Chapter 32: Valentine: The Last Phase
With the impact of the war subsiding, University officers faced challenges vital to the future welfare and progress of the institution. Faculties had to be reknit, plans had to be perfected to instruct a flood of military veterans, research contracts had to be negotiated with government and industries, state and federal legislation impinging on higher education had to be followed carefully, and collegiate departments of instruction which had historically confined themselves to undergraduates had to be readied for graduate work. As always, the art of higher learning was the art of the possible and the trick was to bring desirable and essential growth to pass, which invariably demanded sufficient financial resources.
The administrative personnel of the University underwent significant alterations, reaching a climax late in 1949 when President Valentine handed up his resignation. As planned, an office of coordinator of research was created (1945) to handle contracts between the University and government or industrial firms, to relieve executive officers of detail, and to present University needs to foundations and corporations. The second occupant of the office, LaRoy B. Thompson, trained in chemical engineering and for four years employed on the "Manhattan Project," came to Rochester in 1949 and progressed by successive stages up the administrative ladder, becoming vice-president and treasurer in 1959. To Ward L. Taylor was assigned the triple responsibility of coordinator of veterans' affairs, vocational counselor at the River Campus, and placement officer, which involved arranging student interviews with talent recruiters from business and industrial concerns. Since non-academic employees exceeded 2,000, doubling in a decade, the employment office with quarters at the Medical Center had to be expanded (1949).
More meaningful, however, was the establishment of a major new central administrative officer, a provost, who would assume some of the ever more complex functions of the president, act on behalf of the president in his absence, and form another personal link between the several segments of the University and metropolitan Rochester. To this responsibility was named Donald W. Gilbert, at the time dean of the Graduate School, who had years of experience at the University and valuable ties with business interests in the city. Taking office on February 1, 1948, he concentrated full-time on the provostship with the beginning of the next academic year. 1
Before that, the trustees granted Valentine a year's leave of absence to enable him to respond "to the equivalent of a draft to national service" as chief of the Economic Cooperation Administration--better known as the Marshall Plan--in the Netherlands; to help him meet immediate expenses, the University extended a sizeable loan. Top executive duties and lesser policy decisions affecting the entire institution were entrusted to Provost Gilbert, who would speak for the President in academic matters and public relations, and to Treasurer Raymond L. Thompson, who would have final authority "under the Trustees, in all other internal decisions." He was also appointed vice-president, though this office like that of provost was not formally recognized in the trustee by- laws until June 9, 1951.
Though Valentine announced that he hoped to return to Rochester for the 1949 Commencement, speculation ran rife that his University services had actually come to an end, one Rochester newspaper ascribing his departure to friction with influential trustees, to antipathy on the part of sports-minded alumni, and to presidential snobbishness. To dispel rumors of this nature, Valentine let it be known that they lacked foundation and in fact did return to the executive chair as announced. Surveying the record of the University during his absence, he suggested that perhaps he had not been much missed thanks to the competence and leadership capacities within the academic officialdom. 2
To all but a few trustees, the news that Valentine intended to relinquish the presidency in June of 1950 came like a proverbial bolt from the blue--the biggest surprise since the Japanese devastation at Pearl Harbor, someone was heard to say. The chairman of the trustee board spent several long evenings with Valentine trying in vain to ascertain exactly why he had decided to resign. In a letter of November 2, 1949, to the trustees, Valentine stressed the point that it was desirable that the University should begin its second century under fresh leadership, with fresh energy and enthusiasm. When he took office in 1935, he planned to stay only ten years, he wrote, but the coming of the Second World War obliged him to defer his resignation. While he had no positive plans for the future, he gravely doubted whether he wanted to devote the rest of his career to the academic profession. Describing his relations with all elements of the University family as close and cordial, he took pains to emphasize that no "hidden motives" underlay the momentous decision to withdraw.
Yielding with avowed reluctance to the resignation, to go into effect at the close of the academic year, the trustees praised Valentine as an "able administrator" and listed the principal achievements under his "dynamic leadership" as the Division of Honors Studies, reformation of the Graduate and University Schools, growth of research activities, the signal contribution of the University to the war effort, and new buildings and research equipment. A trustee committee set about immediately searching for a replacement. 3
Despite disclaimers of "hidden motives," it was widely believed that Valentine resolved to quit academic life when his aspiration to become head of an Ivy League institution had been frustrated. Speaking editorially, the official alumni publication sagely commented, "No man of dominant personality and effective leadership can hope to please all groups. Valentine is such a man, and it was not to be expected that all of his actions and decisions would be universally acclaimed. Rather than easy popularity, he sought only what he felt to be best for the University, and did not fear criticism in carrying out that aim." A trustee of the time remembered, "The alumni, the public, the faculty, even the trustees did not always agree with impulsive Alan Valentine." Yet, "when he resigned...the University had gained by his presence. He nationalized the University. This was his greatest contribution."
"The University has lost an able administrator, a renowned scholar, and an internationally-acclaimed leader," declared the Campus. Overwhelmed by letters of regret at his impending departure--some of them suggesting to him funeral eulogies--Valentine refrained from proffering any recommendation as to the next chief executive, though he thought Provost Gilbert "should be very much on the list." Experience in office, however, and associations with the trustees had given Valentine several positive convictions concerning the attributes of a competent university president. He should enter upon his task with the idea of quitting after ten years; he should be a person in good health, a man of integrity, experienced in the ways of administration, able to recognize high scholarship and good scholars, skilled in finance and public relations, and endowed with "a thick skin and a sense of humor (but not too good)..."
