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1919-1920 Special Report On Organization And Administration

(Submitted by the president to the Board on May 15, 1920)

Preliminary Statement

Since coming to the college the president has been observing the administrative organization at work, as closely as possible and from as many viewpoints as possible. Even this preliminary survey has brought some rather definite conclusions.

The chief job of the institution is educational. All activities other than educational are here merely because they are necessary to the attainment of the principal aim. They are justified only so far as they contribute to the real purpose; and they must always be kept in a secondary place. There is a natural tendency on the part of those in charge of some of these supplementary activities to magnify their importance beyond their proper limits. It may be quite desirable for a college to furnish to the public certain commodities or certain service of a non-educational character; but it is liable to result disastrously if a college permits this commercial phase of its activities to obscure or in any way dim its educational vision.

In the special report to the Board concerning the organization of curricula certain important principles were definitely stated. It is obvious that the organization must depend at every point upon the requirements of the courses of instruction which have been settled upon as demanded of this particular institution by the people of Virginia. The organizations of institutions differ according to the programs mapped out for those institutions. They are no more alike than those of industrial establishments are alike. The field of this institution is clearly defined, and it is unlike any other institution in Virginia. Moreover, our problems are more numerous and complicated than any other institution in our state.

General Problems Of Organization And Administration

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute is the largest and most far-reaching in its influence of the educational institutions maintained by Virginia. It has more varied interests and reaches into more different lines of activity than any other institution of the state. As a college for resident instruction it gives educational opportunities to a larger student-body than any other Virginia institution, public or private, except the state university, and in number of Virginia students in attendance there is little difference in the enrolment even in the latter case. Thru its extension service it reaches into farm houses all over the state and offers nonresident instruction thruout the year to thousands of boys and girls, men and women. It is the only Virginia institution conducting research work in agriculture.

Engaged in giving resident instruction to more than 750 students during the present college year, are more than 80 professors, instructors, and assistants. In the extension work there are about 175 men and women, white and colored, giving non-resident instruction. In the experiment station about 25 men are employed in scientific research. A large force of administrative officers and minor employes is attached to these three divisions.

The service departments maintained by the institution are much more numerous than at most institutions, and most of them are engaged in more extensive operations than similar departments elsewhere. The business department represented by the treasurer's office will, during the current year, handle about $1,050,000 in addition to the amounts now in hand for sinking funds and students' loan funds. This amount is 63% larger than the funds handled at any other institution of Virginia, while the accounting is far more complicated than at any other institution because of the great number of different funds involved. The college dining-hall serves meals regularly to more people than any college dining-hall in the state, and does as much business of this sort as a large hotel or restaurant. The steam laundry serves not only the students, but also the families of officials and employes of the college, and the people of the town, there being no other laundry in the community. The college supplies the entire town as well as the college property with electric current, for lighting, cooking, and power purposes, with water for all purposes, and with sewerage facilities. Besides repairing the college property and making minor additions thereto the college repair force has been doing work for the community—all the electric work, much of the plumbing, some of the carpentry, and some of the painting. The college shops, in addition to offering instruction in mechanic arts, have turned out a large amount of work for the college and for outsiders, the revenue being from $9,000 to $11,000 per year from this source. The college farm, dairy, and creamery, by reason of commercial service produce a combined revenue of about $54,000 a year. The college conducts a tailoring establishment furnishing uniform suits and overcoats to the entire cadet corps of nearly 600 at a cost of something over $26,000 a year. The coal mine furnishes a considerable amount of coal not only for the institution's heating plants but also for the homes of the college community. Few colleges in America maintain so many utilities for the benefit of themselves and the surrounding communities. This institution is indeed in itself almost a self-sustaining organization, and moreover supplies a town of nine hundred inhabitants with various services which it cannot obtain elsewhere. Surely, there is nothing approaching this in magnitude or in complexity among our other Virginia institutions.

General Comment On Our Present Organization

Reference has been made in what follows to the findings contained in a survey report made to the Governor in March, 1919, by Dr. William R Allen, Director of the Institute for Public Service, New York City. By reason of his remarkably alert and analytical mind, his broad knowledge of men and affairs, and his keen questioning ability, Dr. Allen discovered in a few days symptoms, causes, and possible cures, which would be found by most people only after months and even years of observation. Moreover, coming from outside of the state, uninfluenced by personnel or tradition, his findings must carry weight. Your present president took up his work in September. It was December before he had the privilege of reading Dr. Allen's report, the Governor very kindly supplying a copy. By that time your president had already come to some rather definite conclusions as to the organization. However, not having carried his studies far enough, he sought to put Dr. Allen's findings out of his mind for three or four additional months of independent observation and analysis. The time having arrived for a report to the Board of Visitors concerning these matters, his findings, quite independently reached after something over six months observation and experience as your chief executive, are found to coincide at almost every point with the report made by Dr. Allen. It is hoped, therefore, that the investigation on the inside is sufficiently strengthened by the investigation from the outside, to lead to action.

In beginning the discussion it may be interesting to quote from the survey report:

"A thorough-going reorganization is needed from top to bottom, including the condition of the halls, of the business offices, the roadways, etc. . . . that from top to bottom the present administrative procedure be challenged and be required to prove that it is up-to-date and is studying both itself and educational movements, particularly agricultural education."

After studying the situation as carefully as possible, your president is convinced that the present organization is illogical, inefficient, and uneconomical.

It is illogical because we have officials responsible to other officials who are in turn responsible to the former, at least nominally (e. g., the dean of the general faculty as head of the modern language division is a part of the academic faculty and is responsible to the dean of the academic faculty, while as dean of the general faculty the dean of the academic faculty must report to him; and the dean of the graduate department presents a similar case); and because we have officials with high-sounding titles who have little real authority (e. g., the superintendent of grounds and buildings); and because we have people doing the same kind of work responsible to different heads (e. g., the workmen on the repair force, and also the firemen at the heating plants).

It is inefficient because there is too wide a dispersion of authority, all centering in the president it is true, but permitting a large number of more or less minor officials to work independently of every authority but the president. This produces confusion as to where responsibility should be placed. It causes conflict of authority and ill-feeling between the various sub-divisions. Moreover, it brings a mass of comparatively unimportant details to the president for action, sapping his attention, time, and vitality to such a degree that he is seriously handicapped in the performance of his important executive duties, while at the same time he is unable to give these details the proper supervision. Some officials are practically without any real authority whatever; and others are charged with authority out of proportion to the office which they occupy (e. g., the manager of plumbing and heating; the manager of electric lights, etc.).

It is uneconomical because the great number of divisions working independently, often encompassed with traditions and jealousies as to each other, require a dispersion of funds in other than economical ways; and proper combination and coordination would effect economy of administration. On the one hand, the time of a highly paid official is consumed to a large extent in work which an employe at a considerably lower salary might accomplish. On the other hand, certain officials are being paid for occupying positions which are merely nominal and to which no real authority, no real responsibility, and no real work are attached (e. g., the deans of the graduate, academic, and applied science departments). That the amounts paid are very small does not change the principle involved.

In President Wilson's annual message to the Congress in 1914, he called attention to waste in the Federal Government, and assigned as some of the reasons for it:

(1) The complex business organization that has resulted from piece-meal growth.

(2) Obsolete business methods where parts need reassembling.

(3) Failure to make it perfectly obvious what money is spent for and in what way.

(4) Spending money for what need not have been undertaken at all, or might have been postponed, or might have been better conceived and carried out.

The first two, and perhaps the other two also, might with just as much propriety be applied to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Instead of definitely placing the responsibility upon a comparatively few carefully selected and capable officials, it appears that the policy has been followed of creating a new office every time a new exigency has arisen. This has resulted in dividing and subdividing duties and responsibilities to such an extent that it is quite difficult to know where one man's duties stop and another's begin. This naturally means that every man jealously guards his autonomy, not always resulting in maximum economy and efficiency, since this can be obtained only by cooperation. It also means that there is abundant opportunity, by no means neglected, to shift responsibility to the other fellow when anything goes wrong. Any system which encourages the seeking of credit for those things which are creditable and at the same time encourages the passing on of responsibility for those things which happen not to be creditable, is an inefficient and perhaps even vicious system. It is submitted that this is liable to be so under the present organization, from the treasurer and deans down thru the minor officials.

One of the most striking utterances of public men recently is that of Secretary Lane upon leaving the President's cabinet. He takes occasion to call attention to the conglomeration of government existing at Washington. To quote a few of his apt expressions and apply them to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute:

"It is rich in brains and in character. It is honest beyond any commercial standard. It wishes to do everything that will promote the public good. . . . Ability is not lacking, but it is pressed to the point of paralysis because of an infinitude of details, and an unwillingness on the part of the great body of public servants to take responsibility."

In the common parlance of the day, "passing the buck" is not the way to make oneself an indispensable part of an organization; but it is the way to wear out the official at the top and keep him from doing the things he ought to do. In any large organization where responsibility is not definitely placed there is apt to develop a situation such as that of which Mr. Lane speaks when he says:

"Everyone seems to be afraid of everyone; the self-protective sense is developed abnormally, the creative sense atrophies. Trust, confidence, enthusiasm—these simple virtues of all great businesses are the ones most lacking in government organization.

Now, this does not mean that this is the situation here, but it does mean that such a system as we have here is liable to develop such a situation sooner or later.

The President

The presidency of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute is a position of considerable authority and much responsibility. The occupant is responsible only to the Board of Visitors, and every other individual connected with the institution is responsible more or less directly to him. During the current year he is charged with the duty of administering a budget of no less than one million dollars, a sum greater than that of any other institution, department, or agency of the state, with the exception of the auditor of public accounts, the state board of education, and the state highway commission. Directly and indirectly under his direction are about 650 employes of the state. In addition to this he exercises an influence, thru membership on their controlling boards and commissions, upon the State Department of Agriculture and Immigration, including the State Dairy and Food Division and the State Bureau of Markets, upon the State Geological Survey, including the State Bureau of Forestry, upon the State Crop Pest Commission, the State Livestock Sanitary Board, the Virginia Truck Experiment Station, and the Eastern Shore Experiment Station, these last four being quite closely affiliated with the college.

