. The desirability of this is recognized here in the case of recent foundations. In the case of older foundations it is not so recognized, but there is usually a clause permitting the University to vary the conditions within certain limits. It is desirable that the University should avail itself of this clause to give the Faculties a larger voice in the management of the endowments in question, and the opportunity of considering from time to time how they may be employed to better advantage. In any re-arrangement of the Scholarship system, as suggested by the Chancellor,1 a certain number of senior scholarships should be assigned to each subject to encourage post-graduate work, and should either be awarded directly by the Faculty concerned with that subject, or under conditions approved by that body.
(v) Appointment of teachers.
A Faculty should have a voice in the appointment of all teachers giving public instruction in the subject under its chaise. Otherwise its responsibility for the efficiency of the teaching given in the subject cannot be a reality.
1 Principles and Methods, pp. 91-2.
1 Paulsen, The German Universities, p. 83.
1 The terms 'lecture' and 'lecturer' are meant here to include forms of public instruction such as classes or practical courses.
The two proposals stated would only affect future appointments. The problem how to secure co-operation at present between existing intercollegiate lecturers and University teachers, and how to organize the public teaching of the University most efficiently would still remain unsolved. The only way to do it is to empower the Boards of Faculty (on which both classes of teachers are represented) to determine what lectures the needs of the particular study require and what persons should be asked to give them. It is suggested that when an intercollegiate lecturer is permanently employed by the Faculty to lecture in this way he should be paid an annual salary by the University, and given the title of University Lecturer; and that when he is temporarily employed to deliver a single course of lectures he should receive payment from the University for them. As vacancies occurred, and according to merit, temporary lecturers should be promoted to the higher class and given the higher title.
1 Statutes, 1908, p. 92.
The remuneration should be a real payment for the services rendered, not a nominal sum. The creation of University lectureships worth forty or fifty pounds a year on the Cambridge plan will not serve the purpose. At present the Common University Fund has not at its disposal sufficient money to defray the cost of organizing teaching upon University lines. All it can do is to provide money for starting new studies, and to supplement or assist the teaching given in older studies by occasional grants. The obvious source from which to provide the salaries of the proposed University lecturers is fees paid by students. In other Universities students pay fees to the University for the instruction they receive; here, except in a few cases, they only pay fees to it for degrees or examinations. But the University has not relinquished the right to charge fees. They are charged by the University for the instruction given in Science and in many new or special subjects. The University has given the power to charge fees to eight or nine Committees or Boards. 'The Committee shall have power to require such fees to be paid by students for attendance at lectures and instruction as it may deem expedient' is the phrase usually employed in the Statutes. A similar power to charge fees should be given to the Boards of Faculties, or to the Common University Fund as representing them. The amount necessary would vary in different studies, and should be fixed by the Common University Fund after report from the Board of the Faculty concerned. The sum realized should be paid into the University Chest, and distributed by the Common University Fund acting on the recommendations of the Boards of Faculty.
In practice it would probably be expedient not charge a separate sum for each lecture, but to commute these fees for a fixed payment of so much per term, or page 39 per year, from each student taking the instruction provided by a particular Board of Faculty. The payment of a capitation fee of this kind would not increase the cost of education to the undergraduates: it would in practice come from the annual tuition fee which they pay to their Colleges. This is what happens at present in the case of Science, Modern Languages, English, and some minor subjects.1 To generalize this system is the only way to provide for the payment of University lecturers without touching the endowments of the Colleges.
It is not suggested here that this system of University lecturers should be introduced per saltum and without regard to existing interests. In new subjects, where there are only a very few intercollegiate lecturers, it might be introduced at once. In older subjects, where there are many intercollegiate lecturers, all that should be done at first is, on the advice of the Board of Faculty concerned, to appoint a limited number of the best of them University lecturers, and to procure enough money to pay them by the method pointed out. The number of such University lecturers should then from time to time and by degrees be increased till all the necessary public teaching in the subjects referred to has thus been provided. By proceeding in this cautious fashion the University could meet and solve as they arose the minor practical difficulties attendant on the change—difficulties which naturally loom very large in the minds of those whose interests might be affected by it.