In view of their efficient handling of institutional affairs during Valentine's Netherlands mission, Thompson and Gilbert were requested to carry on the management of the University in the interval between the retirement of Valentine and the coming of his successor. 4
The board of trustees, in which normally a vacancy or two existed in a body of twenty-five, elected four new members in the post-war period all from metropolitan Rochester; the first of them was Charles S. Wilcox, a Rochester attorney and son of an alumnus. Although the board manifested distaste for a faculty representative or for reviving the tradition of alumni- elected trustees, it increased the alumni membership by choosing (1949) Cornelius R. Wright, 1909, veteran of the Rochester bar, and Joseph C. Wilson, 1931, a socially conscious young business manager of large vision. Wilson, who one day would become a key personality on the board and indeed its chairman, when asked whether he would accept a seat found himself "speechless," yet he responded affirmatively, because "to work for the University is a truly rich and fruitful chance, beyond all others, to be of some service."
Since she was the only woman on the board, Marion Fry urged that the representation of her sex should be enlarged, in preference to men of "sophomore mentality," a phrase Valentine seemingly had used in talking about the matter. The President replied tartly and in the negative, but in June, 1950, Norma Storey Spinning, 1918, was chosen, making graduates of the University half of the entire board. 5
Chairman M. Herbert Eisenhart met with Valentine almost every week on University affairs, and he felt strongly that the ways of the board required reform in the interest of enhanced effectiveness. As he recalled, the Executive Committee "was pretty much a perfunctory group and met very occasionally and did not serve as a very effective interim group between the meetings of the Board." It was his conviction, too, that "the very unorganized procedures" in the choosing of trustees cried out for radical improvement. As matters stood, "occasionally when there arose the necessity of the selection to fill a vacancy, an informal meeting would be called at the home" of a trustee, "and various names would be discussed and finally an agreement would be reached for a recommendation to the Board."
The President, also, had ideas on making the board (uniquely an American institution) a more serviceable instrument of University management. Meetings of committees, especially of the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee, which had ultimate responsibility for handling University funds, should be held more frequently, informal associations of trustees and professors ought to be better cultivated--at the Faculty Club, for example--and the board should be kept abreast of what was happening and what was desired by fuller and more frequent reports from the president. While in the Netherlands, Valentine expressed the hope that the trustees would plot more imaginative conduct of public relations, consider broadening the geographical and vocational make-up of the Board, and maintain constant communication with potential donors.
Out of these and related suggestions issued several noteworthy changes. In the future, it was voted, a prospective trustee would not be invited to membership until after he had been formally elected by the board, recommendation of candidates would be presented by a nominating committee. Eisenhart has written, "...one of the greatest contributions which took place" in the course of his chairmanship was the "formation of the Nominating Committee and the machinery set up for its continuity and effective selection" of trustees. "This has been in operation ever since" and made for "a well-rounded and effective Board membership," he added.
Successive revisions in the by-laws raised the Executive Committee to nine and then to eleven members and authorized it to "exercise all powers of the Board between [regular] meetings, except granting degrees, removal from office, election of trustees" or alterations in the by-laws. The role of other standing committees and of the president was formally defined, and it was prescribed that the board should convene three times a year: during Commencement weekend, in the autumn, and in the winter; special meetings might be summoned by the president or the board chairman. Finally, a trustee who had served twenty years might be accorded honorary status, without voting rights; the first person thus honored was Herbert S. Weet, 1899, a trustee since 1915. 6
Rising expenditures in virtually every title in the University budget, accompanied by steady erosion in the purchasing power of the dollar, accentuated financial problems. And, whereas tuition receipts had increased considerably by reason of the greatly enlarged postwar enrollment, the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 threatened to reduce the male student body (and returns on endowment) and thus income. Operating outlays reached $6.2 million in 1945-1946, an unprecedented peak; the annual payroll had risen by nearly half in a mere three years, and about eighty percent of what the University paid out was spent in Rochester. By 1950 total expenses had soared to nearly $13.5 million, of which more than $3 million represented sponsored research, which may be compared with under $200,000 designated for research ten years before.
President and treasurer, in their annual reports especially, reiterated that economies in operation must be applied wherever possible and that more funds must be secured to support current and future requirements; perennially worrisome was the financial aspect of attracting and keeping men of distinction in the several faculties. In 1947 Valentine told the trustees that the goal of $15 million in unrestricted new capital resources by 1955, of which he had earlier spoken, was unrealistic; $10 million more than that would be needed to enable the University to maintain its relative position among its educational peers. Increased University contributions to the well-being of Rochester, he pointed out, had not been matched by additions to the endowment portfolio from the community.
At the time of his resignation, Valentine regretted that relatively little had been accomplished toward the target of $15 million, and he recommended that other distinguished institutions of higher learning should be imitated by establishing an office of development with a well-paid director and staff, which would seek financial support and report to the trustees monthly on the results.