Naturally those activities which center at Blacksburg draw most of the time and attention of the president. The organization of these activities according to persons employed therein, is shown in the accompanying Chart No. 1. The complexity of the present organization is apparent, as is also the centralization of authority and responsibility, from a multitude of sources, in the presidency. At present no less than sixty-five important members of the staffs of the instructional and service departments, thirty-seven of whom have forces under them ranging from one or two employes to more than 250, are directly responsible to the president, and must continually come to him for the settlement of matters of every magnitude from the most trivial detail to the most important problem. Some forty or more others occasionally bring matters directly to the presidential desk.

    Organizational Chart

It may readily be seen that wide versatility is demanded of an executive who must one minute set the price for laundering a collar and the next minute pass judgment on the employment of a technical expert for an important instructional or research post. Indeed to fulfill properly the position of president of this college under the present form of organization, one must needs have the qualifications not only for conducting a large college offering a great variety of instruction, resident and non-resident, with 'research work, but also for managing an immense boarding establishment, a steam laundry, a hospital, a clothing factory, an electric plant, a water system, a sewerage system, a plumbing shop, a steam-fitting shop, an electric shop, a carpentry shop, a paint shop, a forge, foundry, and machine shop, a farm, a dairy herd, a creamery, and a coal mine. Details concerning all of these are being continually brought direct to the president, and the time and energy of the highest paid employe of the institution is consumed indiscriminately in approving orders for a few bushels of coal, in hearing complaints about a torn shirt in the laundry, in ordering a kitchen sink repaired, and so on ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

Of course a president may make his office whatever he pleases. He may take things easy, do as little as possible, and leave to others the burden of the work. But he cannot escape the responsibility which rests upon him as the head of the institution, and if he is a conscientious official this responsibility bears heavily upon him. The fact is, under present conditions of organization, the conscientious president attempts here the impossible.

As to the president, Dr. Allen recommended:

"That the next president should be given all the responsibility of president, educational supervisor and leader."

It is respectfully submitted that a president should not do what an official paid less may do just as well; that his strength and time should be reserved for the- more important administrative problems; that as a rule only a comparatively few officials should need to come directly to him; that such matters as must be passed upon by him should come to him stated clearly and concisely in writing as far as possible; and that such matters and information coming to him should be presented by one of the few officials reporting directly to him, with recommendations so prepared as to conserve his energy for consideration, discussion, and final judgment. This is altogether impossible under the present organization, as may be readily seen from the organization chart.

As an important instance of the need for centering authority in a few officials, attention is called to the fact that whenever a budget is to be made up the president must receive, work over, and compile into one budget, no less than forty-four different budgets made by as many heads of departments, divisions, and sub-divisions. It is difficult to control expenditures under such a system. All budget requests should be submitted to the president by a few officials who have compiled beforehand the requirements of the various sub-divisions in their respective groups, and who would then be held continuously responsible for the expenditures according to the amounts appropriated to their groups.

The president of a college should have a clear vision of its possibilities, and a practical plan for the realization of these possibilities as rapidly as conditions justify. The institution's conception of its duty and its opportunity is largely determined by the president's point of view. For this reason it seems that. the first work a president should do after assuming office is to study carefully what the state needs to have done by the institution, and then what the institution needs in order to do this for the state. Having clearly defined the job to be done, next in order is to determine what kind of workers, how many of each kind, and what form of organization is needed to do the job properly. Along with this must go a determination as to what equipment and what materials are necessary in the work to be done. After these questions are settled, then, and not until then, is the administration in position to intelligently state the cost of doing the job. As to the president himself it may be said that, after he has made a study of the situation, if he fails to develop enthusiasm about the possibilities of the institution and its real place in the commonwealth, and if he cannot come to definite conclusions as to what the college ought to be, he had better give up the work he has undertaken.

There are at least three ways out of these presidential difficulties of organization. First, the president may once and for all delegate full authority to all of the numerous heads of departments, and sub-divisions, who now report directly to him. In this case the least that the president could afford to retain would be authority over the appointment of the heads themselves, and the apportionment at the beginning of the fiscal year of the amounts that these heads are authorized to expend for their various needs. Second, the president may frankly abrogate the duties, functions, and authority of his office, in as large a measure as he may desire, leaving the same to some other official in his organization. In this case the president becomes in reality little more than a figure-head, and the organization is in no sense improved. Third, a reorganization may be effected whereby the various departments and subdivisions are grouped under the direction and authority of a few officials, who alone are directly responsible to the president. The channel of approach to the president for the minor officials and employes would thus be thru these few heads in practically all cases, with the right of direct appeal to the president, and also being free to consult the president as might seem necessary.

As to which of the three suggested solutions is best, let it be said that, the first would undoubtedly intensify the evils of the present organization, and lead to more waste, confusion, and conflict; the second no president with an adequate conception of the dignity and importance of his office, on the one hand, and with a sense of self-respect and a consciousness of duty, on the other hand, could accept; the third offers the only hopeful solution.

The Deans

The present organization of this college includes an unusual number of deans, as follows: (1) dean of the general faculty; (2) dean of the graduate department; (3) dean of the academic department; (4) dean of the department of applied science; (5) dean of the department of agriculture; and (6) dean of the engineering department. This college is among the smaller of the forty-eight land-grant colleges (including many large universities), yet only four of the entire forty-eight have as many deans as we have. Nineteen of them have only three deans, and eleven have only four deans.

From this it is clearly seen that the favorite organization includes three deans, namely, (1) dean of the college (or of "applied science," etc., including all departments not included under the other two deans); (2) dean of agriculture; and (3) dean of engineering. In cases where there is a fourth dean he is usually dean of some scientific division which has been strongly developed.

At this institution the six deans are responsible to the president. All of them are professors in full standing and are therefore attached to the faculty groups in a dual capacity. The dean of the general faculty, however, has done no teaching for some time. All of the deans except the dean of the general faculty and the dean of the graduate department are chairmen of definite faculty groups, the faculty being divided into such groups for administrative purposes. It thus happens that the dean of the general faculty, being attached to the academic group, is nominally responsible thru the dean of the academic department as well as directly to the president; and the dean of the graduate department, being attached to the applied science group, is nominally responsible thru the dean of the department of applied science as well as directly to the president, while all of these deans, even the one to whom the dean of the general faculty is nominally responsible, are in turn supposed to be responsible to the dean of the general faculty. This is an anomalous situation.

It appears that very few duties have been imposed upon the deans with the exception of the dean of the general faculty, to whom a large number of administrative duties have been apparently assigned. Each of the six deans was asked to submit a written statement of what he considered his duties to be. It is perhaps well to list the duties of the dean of the general faculty as stated by himself. This statement was made in December, and during the three months of the present administration preceding this time the dean had been relieved of a number of his former duties, the same being taken over by the president. The dean's conception of his duties may be stated thus: (1) acts as president in the absence of the president; (2) acts as chairman of the board of deans; (3) is chairman of the matriculation committee; (4) is ex-officio member of the committee on degrees and the committee on advanced standing; (5) passes on certificates and entrance requirements; (6) has general supervision and control of matters relating to the courses of instruction; (7) does advertising and corresponding for prospective students; (8) handles absences from classes, requests for leaves, excuses, and certain delinquencies on the part of students, notifying parents when necessary; (9) handles the applications for aid from the loan funds; and (10) appoints students to minor positions, such as waiters at the mess. It may be remarked that the first takes very little time under present conditions, as the president infrequently is absent, and when he is few matters of any consequence need attention before his return; the second, third, and fourth are merely committee assignments and little more than other members of the faculty have without pay or time allowance; the fifth, seventh, and at least a part of the sixth and the eighth, are duties naturally falling to a registrar's office; the ninth and tenth, at least partially belong to a business manager's office. There is certainly not enough of strictly dean's work in this list to justify the employment of an official on full time together with the full time of a dean's secretary.

The dean of the graduate department, in substance, outlines his duties thus: (1) to centralize responsibility for research; (2) to set an example by doing research himself; (3) to seek graduates of other colleges to come here for graduate work; (4) to attend to the matriculation of graduate students; (5) to answer correspondence relative to research work or other affairs of the department. So far as the first is concerned, the chief opportunities and calls upon this institution for research fall within the agricultural phase of our work, a division now in charge of a trained director; as to the third, it can hardly be said that graduates of other institutions have come here in any considerable numbers; and as to the fourth and fifth, it can hardly be claimed that any appreciable time is required for them, since there are at present only eighteen graduate students. Concerning the general question of research, it is doubtful if this institution is wealthy enough, or that it possesses the library and laboratory facilities, outside of the agricultural field, to enable it to do very considerable work of this type. It must be remembered that research does not necessarily discover or produce, consequently it is necessary to compare its products and costs with other products and costs at the institution. With the present resources there seems little justification for attempting much research in other than agricultural fields, and the little that can be done may probably be readily administered by the heads of the departments.

The other four deans state practically the same few duties: (1) calling and presiding at meetings of their several groups; (2) serving as a channel of communication between the several groups and executive offices; (3) meeting with the board of deans to consider the term reports of students; (4) assisting with the matriculation at the opening of the fall term; (5) assisting students in straightening out and arranging their courses; (6) conferring with the president and dean of the general faculty relative to departmental matters. Besides the deans the number of professors in the groups are seven, eight, twelve, fifteen, and it is not necessary to assemble the groups frequently; as for the relation to the president, attention should be called to the fact that each division of instruction preserves its autonomy rather jealously and the individual professors deal far more often with the president than thru their deans; the third and fourth items in the list are mere committee assignments and take little time; the fifth is usually considered the chief function of a dean, but it appears to amount to comparatively little here; and the sixth has been practised slightly, in the case of three deans no such conference having been held this year.

The dean of the agricultural department appears to have a wider view of his office than the other deans. In addition to the foregoing he mentions these duties: (1) correlating the teaching work of the several instructional divisions; (2) supervising the agricultural buildings and grounds; (3) administering special short courses; (4) publicity work for agricultural interests; (5) coordination of teaching and experimental staffs; (6) placement of students in positions after graduation. It is recognized that all of these are real duties of a dean, and considerably more significant than the other list. Moreover, this dean explains at some length his views of the organization and administration of all the agricultural interests of the college, manifesting a broad knowledge of the whole situation, and showing what appears to be a rather adequate conception of what a deanship should be.