1 The sum needed would, of course, be much less in the case of other subjects than it is in the case of Science. In the case of English the Committee appointed by the English Board calculates that the cost of the lectures and language classes necessary (in addition to those provided by the University) can be defrayed at present for £6 per student per annum. But this represents a minimum, and does not include any provision for the cost of seminar-libraries and other equipment necessary for the teaching of language and literature on scientific lines.
IV. The Faculty Franchise.
The right to vote for the elective members of a Board of Faculty is determined by regulations passed by the University in 1885, which can be altered at will. At present there are two classes of electors (1) teachers certified by the Vice-Chancellor as authorized by the University to give instruction. (2) Teachers certified by Heads of Colleges as authorized by their Colleges to give instruction.1 By this provision the Colleges have been allowed to usurp one of the chief functions of the University. Colleges have a right to choose who they please to instruct their own students within their own walls. But they are not entitled to give a man the right publicly to instruct members of other Colleges. Only the University is entitled to give that right.2 Once it gave the right by conferring the degree of M.A. Now it should give the right by conferring the privilege of voting for the election of members of a Board of Faculty, and thus making a man a member of a Faculty. Each Board of Faculty should examine the qualifications of persons proposed as public teachers, and certify its approval to the Vice-Chancellor. There is no reason why it should not in a similar way examine the qualifications of assistants employed by professors to lecture for them, and approve or disapprove. The present is a favourable opportunity for the University to resume one of its essential rights. But in order to facilitate the resumption there should be a proviso saving the rights of existing public teachers or lecturers.
V. Composition of the Boards of Faculty.
1 Statutes, 1908, p. 123.
2 ' When I first came to Oxford no college tutor would have lectured publicly to any man outside his own college: It would have been considered an infringement of the professorial privilege.' Max Müller in Minutes of Evidence, Oxford University Commission, 1878, p. 7.
VI. Relations of the Faculties to Undergraduates.
All undergraduates studying for an Honour School or taking any Diploma or Degree course of a similar standard, should be enrolled as students in some particular Faculty, and a proper register of their names and subjects should be kept by each Board. At present the University has no means of knowing the exact number of students engaged in a particular study, or the amount and nature of the teaching they need. The figures supplied are usually based on the numbers presenting themselves for examination at a particular time, and are inaccurate calculations.
It should be made clear that the students of a particular subject are members of the Faculty, representing it just as much as the teachers.page 42
I have offered, perhaps too freely and too fully, my personal views on the problem of the best way to organize University studies and to co-ordinate University and College teaching. My excuse is the definite invitation of Council published in the Gazette, and addressed to all members of Congregation. The question of improving our organization is one which particularly affects teachers responsible to the University, but it is also a question of national as well as local or personal interest. At present the richest University in the country does not perform its educational duty as efficiently as England expects it to do. The chief reason is the nature of its constitution. In reality the University is little more than a geographical expression. There is a weak central government, intermittently attempting to carry out an educational policy. What authority it possesses is parcelled out amongst a multitude of Boards and Committees, having neither adequate power nor adequate responsibility. Behind these simulacra are the real authorities: twenty independent bodies which appoint teachers, control students, and expend the money men pay for their instruction. As they ultimately control legislation too, all the powers of sovereignty are in their hands, and they can nullify the authority of the central government at will. We are in the condition of Germany after the Treaty of Westphalia or the Congress of Vienna, and what is needed is to convert this loose confederation into a federal state.
The remedy is in our own hands. We are limited by laws made for us by an external authority, but still free enough to reorganize ourselves if we have a definite purpose before us. The University cannot set its house in order till it is master in its own house. To reform anything we must strengthen the central authority at the expense of the minor authorities. Colleges must surrender part of that control over the public teaching and the fees paid by students which they now possess, and seek compensation for what they sacrifice by sharing page 43 in the increased strength and prosperity of the University. The two institutions the last Commission gave us, the Faculties and the Common University Fund, supply the needful basis for the work of reconstruction. By building up these institutions we shall be following the lines which the experience of other Universities, and the tendency of the last few years in this, prove to be the natural lines of development. The alternative to this course of action is not the continuance of the present system, but the reorganization of the University by an external authority; and a reorganization carried out by the Chancellor and Council is preferable, if it is sufficiently thorough.