Funds for research projects sponsored by government (often dependent upon the moods and whims of the Congress), by industrial firms, and by educational foundations advanced, none the less, beyond all precedent, underwriting investigations at the Medical Center and in several departments of science on the River Campus; in 1947, as an example, University research workers held forty-five contracts, totaling in excess of $3 million. The trustees decided that the University would not normally engage in sponsored research of a classified nature unless the compulsions of national security dictated otherwise. It was understood, furthermore, that sponsors would not use the name of the U. of R. nor of any of its staff for promotional or advertising purposes without consent.
Under the will of Mrs. Charles H. Babcock of Rochester, the University obtained (1947) about $60,000 designated for the Memorial Art Gallery and the Eastman School of Music, together with her stately Berkeley Street residence which soon became the home of the President. Ernest L. Woodward, the "Jello King" of LeRoy, New York, bequeathed (1948) approximately $2 million, the income from which would be applied to medical investigations o r related purposes, and Bert J. Bixby gave by will (1951) over $225,000 to the endowment of the Medical Center. Gifts of money, some from graduates or friends, some from business houses or foundations, some small, some substantial, some given for specific projects or departments, fewer unrestricted, flowed into the University treasury. The will of T. Richard Long, 1920, provided (1951) $37,500 (ultimately $42,271) for a Michael L. Casey Memorial Scholarship Fund, Martin F. Tiernan, 1906, added to the loan fund for undergraduate men he had set up, and Joseph P. O'Hern, 1892, established a scholarship for a graduating Senior to travel and study in Europe. Harry M. Hooker, 1894, gave $50,000 for the chemistry department, and the wife of his brother, Elon Huntington Hooker, 1891, donated a larger sum to finance graduate fellowships. 7
The widow of Nathan W. Soble, a Rochester physician, gave funds for a research fellowship in diseases of the stomach and intestines, and the estate of Sol Heumann of Rochester financed three scholarships. Arrangements whereby the University relinquished (1948) the Eastman House, recounted later, freed the income on $2 million for educational uses, and mounting contributions by graduates in annual fund-raising efforts passed into the hard-pressed treasury.
Among Rochester firms, Pfaudler, Bausch and Lomb, and Eastman Kodak Company made grants for research, as did the duPont Company, Beaunit Mills, Mallenckrodt Chemical Works, Celanese Corporation, United States Rubber, Beech-Nut Packing, and the Dreyfus Foundation. Twice the George F. Baker Trust turned over $50,000 for undergraduate scholarships and the Rochester Rotary Club, paid the tuition fee for a year of a student corning from Western Europe; anonymous donors furnished funds annually for graduate fellowships in American history. Belatedly, the Rochester Community Chest in 1948 recognized the Out-Patient Department at the Medical Center as a public service and allocated a small appropriation to it. That year, for the first time ever, the Strong Hospital closed its books with a modest net balance! But thereafter plaguing deficits returned. Nearly $550,000 accrued (1948) to the Medical Center as its share of a Rochester Hospital Fund Campaign.
The University undertook the administration of a memorial gift in honor of the late Helen Stone Jones, a Rochester civic leader, income from which would finance an annual award to a citizen who had contributed significantly to community welfare. Interestingly enough, the men's class of 1948 took out an insurance policy which would yield the University $10,000 at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the graduation of the class.
In the meantime, the trustees approved what was called "a balanced investment policy," advocated by the University financial officers, at times placing nearly one half of all endowment in growth securities which promised to produce long-term gains. By June of 1951 the market value of investments slightly exceeded $75 million--about a twelve percent gain in five years--and the annual rate of return was just above four and one half percent. After no little backing and filling, the trustees voted an advance in tuition of $100 in February, 1947, and another $100 three years later, so that beginning in February, 1950, tuition reached $600 a year in the colleges, the Eastman School, and the Graduate School, with pro-rata fees for part-time learners. Medical School students paid $600 a year after September, 1947. 8
Not only was the teaching staff at the River Campus enlarged in the final phase of the Valentine administration, but remuneration was modestly increased, so that in 1951 salaries for instructors ranged from $2,700 to $4,250 and for senior professors from $5,000 to $14,600 (in one case). Compensation for instructors averaged out at $3,421 and for professors at $6,705; compared with similar institutions, the University stood well in the salary of instructors, but low so far as professors were concerned. As a fringe benefit, qualified children of faculty households attending one of the colleges received financial aid from the University and in 1948 the trustees standardized the policy. Special tuition awards granted up to one half of the tuition fee--and the same concession was accorded to non-academic employees who satisfied specifications on length of service.