One of the supposedly most valuable functions of a dean is to act as adviser to the students registered in his division, particularly as to choice of work, arrangement of program of classes, etc. As a matter of fact, however, here there is very little of this done by the divisional deans. It is true that these deans assist the registrar at the opening of the session, but their work is quite mechanical, consisting mostly in copying a definitely fixed list of subjects on a card, which could probably be done by any clerk. The deans exercise but slight authority, the students know this and go almost altogether to the dean of the general faculty, who alone is considered as having real power to decide matters connected with their courses. The number of times a dean is actually consulted for advice by students is quite small. Students were asked to report the professors they had consulted and the number of times. Consultations with the six deans totalled only 1/6 of all. Moreover, even if the deans did function as real advisers to the students in their several groups, one would have only ten students, one only eighteen, and another only seventy-three, while the other two divisional deans would have the great majority of the students, 391 in one case and 216 in the other.

Apparently the deans themselves are not responsible for the slight significance and nominal functions attaching at present to the office of dean. The deans, it seems, were never told definitely what they were to do, but were given to understand that they had little or no authority, certainly none except that delegated to them from time to time by the president. As a result the deans themselves had to interpret as well as they could the functions of their offices, and in the desire to avoid any appearance of assuming for themselves an undue amount of authority they neglected many of the duties which ordinarily fall to deans, and their offices took on a nominal character. The fault seems to lie with the organization itself rather than with the deans. Let it be also said that the deanships are at present filled by men who thru many years of faithful service have shown that they are devoted to the welfare of the institution, and who are undoubtedly men of much ability and of enviable reputation as teachers of their. respective specialties.

As to the proportion of their time devoted to the deanship, the deans' reports range from 5% to 25%; but this includes much time given to matters which would ordinarily be handled by faculty committees, and if allowance is made for this it seems conservative to say that the duties of being dean have taken not more than 10% of anyone's time, with the exception of the dean of the general faculty, who gives his entire day to dean's duties, and the dean of agriculture, who gives about 25% of his time to administrative duties.

Of the six deans only one, namely, the dean of the general faculty, is entrusted with anything like the duties and responsibilities that naturally pertain to a deanship, and apparently he has been performing a large part of the work which ordinarily falls to the head of an institution. He has been entrusted with the appointing power, even to the extent of appointing members of the faculty, and he has authorized expenditures of various sorts, besides having authority in a large number of less important matters. Naturally most of the officials of the institution have looked upon him as the superior to whom they were responsible. His position seems to have amounted to that of a vice-president, or possibly that of a general manager. There is no intention to censure the dean for this, on the other hand he should doubtless be commended for being willing to bear so much larger a share of the executive duties than usually falls to the lot of a dean. There is no doubt a place for a dean of the college, in the usually accepted sense, but not for an official who shall carry duties which are generally recognized as presidential in character, particularly such serious responsibilities as making faculty appointments and deciding matters of financial importance.

It appears that in the appointment of deans importance has been attached to seniority of faculty rank. Without questioning the success of this method in the past, it may be said that the success of such a method is dependent upon the interpretation of the office as to duties. If these duties be limited largely to acting as chairman of a faculty group, perhaps the senior member of the group is the best man for the position. If, on the other hand, the deanship is made a real executive position, requiring considerable time and effort in the handling of numerous matters of routine office work connected with the arrangement of student programs, the advising of students, the keeping in touch with the progress of students in their work, the corresponding with prospective students, the placement of graduates, and the various other matters necessary in the development and maintenance of an important instructional division or professional school, then it is usually not the senior member of the faculty group who is best qualified to fill the position. Moreover, it is doubtful whether it is economical to permit a professor who, by reason of long experience and high attainment in his specialty, has reached a position of eminence as an instructor and is in position to give invaluable instruction to many young men, to use his time and strength upon administrative details which might just as satisfactorily be handled by a younger man, whose instructional skill is not so highly developed. Many institutions have recognized this fact and are following the custom of appointing their younger faculty members, frequently only assistant or associate professors, to such positions. A real administrative deanship of a professional school of considerable proportions needs the strength and endurance of a comparatively young man much more than it needs the experience and seasoned judgment of the older professor. The tactful young dean may easily have the benefit of the counsel of the older members of the faculty.

If deanships are looked upon as positions of honor rather than as positions involving hard, continuous, detailed work, then it is natural that older members of faculty groups should expect seniority to count in appointment to such offices. But the day has passed when anything but the latter view may be properly taken; for in the modern, growing, serving school, every administrative officer, president, dean, or other official, must be as diligent about his institution's business as the managers of our large commercial and industrial enterprises. Unless a man is willing to devote the most continuous, strenuous effort, without thought of time limitations, to his office, he should confine his attention to fields other than administrative. The dean of a faculty may be the most respected man in the group, of course, but it is very certain that he must be the hardest worker and the greatest server of the group.

Again, deanships should be filled by comparatively young and active men, who are looking forward into the future and who see visions for the development of the institution. Deans should be less concerned with precedents than with discovering ways and means of cutting red tape and shortening administrative procedure for getting results, less interested in the rights and powers of their offices and in the multiplication of unimportant and doubtfully valuable routine than with simplification of processes and economy of performance. Moreover, in an institution which is concerned almost entirely with the training of agriculturists and engineers, the deans should have professional and vocational leanings rather than academic and classical sympathies.

Deans should occupy a very confidential and intimate relationship with the president, and should constitute, with certain other coordinate officials, the president's official cabinet. For this reason these offices should be conterminous with that of the president, and the latter should be relieved of embarrassment at the beginning of his administration by the automatic vacation of these offices, except for continuance at the pleasure of the president until permanent appointments can be made. This would enable the chief executive to surround himself with confidential officers of his own choosing, without the onus of removing anyone from office, and would be fairer to the president in that it would not make him responsible for the acts of executive assistants whose appointment he could not control.

Such criticisms as are here made or implied, are directed at the organization and the offices concerned rather than at those who happen to hold these offices at present. It is the system rather than the men which concerns us. Since it would be better to have a few real deanships than a large number of nominal ones, we should seek for this work the most suitable men regardless of previous rank or seniority in the faculty. A real deanship is an executive position. It requires much time, patience, endurance, diplomacy, firmness, loyalty, together with a knowledge of young men and a sincere sympathy for them without softness. Unless a man possesses the necessary qualities and inclinations, and is willing to give the best that is in him to the numerous duties of the office, he should not accept it. If he is not in full accord with the policies of the administration, and cannot be sincerely loyal to it, he should in nowise undertake the duties of a dean.

It is desirable that a dean do as much teaching as he can carry along with his administrative duties. Until an organization plan is more definitely formulated it is impossible to say just how much this can be, and in any event it probably will not be the same for all deans. If the deans are teachers as well as executive officers the cost of three real deanships would be no more, and probably less, than the present cost of six nominal deanships.

While it is not the purpose here to make recommendations as to personnel, it may be remarked that it is thought probable that some of the present deans would not be willing to undertake the duties of a real executive deanship as outlined. If the salaries of professors are increased to an amount in excess of the total salary now being received by deans, it is believed that several of the deans will be entirely willing to step out of the deanship and devote their entire time to teaching, for which all of them are certainly well qualified. The reorganization of the deanships could probably be effected with comparatively little objection on the part of the present deans.

The Registrar

The registrar outlines his duties as follows: ( 1) being the center of information for the college; (2) keeping records of students' registration and class standing; (3) increasing the attendance of students; (4) furnishing former students their collegiate records; (5) reporting to parents as to students' records; (6) notifying students of deficiencies in classwork; (7) keeping "in touch with the morale and spirit of the corps" and offering "suggestions that may improve this or help the students"; (8) handling all unexplained absences from classes; (9) carrying on statistical and research work; (10) registering and matriculating students at entrance; (11) helping edit the catalog; (12) assisting in managing the Farmers' Institute in the summer; (13) handling requisitions; (14) operating employment bureau; (15) operating purchasing department; (16) acting as secretary of the faculty (i. e., keeping the minutes of meetings).

Comparing the duties included in this list with those of the list submitted by the dean of the general faculty, it is seen that aside from certain more or less perfunctory duties and the distribution of the loan funds and minor student appointments, the dean's duties are included in the registrar's list. Duplication of function is certainly very apparent in the case of items 3, 6, 7, and 8, and items 1, 10, and 11 more properly belong to a dean's office. Items 13 and 15 belong to the office of business manager, and it is very doubtful if they can he properly performed in a registrar's office, indeed the registrar himself recognizes the truth of this and recommends that these functions be transferred to the treasurer's office (the nearest thing we have to a business manager). The registrar also recommends that item 14 be transferred to the secretary of the alumni association; but this is of doubtful expediency inasmuch as the placement of graduates from highly specialized departments of training is best handled by officials who are familiar with the peculiar technical requirements of the special fields. This had better be given over to the deans of the schools of agriculture and engineering, who can command the immediate and essential advice of heads of the several departments of instruction. The 16th function is usually performed by a member of the faculty without extra remuneration, and requires so little time as to be negligible. The duty referred to in item 12 can be adequately performed by any active young man familiar with the college premises. Item 9 is quite desirable, but is not absolutely essential, except for the simpler phases of compilation which may be adequately cared for by any competent clerk. This leaves, then, only items 2, 4, and 5, with some parts of 9 and 10, as strictly speaking registrar's work, and this work is hardly of a nature demanding much exercise of judgment, being rather a keeping of records.

The registrar states that "this office was placed under the direct supervision of the dean's office by order of the president when I entered office in the spring of 1915." Now, since this is true, and since the duties of the registrar as conceived by himself are so largely identical with the duties of the dean of the general faculty as conceived by himself, such duties as are not identical being of so simple a routine nature as may be performed with satisfaction by clerks, the question arises as to whether it would not be in the interest of economy and efficiency to throw the burden of the registrar's office into the dean's office, except so far as the placement of students and the purchasing features are concerned, these two functions going to the deans of the technical faculties and the business manager, respectively. Such a rearrangement would make the dean the authority in matters requiring the exercise of judgment, just as from the registrar's statement the dean appears to be now, and would leave to clerks in the dean's office the routine office work of keeping matriculation records, sending out reports, etc.

The Faculty

The faculty of the institution, in addition to the president, at present consists of forty members of full professorial rank, two of whom are ex-officio, eight associate professors, and three (military) assistant professors. There are also seven instructors, one assistant, eleven post-graduate student-assistants, and eleven undergraduate student-assistants. With the exception of the two ex-officio professors this membership is engaged in resident instruction, altho a considerable number give only a portion of their time to it, being employed also in the experiment station or extension division. All of the research staff of the experiment station and at least the subject-matter specialists of the extension division might with propriety be included in the faculty of the institution.