It was prescribed by the trustees that compensation for summer session teaching should not exceed ten percent of one's average salary, and that full-time faculty should be at their posts from September 1 to July 1--a regulation never fully enforced. The odd title of Junior Professor was abolished in 1951, all teachers then holding that rank being classified as full professors. In memory of the late chief executive of the University School, the Earl B. Taylor Professorship in Education was established (1948). 9
Since productive scholars frequently found it difficult to get their writings published without financial help, a faculty committee urged that publication in the humanities disciplines should be subsidized by the University; the points were made that scientists were supplied with equipment, had a plenitude of journals in which to publish their findings, and seldom had to lay out money for travel as was often the case with teachers of literature and the social studies, for example. Recognizing the force of this logic, the administration expressed willingness to finance in part worthy manuscripts prepared by the more permanent members of the staff--and did so. Proposals for a university press to facilitate publication by the faculty fell on stony ground. 10
An interesting recommendation by Professor Noyes to create a university senate, comprising senior professors from all parts of the University, to deal with issues of broad academic policy, failed to win approval. 11
No cases involving faculty tenure arose, but the Rochester chapter of the American Association of University Professors, moribund for years, took a new lease on life in 1950, holding general discussions on the future of the University and on compensation to teachers. Faculty groups presented "Lady Windermere's Fan" (Valentine and his wife playing starring roles) and the satirical "Androcles and the Lion" to enthusiastic, "sell-out" audiences; even hard-boiled newspapermen waxed ecstatic in their praise. All-University faculty parties at Christmas were jolly gatherings with skits, singing, and a corpulent Santa Claus as standard features; and the Women's Club of the University, a flourishing organization, earned (1949) loud plaudits for a cookbook-- A Faculty for Cooking --containing over 400 favorite recipes by scores of faculty wives (and a couple of husbands).
Appointments to the several faculty ranks in the arts and sciences came thick and fast in the latter half of the 'forties, many of them to be sure only for short terms, but over twenty-five of the newcomers spent a major portion of their academic careers at Rochester. By the mid-century no fewer than twenty-nine women were on the teaching staff.
The long Rochester tradition in philosophy was impressively enhanced by the coming of Lewis W. Beck in 1949. A master teacher--the first recipient of the Edward P. Curtis Prize for excellence in undergraduate instruction--he was also an accomplished administrator, and a leading authority on Immanuel Kant. As well as membership on editorial boards, including that of the great Encyclopedia of Philosophy to which he contributed on German philosophy, Beck wrote Philosophic Inquiry (1952), Studies in the Philosophy of Kant (1965), and other works. Several notable long-term additions were made to the department of English in anticipation of work leading to the Ph.D. degree. Ruth M. Adams, a specialist in the Victorian novel, presided over the Honors Division; later she served as dean of Douglass College of Rutgers University and eventually was chosen president of Wellesley College. An expert in the seventeenth century, Joseph A. Frank received two Guggenheim Fellowships, and wrote The Levellers (1955) and The Beginnings of the English Newspaper (1961) among other things. Joining the staff with him in 1948 was Robert B. Hinman, especially concerned with Chaucer and with the seventeenth century, as is illustrated by his Abraham Cowley's World of Order (1960). Best known as a co-editor of The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William H. Gilman was likewise the author of Melville's Early Life and Redburn (1951). For eighteenth century literature Bernard N. Schilling was chosen, and among his books were Conservative England (1950), Dryden (1963), and The Comic Spirit (1965). In time he switched to comparative literature, and when the office of University Orator was created in 1954 he filled it with distinction. An actress of wide experience, Lisa Rauschenbusch (daughter of the distinguished theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, 1885) taught public speaking and dramatic interpretation and directed plays produced by undergraduates.
Instruction in poetry entered a new phase with the arrival in 1945 of Hyam Plutzik. Recipient of prizes for Aspects of Proteus (1949), Apples from Shinar (1959), and Horatio (1961), Plutzik also conducted a short-story workshop and delighted campus audiences with readings of poetry. 12
Foreign language teaching was carried forward by Virgil W. Topazio, who was devoted to the men of letters of the French Enlightenment, as is seen in D'Holbach's Moral Philosophy (1956) and Voltaire (1967); he was a visiting lecturer, too, at the University of Rennes, Rochester's sister city in France. Coming to the University with him in 1948 was William H. Clark, Jr., who taught scientific German particularly and whose primary research interest was German literature between 1750 and 1850, especially the works of Christoph M. Wieland.
Classicist Elmer G. Suhr made a name for himself with Venus de Milo (1958), The Ancient Mind and its Heritage (1959), and a novel The Magic Mirror (1965). The year of his arrival, 1946, also brought to Rochester Howard S. Merritt, whose investigations of Renaissance art in Florence flowered in Bachiacca and his Friends (1961) and he executed learned studies, too, in nineteenth century American painting. 13
To the history department in 1946 came John B. Christopher, who specialized in French and Middle Eastern history, writing Middle East (1961), a longer work on Lebanon (1966), and collaborating in extensively adopted textbooks on the history of civilization. Reference has previously been made to a second new historian, Richard C. Wade, class of 1943.
The department of government (later known as political science) acquired Glenn G. Wiltsey, in 1945 and William E. Diez the following year. A student of American constitutional law, Wiltsey, like Hinman, held for a year an exchange professorship at the English University of Hull, and he perpetuated a University tradition by serving on the City of Rochester Board of Education. Diez, whose sphere was international politics and more particularly African colonial policy and administration, investigated these problems on the spot. 14
Byron B. Williams, concerned with the role of education in the American social order, published articles on school administration and community relations and provided leadership in public schooling enterprises in metropolitan Rochester and its environs. Two years after his coming in 1946, Frances L. Horler entered the department of education and devoted herself to comparative education, undertaking first-hand studies in Soviet Russia and, sections of Africa. 15
Apart from technical articles, mathematician John A. F. Randolph, coming to Rochester in 1948, published Calculus (1952) and Calculus and Analytic Geometry (1961) and held a visiting professorship at the University of Beirut. His colleague, Norman G. Gunderson, adopted the teaching of mathematics as his principal area of research. A Fulbright lecturer in West Germany and longtime dean of the Graduate School, S.D. Shirley Spragg conducted researches in what was called engineering psychology, writing articles on animal and human learning, drug addiction, and related topics. A second psychologist, Emory L. Cowen, carried on experiments in personality dynamics and on adjustments to disability, especially blindness and deafness; in addition to research papers, he was co-editor of Emergent Approaches to Mental Health Problems (1967).
Among the outstanding newcomers in the science departments was Marshall D. Gates, Jr., who achieved a synthesis of morphine and published a long list of scientific articles on the chemistry of natural products and analgesics. Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Gates was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Arts and Science, which promotes basic science and acts on request as advisor to the federal government. And that high distinction was likewise conferred on Virgil C. Boekelheide soon after he left Rochester in 1960 following a fourteen-year tenure; involved in work on structural and synthetic organic chemistry, he also edited scientific chemical journals. Another member of the National Academy, Johannes F.K. Holtfreter, built up an enviable international reputation in experimental embryology; unusually equipped linguistically, he presented guest lectures at many foreign as well as American universities. Holtfreter, who came to Rochester in 1946, was joined four years later by William B. Muchmore who investigated the development of muscle in amphibians and the taxonomy of pseudo-scorpions; winner of a Fulbright scholarship, he was also an exchange professor at the University of Hull. In botany, Babette Brown Coleman, classified flowering plants and ferns, studied arctic plants, along with bryophytes in the Rochester area on which she wrote extensively. 16
A specialist in nuclear reactions and structure and in nuclear accelerator design, Harry W. Fulbright entered the physics department in 1950 and later received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research in Denmark. With experience in industrial engineering in China and the United States to his credit, Gouq-Jen Su, a chemical engineer, contributed to knowledge of thermodynamics and lectured at the university in Taiwan (Formosa). Another chemical engineer, Richard R. Kraybill, carried on research in fluid mechanics and extrusion of plastics; he worked, too, as consultant for several Rochester firms. A specialist in the optical properties of metals and in holography, M. Parker Givens, who joined the optics group in 1947, was the author of a large array of learned papers. 17
Many of the faculty appointments were made in the light of the individual's scholarly specialty and with a view to preparing for new doctoral programs. In any case, fresh personnel meant broader curricular offerings and faculty minutes are studded with approvals of courses in hitherto untouched or reintroduced branches of learning; besides, programs in naval science and nursing education (a revision) were adopted, and in 1951 a curriculum for training elementary school teachers was introduced.
Joy predominated when the Arts and Science faculty voted to cast aside the wartime accelerated three term schedule in favor of the traditional two semesters, beginning in September, 1946. The pre-war custom of three-hour examinations at the end of each semester was restored, and so was the comprehensive examination for Seniors in all arts disciplines and certain of the sciences, effective with the class of 1950. Seniors were granted a one week reading period as the prelude to three or in some cases four comprehensive examinations, each running three hours except for the oral interrogation by a teacher brought in from another institution.
Once more the college faculty engaged in thorough-going scrutiny of the curriculum. Certain teachers insisted persuasively that too much student freedom in the selection of courses existed and that more emphasis should be laid on liberalizing, as opposed to specialized, learning. As one result, existing courses that fitted into the pattern of general education were placed under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Educational Policy, and, secondly, requirements for distribution of studies among the several grand divisions of knowledge reverted closely to the regime prevailing before the curricular reform of 1938.
With the object of encouraging synthetic and analytic thinking and leveling arbitrary departmental fences, an undergraduate major in American Studies found (1949) a place in the college catalog. Initially, courses already offered in eight departments extending from the fine arts to history were used, with a comprehensive examination at the end, but subsequently two seminars were added to the program. On a lesser scale, a program of Russian studies was introduced, embracing history, social and economic institutions, and the nature and challenge of international Communism.
A proposal to switch from a six-day to a five-day week provoked tedious and time-consuming investigation. A five-day schedule was in fact drafted and the reform was strongly favored by the faculty, to go into operation in the autumn of 1950. On the other hand, the undergraduates after full debate in meetings and newspapers voted against the plan, the women in larger proportions than the men. The weightiest arguments that killed the project seem to have been that a shorter week would aggravate schedule congestion and involve a large increase in afternoon classes.
With the onset of the Korean War and a rise in the summons of men to military duty, the faculty adopted a resolution assuring students who entered the armed forces in the second half of any semester that they would receive academic credit for courses in which they then had grades of "C" or better. By another action, the department of biology, including botany and zoology, replaced (1950) the division of biological sciences. 18
An ambitious plan to expand the division of engineering by adding instruction in electrical engineering had a chequered career. Started in 1945, electrical engineering enrolled a large number of students, especially military veterans. J. Harrison Belknap, serving with the army in Germany, was chosen as professor of electrical engineering as well as chairman of the division of engineering and arrived in Rochester in the spring of 1946. It was soon evident--painfully so--that the costs of instruction and equipment in electrical engineering far outran advance calculations; the income from an endowment of around one million dollars, it was discovered, would be required. Unless interested Rochester industries were willing to underwrite the program, wisdom dictated that it should be discontinued; a good share of the deliberations on the subject were not put on paper, though it is clear that in some University circles it was felt, quite apart from the financial aspects, that a disproportionately high percentage of the men undergraduates enrolled in engineering.