The faculty of resident instruction is organized in four forms: (1) as a general faculty including all who are above the rank of "instructor," the president (or dean of the general faculty) acting as chairman of this group; (2) as departments—academic, applied science, agriculture, and engineering—the respective deans acting as chairmen of these groups; (3) as subject-matter divisions within the departments, the senior professor acting as chairman of these groups; and (4) as standing committees, one of the members of each committee acting as chairman of the group. There is nothing particularly unusual about this form of organization. Questions arise chiefly as to the number of sub-divisions under (2) and (3).

As to (1) it may be said that during the present year general faculty meetings have been reduced to a minimum, and an effort has been made to take up for consideration on such occasions only such matters as are of general faculty interest and importance. The chief work of this year has been a study of the curricula of the college, based on a large amount of mimeographed material prepared by the president. The central question has been, what does Virginia need that this college should teach, and how can we best meet that need?

As to (4) it may be said that the committees have worked well, some of them having done an unusual amount of good work. At the beginning of the year the committee organization was almost completely revised, the effort being made to eliminate all committees with merely nominal functions and to form new committees for attention to certain matters of importance.

More extended discussion is due (2) and (3). The nomenclature needs revision. The term "departments" is too indefinite. It would he better to designate the groups under (2) as "schools" or "colleges" of agriculture, of engineering, etc. Regardless of terms, however, there is doubt as to the advisability of having so many groups of this sort. In addition to the four named above there is a so-called "graduate department," for which there appears to be little need since the graduate students are necessarily directly under the control of the heads of the subject-matter divisions in which they are working. If the revised curricula are put into operation there will be no need for an "academic department" as such, because the only curriculum which they have administered—the "general science course"—will be abandoned. Likewise, there will be little need of a "department of applied science," as at present constituted, because the biological sciences naturally fall in the agricultural group and the physical sciences naturally fall in the engineering group or may be grouped together with the academic divisions as a general service or contributory educational group.

It appears advisable to group together the agricultural faculty on the one hand and the engineering faculty on the other. In addition to these there is another group, which as suggested above is engaged in giving instruction in certain subjects that are needed by both the agricultural and engineering courses. Sometimes this group is called "service departments," sometimes it goes under the head of "applied sciences," and sometimes its parts are merely known as "college departments," the professional agricultural and engineering work being segregated into professional "schools" or "colleges." Since departments outside of the professional agricultural and engineering departments are maintained only because of the latter, there appears to be no real end served by grouping them separately unless it be for the administration of the applied science course, with options, as recommended in the revised curricula. It appears desirable to cut down the number of groups presided over by deans, three being probably sufficient to meet all real needs.

The third form of organization mentioned is commonly found. If the grouping under (2) is called by some other name than "departments," then the latter term may be used to advantage here, and that designation seems logical and clear. There are at present twenty-six such departments; and there is reason to believe that some advantage might accrue from a reduction in the present number by consolidation. At any rate the tendency to create new departments by division of old ones should be kept in check. The reason for this statement may not be obvious. It is because the process of creating a new department is usually after this fashion, namely: (1) a junior professor secures his separation from some department to work independently; (2) he immediately demands his own equipment; (3) he soon asks for a student-assistant; (4) a little later he insists upon having more assistance than the student-assistant can give; (5) addition of assistants and creation of work brings a need for further space and equipment; and so on. Now this in itself may not seem so undesirable if the work done is really worth while; but it must be remembered that this often means unnecessary duplication of equipment and working force. Since the institution is still far from being able to supply all the equipment needed, it certainly cannot afford to duplicate; and since there are not enough instructors in some departments to do the work properly, only an economical organization can be afforded. There is sometimes a tendency in the process outlined to push off the more burdensome but most important lower class work on an assistant, in order that the professor may reserve himself for a few upperclassmen, whom of course it is more satisfactory and pleasant to teach. Again, there is danger of too much independence of action being assumed by the new "head of department," and the already overburdened organization is made worse. There is often a tendency on the part of a department to jealously guard its autonomy; but from the standpoint of the good of the institution as a whole it is more important to secure cooperation and unity of effort on the part of all departments, to maintain the integrity of the whole rather than of independent parts, to foster "team work" rather than individualistic effort. To this end it seems advisable to strengthen and add significance to the larger divisions, or "schools," rather than to emphasize the smaller departmental divisions.

Of the present larger divisions of the institution the agricultural is far the largest, because of the experiment station and the extension division. The total budget of the resident instruction in agriculture, the experiment station, and the extension division, combined, is about 53% of the budget for the entire institution. The extension division alone has a budget amounting to about 31% of the entire budget of the institution. From every standpoint of economy and efficiency it is very desirable that there be the closest cooperation and agreement among the three phases of the agricultural work. At present the resident work is under a dean and the experiment station and extension division each has its own director. While the three officials have fortunately worked harmoniously and cooperatively during the present year, and all three are capable and well-suited to their respective positions, yet it might be in the interest of a more compact and better organization, greater economy and efficiency, and a protection against troubles which have existed here previous to this year, if these three divisions were closely correlated under a "Dean of Agriculture," who should be also "director" of one of the three divisions, each of the divisions having a "director" to supervise its work. This form of organization seems to be the one recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Education. In any event, so far as subject-matter is concerned, it should be considered as forming one department. Further, it makes very little if any difference whether the head of the department falls properly under the college, the station, or the extension division, since all are parts of the same institution. The same principle should apply to the engineering work, in case our experimental work develops into an "Engineering Experiment Station" and an "Engineering Extension Division" develops, as seems probable. It might contribute to the desired end if the members of the experiment station staff who are not now listed as members of the faculty, and the subject-matter specialists of the extension staff, were definitely recognized with suitable faculty ranks. All of these should be looked upon as belonging to the general staff of "The State Agricultural College," a division of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, functioning in three directions—resident instruction, nonresident instruction, and research.

Comparison with the faculties of similar institutions leads to the opinion that this college has in its resident faculty an unusually large proportion of members of full professorial grade. Attention may be directed to the following facts in this connection: (1) This institution has three full professors of mechanic arts, or shopwork—Alabama, Iowa, and Pennsylvania have none; Georgia, Illinois, New York, and Ohio have only one; and this is true of many others, indeed no institution of our class has as many as we have. The effect of this is to make the cost of instruction in shopwork here badly out of proportion to the cost of similar work elsewhere, and to other instructional work at this institution. It is true that our shops do a large amount of commercial work, but the three full professors are carried on the instructional staff payroll, consequently this fact does not alter the situation. (2) This college has three professors of foreign languages. This is out of proportion to the relative importance of the subject in an institution of this type. It is true that one of these three professors does no teaching, but he holds rank as head of this department. When the new curricula go into effect there will be need for only one professor in this department, if indeed there will be enough work for the full time of one. The present cost of maintaining this department is out of proportion to the value of the work. Concerning this department, Dr. W. H. Allen recommended:

"That either the teaching of foreign languages be abandoned or that a special committee be asked to make a report on the size of the class, number of persons, and any evidence to justify requiring three years, two years, or one year of a foreign language."

(3) This college has two full professors of biology. Under the revised curricula there will not he enough work for two professors. (4) The other departments which have more than one full professor seem to be justified on a basis of relative requirements; but there are other cases of disproportion. For example, the English department and the department of graphics have fully as much work as the department of mechanic arts and the department of foreign languages, yet the former have only one full professor each as against three in each of the others. The department of physics has as much work as anyone of several departments with more than one professor, yet it has had only one, and not even an associate professor. The department of civil engineering has only one full professor, with considerably more work than several departments with more than one.

As regards associate professors, all of the present faculty members of this rank appear to be justified with the exception of the associate professor of veterinary science. In this department there seems to be no good reason why all of the work required by the college cannot be easily done by one full professor, at any rate with an assistant. Since there is no possibility of developing here within the next two years a fully equipped college of veterinary medicine, there is considerable doubt as to the expediency of providing an associate professor in this department.

In most of the agricultural departments the professors and other members of the instructional staff have duties in connection with the experiment station or the extension division, consequently they are paid only partly from funds for instructional purposes. In general it may be said that the agricultural faculty needs additions, and it is hoped that certain other specialists may be provided soon. It is desirable that an equitable balance be maintained between the instructional staff and the experiment station and extension division staffs, and the inauguration of the new curricula will doubtless call for some revision of the present arrangement.

Our faculty as a whole is certainly not too large, indeed it is not large enough in certain departments; but it is unbalanced as to ranks of the members and their distribution among departments. The larger the percentage of full professors, necessarily the lower the salary schedule must. be.

In this connection attention is called to the data from fifteen institutions selected at random from our group of colleges. It is reasonable to believe that the results shown in the table will hold fairly well for all institutions in our group.

Proportion of All Faculty Members Holding Full Professorial Rank in Fifteen Representative Agricultural and Engineering Institutions

CollegeStudentsTotal Profs.Full Profs.% of Full to All
Iowa State Coll.3,0001524630
Texas A. & M. Coll.1,200882731
Univ. of Wisconsin7,00031610333
Michigan Agr. Coll.900853136
Pennsylvania State Coll.3,0001605937
Purdue Univ. (Ind.)2,5001114339
Oregon Agr. Coll.3,0001075841
Clemson Coll. (S. C.)804562443
Univ. of Missouri3,5001708349
Mass. Agr. Coll.400623150
New Hampshire Coll.600371951
Wash. State Coll.1,800864552
Univ. of Ill.6,00027314452
Ga. Sch. of Tech.1,200321753
West Va. Univ.1,300824656
VA. POLY. INST.750493878

Comparison with Two Virginia Universities as to Proportion of All Members of Faculty Holding Full Professorial Rank

InstitutionStudentsTotal Profs.Full Profs.% of Full to All
Wash. & Lee Univ600271659%
Univ. of Va1,500714665%
VA. POLY. INST750493878%

In the recently adopted schedule of salaries and regulations governing the same, attention was directed to the fact that it is not desirable to promote members from one grade to another on a basis of seniority, but that such promotions should be made strictly in accordance with the needs in the several departments. It should be distinctly understood that instructional departments are to be allowed only such men of each rank as are necessary to do the work properly. Unless this custom is adhered to there will continue to be some departments under-manned and others overmanned with teachers of the various ranks. Financial limitations will cause this. It is respectfully urged that the basis suggested is the only one for which economy and efficiency can be claimed, and it is also the only one which will ensure against partiality and undue personal influence in such matters.