Consequently, the University trustees voted to eliminate electrical engineering as of 1950, and, as for years past, to concentrate on training mechanical and chemical engineers. That decision, interpreted as a breach of faith, evoked a storm of resentment and unfavorable publicity, highly critical of the University in general and president Valentine particularly. To the protesting students Valentine seemed ''the typical army officer --issuing orders from the top--doing little to achieve the camaraderie and loyalty of his men;" they flatly doubted whether the financial angle was the basic cause for an arbitrary reversal of policy. Tempers cooled, however, when it was announced that arrangements would be made so that the students involved could complete their work at Rochester or be transferred, with administrative help, to other institutions. In high dudgeon, Belknap retired from the University stage. 19
Thanks to the momentum built up during the war, the Institute of Optics received a stream of requests for research projects from the national armed services and Rochester industries. So numerous in fact did the calls become that restrictions had to be imposed, lest the teaching staff have no time for pure research. Areas of research activity were broadened to include investigation of the fundamental properties of human vision, the coherence properties of light, and solid-state physics. The Bausch and Lomb and Eastman Kodak companies resumed the practice of granting subsidies to the Institute; a fresh proposal to revive the School of Optometry, however, struck no fire with the University authorities. 20
In the post-war period the University School and the Summer Session satisfied appetites for higher education to an unparalleled extent. Particularly, men released from the armed forces pushed the University School enrollment to 2,253 in 1946-1947, or nearly double the pre-war level, and to 2,713 three years later," approximately half of the students were veterans and about half of them registered for a full roster of collegiate studies. Business courses and pedagogy attracted the heaviest registration. Library, laboratories, and classrooms at Prince Street were taxed to capacity or beyond; in one case, students who neglected to arrive a few minutes before instruction commenced had to take seats on windowsills. In 1950-1951, however, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction; full-time students each semester averaged under 400 as against 640 the preceding year.
For admission to the University School no credentials other than a secondary school diploma were required, with the results that academic mortality ran high and students who transferred to the college frequently came off poorly. Directives were issued to University School instructors to hold standards of performance as nearly as possible to college levels, and a faculty committee on admissions was appointed to screen applicants for degree programs. The election of two University School students to Phi Beta Kappa (1948) delighted the administrative officers.
To satisfy student interests, University School courses were offered on such diversities as radio communication, housing management and maintenance, the theory of photographic processes, library science, corporation finance, and public health nursing. Instruction in the Russian language attracted few learners, and though open to college students, none signed up; in cooperation with the Syracuse University School of Law a "refresher" course for attorneys was given, and a cooperative undertaking with the Eastman Dental Dispensary brought (1950) twenty students to the School for work in pedagogy and psychology. A public lecture series acquainted interested Rochesterians with recent advances in several branches of science.
Because of the large number of full-time students, extracurricular activities were expanded (1947): a Students Association and Council, a bowling league, parties, and dances. A mimeographed biweekly newspaper of six to eight pages, The Campus Crier, carried information on School doings, essays, sketches of selected teachers and students, articles of special interest to veterans, and advertisements; in printed form in 1948, the paper claimed a circulation of 2,300. A student lounge was arranged in Catharine Strong. From its operations the University School accumulated a surplus, part of which was applied to endowing the Earl B. Taylor Chair in Education.
Before the war registration of 450 students in the Summer Session was considered satisfactory, but in 1947 enrollment swelled to triple that figure. Decline set in, however, when the wave of veterans receded, though in 1949 nearly 1,100 were in attendance. Experiments in an eight weeks supplement to the regular Summer Session and a twelve week curriculum for recent graduates of secondary schools were soon abandoned; the latter plan had been devised for youths who might be drafted because of the Korean War and would enable them to start on a college education before induction. A mimeographed, usually single sheet Summer Session publication, The Weekly Chanticleer ( Chanticleer in 1954), which had first appeared in 1938, revived after the war and kept students informed on social, musical, and lecture, opportunities.
At Rochester as at other major graduate schools, awareness of the institutional values implicit in first-rate graduate training steadily deepened: a contribution to national growth, self-realization, and a reputation as a distinguished center of the highest learning. Graduate offerings turned more diverse and complex and enrollment kept rising; whereas 445 "active" students were registered in 1945-1946, the total reached 669 (676) in 1949-1950, with somewhat more than a third candidates for research doctorates. Twenty-four Ph.Ds. were conferred in 1951--all in scientific disciplines or music--or ten more than four years earlier. Growth in graduate work was most pronounced in education and at the River Campus in physics and engineering; pressure for admission proved so intense in business administration and education that limits had to be placed on numbers.
As of 1950-1951 thirty departments of the University offered graduate work, and registrants came from over 238 colleges (about a quarter from the U. of R.) and fifteen foreign countries. Of the 668 candidates enrolled that year, 415 were in the master's category and 253 in the doctoral; 516 devoted themselves exclusively to study, while only 152 were classified as part-time. Three out of five were military veterans. By and large, the intellectual quality of the students was superior to their pre-war counterparts, though the glaring deficiency in foreign language preparation persisted. 21
A large proportion of the graduate students, including practically all of the aspirants to the doctorate, were beneficiaries of financial help in one form or another. More funds for graduate fellowships, subsidies for sponsored research projects, the demand for more assistants to share in teaching swollen undergraduate classes--all proved boons to graduate enrollment. So did the support given to war veterans under the G.I. Bill, often supplemented by the earnings of employed wives; some one wittily remarked that young men forged their way through graduate school "by the sweat of their fraus!"
Unending self-evaluation and careful scrutiny of offerings characterized the administration of the Graduate School. If it was decided that the teaching, personnel or the equipment of a department that had been authorized to offer work for the doctorate had fallen below minimum standards, the privilege of training doctoral candidates was promptly revoked. In 1948 a Committee on Graduate Studies supplanted its parent, the older University Council, as the policymaking body for graduate instruction. It was prescribed (1949) that at least one year of residence at Rochester was required for the doctorate and that the qualifying and final oral examinations (frequently little beyond a ritualistic performance) must be conducted at the University. After lengthy and somewhat impassioned debate, it was voted (1950) that the rule requiring facility in the French and German languages, should be maintained for doctoral candidates.
Dean Gilbert was keenly interested in organizing work for the Ph.D. in the social studies and the humanities, which, he appreciated, meant "nationally known professors, time for scholarly investigation," an appropriate roster of graduate level courses, and more fellowships. As a beginning, in 1947 a distinctive if not in fact a unique agenda for the doctorate in American history was initiated; stress was laid on preparation to teach undergraduates by requiring candidates to serve as discussion leaders in the introductory western civilization course and to give classroom lectures--both under the surveillance of senior professors; broader latitude, moreover, was permitted in dissertations than was usually the practice elsewhere. Annually, five fellows would be carefully picked and granted a stipend of $800 and tuition--enough for living on an austere scale. It was intended that the program for the Ph.D. in history should be a pilot project, to be duplicated in other arts departments when and if circumstances were propitious. 22
In the meantime, work for the Ph.D. had been approved in pharmacology and toxicology, biophysics, clinical psychology and optics and physics, but temporarily discontinued in psychiatry and botany. Master's study was authorized in applied physics, physical metallurgy, and chemical engineering on a part-time basis; candidates would come from Rochester industrial laboratories, and, in part, would use the research equipment available at their place of employment. Other additions to the list of subjects in which master's degrees might be earned were business administration, music education, dental science, industrial medicine, nursing education, and public health nursing.
An investigation undertaken at the close of the University's first hundred years disclosed that 2,423 master's degrees had been conferred since 1850 and 310 research doctorates, though another source reported 322 Ph.D's. to the end of 1949, all but seven in the preceding two decades. They were distributed this way: physical and biological sciences, 124 each; social studies, twenty-one; and arts and music, fifty-three. 23
As an educational service and to knit the University and the Rochester business community together more intimately, plans were perfected in 1948 for "management clinics," organized by a full-time director who was experienced in the ways of business. Defined as "a cooperative endeavor to strengthen a free society," the clinics were designed primarily to equip junior business executives with broader perspectives on current economic issues, to prepare them for larger managerial responsibilities, and to stimulate active interest in community problems and well-being; a few graduate students and secondary school teachers were welcomed to the sessions. Sponsoring Rochester firms and the Carnegie Corporation united with the University in financing the undertaking, which had the blessing and the counsel of a national Committee for Economic Development.
The management clinics met twice a month under the leadership of a competent authority on the particular theme being considered, and smaller groups gathered for discussions around luncheon tables. Subjects ranged from basic concepts of the American economy to Soviet methods of doing business; problems of economic stability, economic incentives, inflation, sales promotion, budgetary and operating controls, means of increasing productivity, and the like also came under review. Men from the managerial staffs of more than thirty Rochester companies took part in the clinics, and a general conference in 1949 on "The Area of Business Leadership," addressed by nationally respected experts, attracted an audience of more than 250. The clinics continued into 1956 and then abruptly terminated, apparently because it was felt their mission had been fulfilled.
Meanwhile, the University had undertaken an experiment to teach basic economics to the Rochester community at large through the medium of television. For example, a well-received series in 1953 called "Your Money" featured brief remarks by an economist, followed by his responses to questions telephoned to the studio. Additionally, a University economics workshop diffused knowledge of economics among secondary school teachers. 24
Educational, too, was the "Rochester International Conference" on high energy physics, organized in 1950, and bringing together many of the world's most esteemed experimental and theoretical physicists. Held annually at the University until 1957, the conference then moved to Western Europe and the Soviet Union, returning to Rochester for the tenth session in 1960. Thereafter, gatherings convened biennially, rotating between Western Europe, the U. S. S. R., and the United States. In 1950, also, the department of physics inaugurated a visiting lecturer-conference program, underwritten by seven--later eight--Rochester firms, which brought leading specialists to the campus. 25
Footnotes for Chapter 32
- Campus, LXXIII, February 13, 1948. RAR, XXVI (1948), no. 3, 14.
- Trustee Records, X, June 9, 1951. RAR, XXVI (1948), no. 5, 5. Rochester Sun, July 15, 1948. R D&C, October 20, 1948.