Members of our faculty, particularly those who have served here a long period of years, are very poorly paid. The technically trained men in our faculty, practically without exception, could get much more than they receive here if they went into industrial work. Our salaries for heads of departments are not in proper proportion to the salaries paid by other institutions for similar responsibility. This college is fortunate in being able to hold men of the high type which most of our faculty represent. Their loyalty to the institution is remarkable. This should not, however, be imposed upon, and every effort should be made to properly compensate the valuable members of our instructional staff. Instead of continually adding members to the faculty, it appears to be better policy to more adequately. care for those we already have. Too rapid expansion means spreading on very thinly the limited funds at our disposal; and naturally every member added to the faculty means just that much less to be distributed to the members. Members of the faculty themselves fail to realize this sometimes when they insist upon additions to the staff for their departments.

The preparation of members of our faculty for the work they are engaged to do, in most cases, compares quite favorably with professors to be found in other institutions. If any criticism is justified it perhaps would be that there has been a tendency to "in-breeding" here, that is, taking our own graduates and putting them directly into the work of instruction. There is danger that this may result in a restricted perspective. Breadth of view, openmindedness, and knowledge of other men's viewpoints is essential to progress; arid the professor who goes back into the college from which he has graduated, with little or no experience elsewhere, is apt to see things from a very narrow angle and to perpetuate past teachings and practises. While it is a good idea to bring as many as possible of our men back to us as professors, still it should be our general policy to engage only those graduates who have gone to some other institution of recognized standing for further preparation, and preferably obtained a degree there, or in lieu of this those who have had a reasonable period of practical experience in the particular specialty which they are called upon to teach. Moreover, it seems advisable to encourage our faculty members to keep in touch with the outside educational and professional world as constantly as possible, thru travel, attendance at other institutions, etc. Unless this is done the natural tendency is to fall into a self-satisfied state, which is apt to lead to inertia, and at any rate must retard the growth and development of the institution.

The Commandant

The commandant has not only charge of the military department as an instructional division of the college, but is also in general charge of the discipline of the students, other than academic, and not including students excused from military duties. He also has general oversight of the social life of the student-body, including public exercises, ceremonies, etc. He is assisted by three assistant commandants. They have done much to promote the interests of the institution and to maintain a high morale among the students. The cost to the college is very small.

The military department offers some ground for criticism in that it demands a large amount of the student's time, much more than is usually required at institutions of this type. In the new curricula it is believed a partial remedy has been found for this. The detail of students for guard duty is doubtless too large, taking too many students from their classwork. The efficacy of the watch kept as compared to the cost is somewhat doubtful.

While the military department is a useful and desirable adjunct of the college, it must be looked upon as merely one of a number of departments. It must always be clearly understood that this is a technical college with a military feature; and that while we fully appreciate its value and desire to encourage it in every reasonable way, we cannot be put in the position of giving it the right of way on all occasions, or an undue proportion of the student's time. When questions arise involving the military and the non-military instruction for which the college is primarily conducted, the latter must always be considered as being first in importance. The War Department now conducts at this college three units of the R. O. T. C. In this is included a large amount of theoretical work in addition to the practical drills, etc. There is some complaint on the part of the students that the theoretical work requires too much of their time, and there appears to be real cause for such complaint. Moreover, since the military department requires nine different classes in theory to be placed in the daily schedule for three days in the week, difficult time.complications have arisen. In the new curricula it is planned to make the theoretical work of the third and fourth years elective with certain academic subjects, the student choosing one or the other but not required to take both; and this arrangement will probably relieve the situation somewhat.

The Surgeon

The college has no more faithful official than the surgeon, who has served well for many years. He is badly overworked in periods of greatest sickness among the students, which is usually from January 1 to April 1. It appears to be absolutely essential to the future welfare of the institution that the whole system of caring for the health of the students be improved. Recommendations to this end have been made in a former report. If these recommendations are followed and a full-time health officer employed, all students should be subjected to physical examinations at least once a year, and in doubtful cases as many times as may seem advisable.


At present athletics at the college are managed largely by the students themselves, with the advice of certain members of the faculty, chosen by the students. It would be very desirable, if a suitable health officer is secured, to place all athletics under his general control so far as the students engaging in the various exercises and their health interests are concerned, and to give him full authority to act as he deems best for the protection of the physical condition of the individual student and the institution at large. Further study of the athletic system should be made with a view to increasing its usefulness to the college.

The Library

The library is under the direction of a librarian, two assistants, and a student-assistant. One of these assistants is in charge of the branch library in the agricultural building. The library is well managed and the staff is certainly not overpaid. The work is not heavy but it is confining. A faculty committee acts as an advisory board to the library and decides certain matters, such as the allotment of funds for accessions to the various departments of the college, the preparation of the library's budget, etc. A fee of $2.00 per annum is charged each student for the use of the library. It would be desirable to eliminate this fee as early as possible. Outsiders are allowed the same library privileges, but pay no fee. So long as the student fee is continued it seems proper to charge the public at least as much as the students pay.

In commenting upon the library at this college, Dr. Allen recommended:

"That the practical library course be stressed in the catalog; and that the library be open evenings and the habit be encouraged of evening study at the library, which will now show a very light percentage of use."

Little or nothing has been done in giving library instruction to the students. In the revised curricula it is hoped to include some valuable practical instruction. The library is at present opened in the evening, altho it is true that the attendance is not large. If the lighting system were improved it is believed a much larger number of students would use the library for study during the evening hours. The use of the library is probably larger than is generally thought, and it is believed that the monthly reports of the librarian would surprise most of us. However, it must be admitted that there is room for improvement, and it is hoped that the use of the library will be considerably increased when the new curricula go into effect, since these give the students more free time and require more time to be put upon preparation and reading outside of class.

It probably would help the library if it were placed definitely under the general oversight of some official of the college more closely connected to the instructional phases than the librarian.

The Publicity Editor

The college is now paying a small amount to the editor of the extension division for services in securing the necessary newspaper publicity, He is quite capable in preparing the proper sort of news articles, and by reason of his personal acquaintance and popularity with the newspaper interests of the state he is quite successful in securing for the college a large amount of such publicity at no cost. It is to be regretted that the budget board cut out our request for a small appropriation for this and other advertising purposes. No public institution, if indeed any educational institution, can be successfully conducted without reasonable prominence in the columns of the newspapers of the state. If we do not take paid space to some little extent we cannot expect newspaper publishers to give us free space. Moreover, it is very essential that we have some official to supply the proper sort of material for publication.

The Alumni Secretary

The college has been paying a small amount to an alumni secretary for part-time work. This official has rendered some excellent service in keeping in touch with former students, and particularly in compiling what is one of the most complete and creditable records of war service to be found at any institution. He makes the necessary arrangements for the reunion of alumni at commencement. At present he is conducting a campaign for funds with which to erect an alumni building on our campus. Since the resignation of the registrar he has been asked to look after the employment bureau formerly conducted by the registrar.

From such information as I have been able to gather it was the judgment of the Governor's budget board that no allowance should be made for this salary, because they thought the alumni association should bear this expense. While there is logic in this, attention should be called to the fact that our alumni association still needs considerable nursing and encouragement from the college, in order. that it may function effectively, and it hardly seems expedient to cut off this financial help, and the official connection which it affords. The time may come, after a few more years of growth of our alumni association, when a change may be safely made.

The Service Departments

Reference has been made to the large number of departments of the institution which conduct a commercial or semi-commercial business. Included in this group are: (1) the mess; (2) the tailor-shop; (3) the repairs department; (4) the coal mine; (5) the power plant; (6) the electric light department; (7) the plumbing and heating department; (8) the laundry; (9) the creamery; (10) the farm; and (11) the shops. The animal husbandry department sells stock and conducts a registry bureau, and the experiment farm sells produce.

The various divisions are now managed thus: (1) The mess, by a steward, who is responsible to the president. (2) The tailorshop, by a superintendent, who is responsible to the president, but who deals partly thru the commandant's office. (3) The repairs department, by a superintendent, who is responsible to the president, and who has charge of general repair work with the exception of heating, plumbing, and lighting. (4) The coal mine, by a superintendent, who is responsible to the president, but who is left almost entirely to himself. (5) The power plant, by our professor of power engineering, who has general supervision of the boilers and engines at the central plant only, and employs the workmen there, and who is responsible to the president. (6) The electric light department, by a manager, who is responsible to the president. (7) The plumbing and heating department, by a foreman, who is responsible to the president. (8) The laundry, by a superintendent, who is responsible to the president. (9) The creamery, by our professor of dairy husbandry, who is responsible to the president directly and also thru the head of the animal and dairy husbandry department, who is director of the farm properties. (10) The farm, by a manager, who is responsible to the director of farm properties. (11) The shops, by a director, who is head of the department of mechanic arts, and responsible to the president. (12) The animal and dairy husbandry department, by the professor of animal husbandry, who is responsible to the president directly and also thru the head of the department, who is director of farm properties. (13) The experiment station farm, by the director of the experiment station, who is responsible, at least nominally, to the president. The evils of such an organization should be apparent from this list; but more has been said elsewhere to show how cumbersome and unbusinesslike our present administrative system is.

As has been pointed out in another place these various divisions are but loosely connected, and in no sense form a compact organization. Indeed instances are not wanting to show intense rivalry and lack of cooperation between divisions. While this has probably been exceptional rather than usual, still there has been enough of it to show that a more cohesive organization is needed. Under the present system, or lack of system, each head of a division, even tho he may have only one man under him, jealously guards the independence of his "department" and resents anything that may appear to be interference or encroachment on his imagined prerogatives by other "departments." Strong, capable, centralized direction and supervision is undoubtedly needed. As has been indicated elsewhere, the president of the institution is not in position to give such supervision, and he should not be expected to do so.