- M. Herbert Eisenhart to A.J. May, September 5, 1967. Rhees Library Archives. Alan Valentine to Eisenhart, November 2, 1949. Valentine Papers. Trustee Records, X, November 5, 1949. RAR, XI (1949), no. 1, 14. Ibid., no. 2, 7-8. Ibid., no. 5, 14. Albert D. Kaiser to Valentine, November 30, 1949. Valentine Papers
- RAR, XI (1950), no. 5, 4. Ernest A. Paviour, Brighton-Pittsford Post, May 13, 1965. Campus, LXXVII, November 11, 1949. Alan Valentine to Carl A. Lohmann, November 17, 1949. Valentine Papers. Questionnaire, April 5, 1946. Ibid. Trustee Records, X, June 10, 1950. For a succinct summary of the Valentine period, see, Donald W. Gilbert to John Dickson, June 24, 1952, Gilbert Papers. Rhees Library Archives.
- Trustee Records, IX, June 8, 1946. President's Report, 1946-1947. M. Herbert Eisenhart to A. J. May, September 5, 1967. Alan Valentine to Trustees, October 31, 1948. Valentine Papers. Joseph C. Wilson to Valentine, October 14, 1949. Ibid. Marion Fry to Valentine, February 7, 1950. Ibid. Valentine to Fry, February 10, 1950. Ibid.
- Trustee Records, X, November 4, 1950. Charter and By-Laws of the University of Rochester (1951), pp. 13-19.
- Alan Valentine to Horace F. Taylor, March 2, July 11, 1946. Valentine Papers.
- See, especially, Trustee Records, X, November 13, 1948, November 7, 1949, June 9, 1951. Hulbert W. Tripp to B. H. McCormach, March 23, 1948. Valentine Papers. President's Report, 1948-1949.
- Trustee Records, IX, June 14, 1947. J. Edward Hoffmeister to Raymond L. Thompson, February 1 1949. Valentine Papers.
- Donald W. Gilbert to John R. Russell, July 11, 1949. Valentine Papers. Dexter Perkins to Gilbert, February 18, 1950. Gilbert Papers.
- W. Albert Noyes, Jr., to Alan Valentine, May 13, 1948. Valentine Papers.
- New York Times, March 18, October 15, 1966 (Adams). R D&C, January 21, 1962; R T-U, May 5, 1966 (Frank). R D&C, October 9, 1966 (Gilman). R T-U, April 3, 1950 (Schilling). Campus, LXXVII, November 6, 1949 (Rauschenbusch). New York Times, January 10, 1962 (Plutzik).
- R D&C, January 20, 1956, July 22, 1960; R T-U, January 21, 1966 (Suhr). Baltimore Sun, February 14, 1965; R D&C, February 18, 1967 (Merritt).
- R T-U, January 29, 1 951, September 19, 1958, January 4, 1961 (Christopher). Tower Times, December 14, 1945 R T-U, May 10, 1967 (Wiltsey). R T-U, August 20, 1953 (Diez).
- University Record, VII, July, 1967 (Williams). R T-U, September 25, 1958; R D&C, January 5, 1961 (Horler).
- R D&C, September 11, 1956; R T-U, January 12, July 14, 1957 (Spragg). R D&C, August 7, 1964 (Cowen). R D&C, January 1, 1956; Scientific American, November 1966, 131-136; R T-U, August 8, 1967 (Gates). R D&C, August 8, 1949; R T-U, September 22, 1960 (Coleman).
- R T-U, April 25, 1956; R D&C, October 12, 1965 (Fulbright). Campus, LXXI X, October 26, 1951; R T-U, January 9, 1952; University Record, VI, June, 1966 (Su).
- Faculty Minutes, XVI, March 4, 1948, February 17, 1949, February 9, April 23, 1950. Ibid., (unnumbered), January 11, 1951.
- Robert P. Kennedy, Jr , 1949, "Electrical Engineering at the U. of R." The Rochester Indicator, XIV, December, 1946, 7. Alan Valentine to J. Harrison Belknap, February 17, 1946, January 14, 1948. Valentine Papers. Student Opinion to the Trustees, May 11, 1948, a passionate protest signed by twenty-nine men. Rhees Library Archives. R D&C, May 11, 13, 1948, R T-U, May 11, 13, 1948. W. Alfred Noyes, Jr., to Valentine, May 13, 1948. Valentine Papers. Executive Committee Minutes, XI, March 15, 1948. Trustee Records, IX, June 19, 1948. RAR, XXVI (1948), no. 5, 5.
- Alan Valentine to Elias J. Margaretten, 1933, September 3, 1946--June 11, 1947. Valentine Papers.
- Report of Dean of the Graduate School, April 17, 1951. de Kiewiet Papers. Rhees Library Archives.
- New York Times, March 27, 1949.
- University Council Minutes, October 30, December 13, 1945, November 21, December 6, 1946, May 25, October 28, 1947, June 7, 1950. Doctorate Production in U.S. Universities, 1920-1962 (Washington, 1963), p. 70.
- R T-U, September 1, 1948. Faculty Minutes, XVI, October 7, 1948. R D&C, June 2, 1949. Business Week, June 20, 1953, 76-83. Raymond N. Ball to Cornelis W. de Kiewiet, July 21, 1955. de Kiewiet Papers. William E. Dunkman to A. J. May, April 5, 1968. Rhees Library Archives.
- RAR, XXX (1968), no. 2, 10. Robert E. Marshak to Edward S. Farrow, et al., June 3, 1952. de Kiewiet Papers. University Record, VIII, no. 5, November, 1968.