In an institution such as this one, where technical experts along almost all lines are included in the faculty, it looks as if there should be ideal conditions for carrying on the work of all these service departments. The truth is, however, that this expert knowledge has not been used in large measure, not because of any objection on the part of those possessing it, but because those directly in charge of the various operations have failed to avail themselves of the opportunity to secure expert advice, and indeed have at times resented even the suggestion that they avail themselves of it. The engineering staff should be drawn upon constantly for advice and expert service in mechanical operations all over our properties, and the agricultural and scientific staffs should likewise be used along the lines in which they are specialists. If this be done we should have ideal conditions here, in our buildings, on our campus, and in the operation of our various utilities. It may be said with a certainty, from the experience of the present year, that the members of our faculty stand ready at all times to render this valuable service and indeed are eager to do so. If the service departments were correlated under a properly qualified head, this great resource could be exploited to such an extent that no institution in the state could approach ours in efficiency. It is true that we are greatly handicapped by lack of funds for making certain physical improvements, but it is believed that such means as we have could be made to go further and serve better in this way.

Concerning this matter, Dr. Allen recommended:

"That if with all these students the various industries can not be made self-supporting a new director be put in charge who will make them self-supporting."

This seems sound, but the fact is there is no "director" at all now, so far as all these activities taken together are concerned. Perhaps Dr. Allen has reference to the heads of the several departments, for he continues, presumably by way of illustration, thus:

"It is natural that neighbors do not take seriously the advice and instruction of an institution that with land given it cannot avoid deficits in its dairy farm."

The same statement could no doubt be applied with equal force to other departments.

Perhaps heads of some of our departments are at times prone to lose sight of the fact that the college is primarily an educational institution, and can be properly concerned with commercial enterprises only so far as they contribute to this primary function. Where commercial work is undertaken it seems absolutely essential that it shall be at least self-supporting. It has not been in every instance easy to convince those concerned that these departments must be conducted in accordance with accepted business principles. The budget system has been a help in this direction, and there will no doubt be much improvement as soon as these officials recognize the full implications of this new business system. Some will be slow in doing this because they have been so long accustomed to less restrictive methods.

The Treasurer

From what has been said above as to the large amount of funds handled at the institution, it may be readily seen that the treasurer is a very important official, especially because of the fact that there is no general business manager. The treasurer of the college acts as treasurer of the Extension Division, of the Experiment Stations, of the Crop Pest Commission, and of the Livestock Sanitary Board, and he is also the secretary of the Board of Visitors, and of the controlling boards of the interests just enumerated. He is responsible to the Board of Visitors directly on the one hand, and on the other hand he is responsible indirectly thru the president of the college. He has as assistants three employes, namely, an assistant treasurer and bookkeeper, a collector, and an assistant bookkeeper. In addition to this force there is employed in the extension department an accountant, and in the office of experiment stations an executive clerk, both of whom exercise duties ordinarily falling to the finance and accounting departments of an institution. Furthermore, certain departments and subdivisions keep books, send out bills, make collections, and perform other accounting functions. Such departments are: (1) the creamery, which sells milk and milk products; (2) the animal husbandry department, which sells stock, and receives fees for the registry of stock; (3) the college farm, which sells produce; (4) the shops, which do a large commercial business; (5) the library, which collects a small amount in fines; (6) the mess, which keeps records and makes bills, but does not receive money, for goods supplied and board furnished in the private dining-room; (7) the tailorshop, which collects for repair-work; (8) the experiment station farm, which sells produce; and (9) the crop pest office, which collects registry fees. None of these departments pays out funds. This financial work is usually performed by the heads of the departments with the assistance of stenographers or clerks.

Dr. Allen made this suggestion and comment concerning the treasurer:

"That either the treasurer be made business manager and auditor within the present salary, or that the offices be moved from Christiansburg to Blacksburg and that clerical assistance necessary to keep accounts be engaged at considerably less than $4,600. Now the treasurer assumes no responsibility for anything except the accuracy of the accounting. He is not an auditor or a purchaser. He need not be consulted with regard to contracts. The money spent upon his salary and his office at Christiansburg would accomplish vastly more spent on an able man in the organization and under the load. Having all this work done at Christiansburg causes the management to shift responsibility. Because the work of treasurer and secretary is admirably done the Board is confused and believes that its business management is adequately done. . . . That a business manager be placed on the ground—auditor—accountant—secretary—business manager—bursar—purchasing agent—registrar. . . . That all contracts be submitted to the treasurer before adoption. . . . . . That a central purchasing agent be substituted for the present hit-or-miss, independent spending by department heads, and an audit in advance of payment."

In view of the accounting functions exercised by various subdivisions, it is probable that the finance and accounting work of the institution and its immediately allied interests costs the state at least $12,000 per annum for salaries alone. It should be noted that this is accounting, collecting, and disbursing funds, and not business management. The latter is centered largely in the president of the college. The director of extension work, the director of the experiment station, and various other officials exercise such authority as is delegated by the president to them, and are directly responsible to the president for the management of affairs entrusted to them. The president has no escape thru the treasurer's office from the responsibility of making business decisions and arrangements direct, no matter how small many of them may be.

As a matter of business policy a question may properly be raised as to the advisability of no less than seven or eight separate divisions of the institution independently keeping their own accounts and collecting money. While not the slightest shadow of suspicion has rested upon any of the officials or employes concerned in this, and while it is believed that these officials are conscientiously and consistently employing their best efforts for the proper management of the affairs of their departments, just as they would their own business enterprises, still the fact remains that the treasurer is the only bonded officer of the college. Also, there may be economy in greater centralization, where functions and duties are identical.

Maintaining the treasurer's office at Christiansburg rather than at the institution costs $120 a year for rent of office, $36 a year for rent of telephone, something additional for telephone tolls between Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and something for postage in mailing matter back and forth. The chief cost is, however, in time and convenience in the transaction of business. Frequently quick reference to records is needed, and it is not satisfactory to have to attend to such matters over the telephone in a hurried conversation, or to be compelled to wait on the mails. The treasurer is always ready and willing to come to Blacksburg, but this does not meet the objection that delay and inconvenience is caused by the fact that his office is nine miles removed from other administrative offices. The present situation contributes to the inefficiency of the organization and is open to serious criticism as an unbusinesslike plan. If the present cost is necessary for the administration of this office, the serious question is, should not the service rendered by it be greatly broadened so as to include practically all of the business management of the institution? Should not definite responsibility for business management be placed here rather than require merely the performance of bookkeeping, accounting, and office routine, without any other responsibility than keeping the records straight? If this is not possible, then it is pertinent to raise a question as to the present cost of keeping the records.

Any criticism here made or implied is strictly with reference to the system, and in no sense with reference to the present able occupant of the office, or to any of his assistants. They, like many others at the institution, are handicapped by an out-of-date, and outgrown, system. There are many things which may rightfully be expected of them which they do not now do, thru no fault of the individuals themselves, because of deficiencies in the organization. No doubt all of them would gladly do anything reasonably demanded of them. If the treasurer would consent to move his office to Blacksburg, to devote his entire time to the work, and to take up the duties of a business manager as suggested thruout this report, then all requirements would be splendidly met.


The preceding parts of this report have offered a critical discussion of our present administrative and instructional organization. In this there has been no intention whatever to suggest changes merely for the sake of doing something different, nor has there been any desire whatever to be influenced by personal bias. On the other hand personal inclination would have prompted omission of all criticism. It is intended that the discussion shall be destructive only to the extent of what is necessary to clear the way for the constructive recommendations which follow. It is preferred that no change be made unless it is clear that the efficiency of the organization can be promoted thereby.

The accompanying Chart No. 2 offers a proposed plan of reorganization. The diagram is perhaps sufficiently clear to set forth the ideas incorporated in the plan with but little further explanation. It should be compared with Chart No. 1 on page 84. The following are the chief advantages to be claimed for this proposed organization:

    Organizational Chart

1. It centers authority in a cabinet of six officials who are to be directly responsible to the president. This will relieve the president of almost all contact with other officials and employes. The right of appeal will always be reserved to all; but in most cases matters may be handled thru one of the cabinet members.

2. It reduces the number of deans to three and makes these officials real deans with important functions.

3. It definitely correlates the three phases of the agricultural work of the institution under one head, retaining the integrity of each phase under the direction of its own head. It also makes the subject-matter in each branch a unit, promoting uniformity of instruction and mutual assistance among the various specialists.

4. It provides for the engineering division an organization similar to that of the agricultural division, with a view to its future development along three lines.

5. It combines the offices of dean of the college and registrar, and places the library definitely under the general direction of this officer, bringing divisions necessary to both of the professional schools together under one head.

6. It emphasizes the value of the military department to the institution, correlating it with the other agencies specifically maintained for social control.

7. It provides adequately for the control of health conditions, including the most valuable feature of athletics.

8. It groups the instructional departments more logically, more efficiently, and more economically.

9. It places all business activities definitely under a business head, including all financial affairs and accounting. In one office will be centered the auditing, accounting, recording, controlling, budgeting, contracting, purchasing, etc., of the entire institution. Thus should be secured real business management at no greater cost than the present administration without adequate business management.

10. It clearly defines functions and definitely fixes responsibility for their performance. It also subordinates the divisions of lesser importance and gives the proper proportion and place to all positions and all divisions of the institution's activities.

The success of the plan will of course be dependent upon the careful selection of the personnel, and the proper assignment of duties to the various officials. If this is successfully done it is believed that most of the evils of the present system, which have been pointed out, will be corrected. It is proper, then, to take up next the functions and powers of the different offices included in the plan of organization, thus supplying a basis for the selection of personnel.

The President

The president is the chief executive officer of the institution, appointed by the Board, responsible only to the Board, and exercising only such powers as are delegated to him by the Board. He is the agent of the Board, the "eyes and ears" of the Board, and the professional adviser of the Board. The objectives of the institution's work are defined by the president, and the general policies and plans for the attainment of these objectives are formulated by the president and presented by him to the Board for adoption. This involves all matters relating to the organization of the administrative, instructional, and service staffs, to the preparation of budgets, and to the general operation of the institution. The activities of the institution in all of its phases are centralized under the authority of the president as the representative of the Board; and it is incumbent upon the president that he keep the Board fully and promptly informed.

While the president holds office at the will of the Board and has no powers whatever except those allowed him by the Board, yet it has seemed advisable to have a definite memorandum of understanding as to his office. The present executive found in his heritage from his predecessors a written statement of "Powers of President," which seems to have been formulated during the administration of President McBryde and to have been revised and reaffirmed by the Board during the administration of President Eggleston. This statement has been again revised in order to bring it into accord with the proposed organization, altho it remains the same in essentials.

Duties And Powers Of The President

Recommendation No. 1. It is recommended that the duties and powers of the president be defined as follows

  1. In relation to the Board:
    1. Ex-officio member of executive committee of Board.
    2. Attends all meetings of the Board.
    3. Only medium of communication between Board and members of the staffs of the institution, including all officials.
    4. Nominates all officials and members of the various staffs to the Board for appointment and promotion.
    5. Performs all executive functions, subject to the approval of the Board, to which body alone he is responsible.
  2. In relation to all officials:
    1. Assigns their duties, subject to change in his discretion.
    2. Officials have no authority save that delegated to them by him, and their duties are limited to such delegation.
    3. Officials are directly responsible only to the president.
  3. In relation to the faculty:
    1. Presiding officer of faculty.
    2. Organizes faculty into departments and divisions.
    3. Appoints all committees, etc.
    4. Calls meetings of faculty.
    5. Submits grave cases of discipline, and other matters calling for faculty action, to the faculty.
  4. In relation to president's independent authority:
    Has sole control of, but may delegate as he thinks best:
    1. Acceptance of applications for admission as students, granting of scholarships, etc.
    2. Matriculation of students.
    3. Courses of instruction.
    4. Schedules of classes and examinations, chapel exercises, assemblies, holidays, public exercises, etc.
    5. Systems of grading, recording grades, and reporting the standing of students.
    6. Graduation of students, honor lists, etc.
    7. Selection of speakers for commencement and for other programs.
    8. Passing upon appointments made by directors of the extension division and the experiment station, subject to the approval of the Board.
    9. Appointment of instructors (below the rank of professor), subject to the approval of the Board.
    10. Appointment of assistants (graduate students) and student-assistants (undergraduate students.)
    11. Appointment of waiters in the mess hall, messengers, and other student help.
    12. Appointment of other officers authorized by the Board, including the managers of the various service departments, the office employes, hospital staff, chaplains, library staff, etc., subject to the approval of the Board.
    13. Appointment of assistant commandants and of cadet officers, upon nomination of the commandant of cadets.
    14. Permission to sell articles in dormitories, to hold corps meetings, class meetings, student celebrations, athletic games, meetings of all student organizations, dances, entertainments, etc., to use any room, building, section of campus or equipment, etc., for any such purpose.
    15. Preparation of catalogs, circulars, printed announcements, printed forms, advertisements, etc.
    16. Assignment of classrooms, laboratories, offices, etc., and of houses, cottages, and space in any dormitory or other building, subject to such regulations as the Board may adopt.
    17. All college buildings, grounds, etc., including roads, walks, farms, vegetation, furniture, and equipment, etc.
    18. Sanitation and physical protection of persons and property.
    19. Authorizing expenditures after the approval of the Board, or otherwise in cases of extreme emergency, signing requisitions, approving vouchers, and bills, for all farm stock, equipment, materials, and supplies of all kinds.
    20. With help of business manager and other officials, preparing budgets of expenditures and receipts, and controlling same after passed upon by Board.
    21. Repairs and improvements to buildings, additions to equipment, improvements to grounds, etc., and insurance of all property and workmen, within the amounts allowed by the Board.
    22. With the commandant, dealing with military offences; and with the deans dealing with academic delinquencies, being the final authority in such matters, except for the right of appeal to the Board.
    23. Acceptance and approval of all athletic coaches and managers, and in general of all athletics and of all student organizations, with the right to refuse any student to participate in any athletic exercise, contest, or public celebration.
    24. All service departments and the commercial phases of all instructional departments performing the functions of general utilities either for the college community or the public.
    25. All matters of an administrative character not specifically named, subject to the approval of the Board.

The Deans

Recommendation No. 2. It is recommended: (a) that four of the present deanships, namely, the dean of the general faculty, the dean of the graduate department, the dean of the academic department, and the dean of the department of applied science, be abolished; (b) that the deanships in agriculture and in engineering be widened in scope and strengthened in authority, so as to become real deanships in the usual sense of the term in other colleges; and (c) that a third deanship, of the college general departments, be established.

General Duties And Powers Of The Three Deans

Recommendation No.3. It is recommended that the general duties and powers of the dean of agriculture, the dean of engineering, and the dean of the college, shall be as follows:

(1) To preside over and to have general supervision of the members of their respective staffs and the work of the various sub-divisions within their groups; and especially to organize the group in such a manner as to secure maximum cooperation and efficiency at minimum cost.

(2) To act as the usual medium of communication between the group and the president, and between the group and other groups.

(3) To act in an advisory capacity to the president, and to exercise such functions and such authority as he may from time to time delegate to them.

(4) To matriculate students in the curricula administered within their respective groups, to arrange their programs of study, to enforce requirements for entrance and for graduation, to permit and arrange for substitutions of classes, advanced standing, absolution from requirements, etc., in accordance with such regulations, standards, and restrictions as may be established by the faculty and administration for the government of the institution as a whole.

(5) To act as advisors to the students matriculated in their respective groups, not only as regards their college programs, but also as regards any other matters connected with their student life, attendance at college, future careers, financial circumstances, moral, social, physical, and general welfare; and to take an interest in the individual students in their groups to the end that they may be encouraged, helped, and admonished, as necessary for the promotion of scholarship and good conduct.

(6) To investigate and take necessary steps with reference to absences from classes reported for students within their respective groups, except as otherwise provided.

(7) To consider at the end of each term individually or as seems expedient collectively with the other deans, the reports of students matriculated in their respective groups, and to comment on such reports as may need comment, signing the reports as dean of the division in which the student is working.

(8) To make recommendations to the president, or to take such steps as may be authorized, at any time to enforce disciplinary measures demanded by failure or neglect of students within their respective groups.

(9) To have general charge of all buildings, parts of buildings, furniture and equipment, and sections of the campus immediately surrounding the said buildings; to have general supervision of the janitors and other employees engaged in said buildings; and to apportion space for the various activities included in their jurisdiction; so far as the buildings, etc., have been assigned by the president for the use of the group concerned, and in proper cooperation and relationship with the business manager and other officials concerned.

(10) To make recommendations to the president as to the filling of positions that may become vacant within their respective groups, and as to the reorganization of the several departments within the group if this be deemed advisable at any time. This implies consultation with the head of department concerned, and the securing of aid from all proper sources.

(11) To represent the institution before the public, particularly with reference to the special group interests and relations which they hold; to put forth every effort to build up their divisions of work with larger enrolment of students, better recognition from the public, stronger connections with the educational, agricultural, industrial, and governmental interests of the state, etc. This will include the giving of information of a technical character to the general public and those seeking it, and also the placement of graduates or former students in their respective fields, which involves discovering openings and selecting men to fill them. In short, this means doing everything in their power to extend the service of their respective departments to the state and to build up the institution as a whole.

Special Duties And Powers Of The Deans Individually

Recommendation No. 4. It is recommended that, in addition to the general duties and powers of all three deans, there be special duties and powers assigned as follows:

(1) The dean of agriculture to:

(a) Have associated with him and under his general direction a director of the agricultural experiment station, a director of resident instruction in agriculture, and a director of extension work in agriculture (and home economics). It is to be understood that the dean may hold one of more of these directorships if considered advisable, and under ordinary circumstances it is presumed that the dean would be the director of resident instruction. These directors will ordinarily deal with the president thru the dean; but a considerable amount of autonomy will be retained by them and direct access to the president will in no sense be hindered. The dean is to act as a "coordinator" of the work of the three phases of agricultural endeavor—research, resident instruction, and non-resident instruction—and is to have such authority as may be necessary to perfect the close cooperation (and even consolidation of subject-matter departments) of the three phases, to the end that maximum efficiency and harmony of effort may be reached.

(b) Have general supervision over all agricultural short courses, farmers' institutes, and like affairs, the direct management being vested in the director concerned, but the dean occupying the position of highest authority representing the administration.

(2) The dean of engineering to:

Have associated with him a director of engineering experiment and research, a director of resident instruction, and a director of non-resident instruction (or extension work) in engineering. It is understood, of course, that until the experiment and extension phases of the engineering work are further developed so as to justify it no director need be appointed for these two divisions, the dean of engineering being generally responsible for all three phases of the engineering work. When these two divisions are more fully developed the organization will assume the form of the agricultural organization.

(3) The dean of the college to:

(a) Have under his direction a clerical assistant who shall act as registrar, with such assistance as may be necessary, in enrolling students, keeping records, making reports, etc.

(b) Have general supervision over the library, and represent the administration in this connection.

(c) Be charged with the duty of discovering eligible students, of maintaining cooperative arrangements with preparatory schools, of conducting general correspondence as to prospective, students, including the preparation of advertising material for the college as a whole, the soliciting of students from high schools, etc.

(d) Pass on certificates and entrance qualifications of students applying for admission.

(e) Have general charge of students before they have decided upon a department in which to work, and after they have matriculated in a certain division to advise with the dean of that division and supply him with information concerning the students in his group.

(f) Act as a "clearing house" for supplying general information concerning the college as a whole, for handling requests for leaves, special permissions affecting classwork, unexcused absences, etc., and for informing parents as to delinquencies of their sons, etc. (It is understood that the details of such matters of administration as are referred to here will have to be worked out later with the three deans in conference. The general idea is to place considerable responsibility for the welfare of students registered in the several divisions upon the respective deans, since they are closer to the students.)

The Commandant

Recommendation No. 5. It is recommended that the Commandant of Cadets:

(1) Continue to perform such duties and exercise such authority as he has had in the past, with the understanding that all rules, regulations, and acts are subject to the approval of the president, who shall be kept properly informed.

(2) Be charged with the general oversight and care of the social welfare of the students, cooperating with the chaplains, the Y. M. C. A. officials, and other agencies for the moral and social good of the student-body.

(3) Nominate to the president for appointment all members of his staff (so far as controlled by the college) and all cadet officers.

(4) Be charged with the duty of perfecting such organization for fire protection and the physical protection of life and property as may reasonably be expected of staff and students.

(5) Have general supervisory connection with the mess hall, the laundry, the tailor-shop, and the barracks buildings, so far as conduct of and arrangements for the students may be concerned.

The Heath Officer

Recommendation No. 6. It is recommended that a suitably prepared and properly qualified (both as to personality and experience) doctor of medicine be employed as full-time health officer; and that the present office of college surgeon (a misnomer) be abolished.

Duties And Powers Of The Health Officer

Recommendation No. 7. It is recommended that the health officer have the following duties, powers, and relationships:

(1) Responsible only to the president.

(2) Absolute authority in matters of sanitation everywhere on the college property, and elsewhere as affects the college and comes within his legal rights in this connection.

(3) General supervision over the sanitary conditions of the mess, laundry, barracks, etc., with authority to act immediately as he may deem necessary, subject to the approval of the president.

(4) General supervision of health conditions in the surrounding community to such an extent as may be arranged under the state laws with the State Department of Health.

(5) Authority to establish and enforce quarantine regulations for individuals or the community as a whole.

(6) Examine and pass on the physical qualifications of students for residence at the college, or attendance upon any exercises of whatever sort, and re-examine as often as may be considered advisable, allowing or withdrawing permissions given on the basis of such examinations, and taking such steps as he deems advisable for the protection of the individual himself or of others with whom he may come into contact.

(7) Sole authority to excuse for physical disability any student from any required duties.

(8) Authority and supervision over all athletics so far as the health and physical well-being of the students are concerned, including the power to prohibit any student from participating in any such exercises at any time.

(9) Supervisory and managerial control of the college hospital; the staff of nurses, consulting physician (or physicians), etc., being under his authority.

(10) Give instruction in personal and public hygiene.

(11) Give medical advice and professional service to all students, without charge other than his stated salary.

(12) Take every possible precaution to ward off sickness and protect the physical welfare of the entire college community.

The Business Manager

Recommendation No. 8. It is recommended that instead of a treasurer there be a business manager, who shall be required to devote his entire time to the work of his office, the said office being maintained on the college campus and kept open during stated business hours.

Duties And Powers Of The Business Manager

Recommendation No. 9. It is recommended that the business manager have the following duties and authority:

(1) Responsible only to the president and to the Board thru the president.

(2) Organizing his office force in such a manner as to expedite business, with as little delay and complications as is consistent with safe business method, and so as to conduct the business management of the institution on as economical a basis as possible.

(3) Working out policies of business management for all parts of the institution, with the advice and assistance of technical experts on our instructional staff as far as possible, for the consideration of the president and Board.

(4) Preparing the budgets to be submitted to the president and after his approval to the Board.

(5) Receiving all monies of every sort paid into the treasury of the institution from any source, and accounting for same duly and properly, under bond in such kind and amount as shall be determined by the Board.

(6) Paying out all monies properly authorized, retaining vouchers and receipts in due form.

(7) Control over the expenditures of all departments and divisions of the institution, holding said expenditures within the amounts carried in the budgets approved by the Board; approving requisitions; and keeping proper vouchers for the same.

(8) Keeping all records according to modern and approved systems of bookkeeping and accounting, and performing all accounting and recording functions that may be required by the institution.

(9) Meeting requirements of federal and state accounting systems, etc.

(10) Business control over all departments and divisions performing services or supplying articles for which a revenue is received, including the proper organization of such departments and divisions for the economical and efficient conduct of business affairs.

(11) Receiving all monies paid in for services or articles furnished by any department or division, keeping all financial accounts at his central office, issuing bills, invoices, receipts, etc., therefrom.

(12) Making or approving in writing all contracts involving amounts of considerable size or time periods of considerable length, or whenever else in his judgment a written contract is advisable.

(13) Signing as the duly authorized business executive officer of the institution, or as the representative of the president, all requisitions, receipts, reports, etc., required by the United States War Department in connection with the military supplies and equipment of all descriptions, when certified by the proper military officer and found correct.

(14) Administering the loan funds, with the advice of the deans .as to the proper recipients of such benefits.

(15) Protection of all physical properties of the institution, including repairs, fire protection, insurance, police protection, etc.

(16) Performing all duties of a financial, accounting, collecting, paying, recording, etc., nature which may be required for the proper business control of the interests and activities of the institution, or which while not specifically mentioned may be assigned from time to time by the president or Board. (The general idea is to have all strictly business and financial activities centralized in this office, and to abolish the collecting, accounting and bookkeeping now done separately in a number of the subdivisions of the institution.)

The Director Of The Agricultural Experiment Station

Recommendation No. 10. It is recommended that the director of the agricultural experiment station have duties and powers as at present, the only difference being that he is to recognize the dean of agriculture as the administrative officer of the institution to whom he is directly responsible. This is in no way to operate to hinder him from coming directly to the president, and of course is in no way to alter his responsibility to the Board of Control of the station. The purpose is merely to bring about closer cooperation among the three phases of the agricultural work. Appointments to the staff should be approved by the dean and forwarded to the president. The same procedure should be followed in the case of budgets and proposals for new undertakings of importance. (This official may, of course, be the dean, in which case the procedure would be simplified accordingly.)

The Director Of Resident Instruction In Agriculture

Recommendation No. 11. It is recommended that the director of resident instruction in agriculture be the chairman of the faculty group engaged in giving instruction to resident students, that in this capacity he have general oversight and direction of the several departments represented in his group, that he take charge of those matters mentioned under Recommendation No. 3, which have to do with resident students and their college work, etc., and that he assist the dean by relieving him as far as possible of the details connected with administering the resident instruction. (This official may, of course, be the dean.)

The Director Of The Agricultural Extension Division

Recommendation No. 12. It is recommended that the director of the agricultural extension division have duties and powers as at present, the only difference being that he is to recognize the dean of agriculture as the administrative officer of the institution to whom he is directly responsible. This is in no way to operate to hinder him from coming directly to the president. The purpose is merely to bring about closer cooperation among the three phases of the agricultural work. Appointments to the staff should be approved by the dean and forwarded to the president. The same procedure should be followed in the case of budgets and proposals for new undertakings of importance. (This official may, of course, be the dean, in which case the procedure would be simplified accordingly.)

The Director Of The Engineering Experiment Station

Pending the development of this phase of our engineering work the dean of engineering can perform such duties as would fall to this official. When a real department of engineering research is developed the duties .and relationships would be quite similar to those of the director of the agricultural experiment station.

The Director Of Resident Instruction In Engineering

Pending the development of a three-phased division of engineering as shown by the chart, the dean of engineering can perform the duties of this office. His duties and powers have been outlined.

The Director Of The Engineering Extension Division

Pending the development of this phase of our engineering work the dean of engineering can perform such duties as would fall to this official. When a division of engineering extension instruction is developed the duties and relationships would be quite similar to those of the director of the agricultural extension division.

The Registrar

Recommendation No. 13. It is recommended that the registrar's office as at present constituted be abolished, and that the records, duties, and everything pertaining to said office be transferred to the office of the dean of the college, except as otherwise provided (e. g., the handling of requisitions, purchases, etc., goes to the business manager, and the employment work to the deans of the several instruction groups).

The Chairman Of The General Instructional Departments

This official is, of course, the dean of the college, acting in his capacity as head of a faculty group.

The Library

Recommendation No. 14. It is recommended that the library organization remain as at present, except that the general supervision and relationships to the various instructional departments of the college be placed definitely under the dean of the college, as the representative of the administration, and further that the librarian arrange for definite practical instruction of students in the use of a library, under such a plan as may be approved by the dean of the college and the president.

The Chaplains

The chaplains are appointed by the president, and serve on a schedule prepared by the senior chaplain. They work independently, but since at present the military department arranges for the chapel exercises, and since their work naturally falls under the head of social control they are charted under the general direction of the commandant. When daily chapel service can be placed on a better basis, perhaps they would be better considered as attached to the personal staff of the president.

The Military Staff

The military staff consists of the officers appointed as assistant commandants and the cadet officers appointed by the commandant with the approval of the president. No change is contemplated here.

The Y. M. C. A. Secretary

This official while not strictly under the college authorities, since he is appointed by the board of directors of the Y. M. C. A., is a valuable agent for social control, and it seems proper to include him in the staff of the institution under this head. This will be still more logical if certain plans are carried out to bring the association more definitely under the control of the college authorities.

The Consulting Physician

Recommendation No. 15. It is recommended that the present college surgeon be converted into the relationship of consulting physician, under the direction of the college health officer, whose assistant he shall be, for the performance of such duties as may be assigned him from time to time.

The Hospital Staff

Recommendation No. 16. It is recommended that the staff of nurses at the college hospital be directly and definitely under the control of the college health officer, who shall establish such rules and regulations for the government of the hospital as he deems best.

The Director Of Athletics

While a study of the athletics of the college has not been made there is reason to believe that conditions would be improved for everyone concerned if all athletic activities were brought definitely under the control of the college authorities, instead of being left under the joint management of representatives of the students and faculty. While action must be deferred for some time, no doubt, still it seems proper to make the following recommendations for such a time when it can be carried out. In the meantime it should be clearly understood that the health officer has very definite and authoritative relationship to all athletics, as stated above in outlining his duties and powers.

Recommendation No. 17. It is recommended that the director of athletics be directly responsible for all athletic activities, working in conjunction with the health officer and other officials, and holding faculty rank as a member of the department of physical education.

The Service Departments

While it is undoubtedly better to leave the reorganization of these departments to the business manager, who as soon as he establishes his office should make a study of each one of these departments with a view to consolidation and better organization, yet it is thought well to make one general recommendation.

Recommendation No. 18. It is recommended that in all service departments and in all work of any kind done by or for the college, the valuable resources of technical advice and direction offered by our various agricultural, engineering, and scientific staffs, be fully and freely used, and that it be compulsory on the part of those immediately in charge of such departments and work to seek such counsel, to the end that economy and efficiency may be promoted.

The Publicity Editor

Recommendation No. 19. It is recommended that the publicity editor be continued with duties as at present. (It is considered that this official is attached to the personal staff of the president, hence he is not shown on Chart No.2.)

The Alumni Secretary

Recommendation No. 20. It is recommended that the alumni secretary continue to perform the duties he has had heretofore, that he be expected to maintain complete and up-to-date records of alumni and former students, as far as they may be secured, so that information may be readily obtained in definite and adequate form of the work of these former students, etc., and that in addition thereto he be expected to assist the deans in placing our students in suitable positions of employment. (This official is considered as attached to the personal staff of the president, hence he is not shown on Chart No.2.)

The Faculty Groups

Recommendation No. 21. It is recommended that the instructional departments be arranged in three groups as shown by the chart, each group to be in general charge of the dean of the group, and each department in a group to be considered as one integral subject-matter division, embracing all phases of the work—research, resident instruction and non-resident instruction—where these exist. (Little emphasis should be placed on the integrity of a particular sub-division as such, the main desideratum being to secure "team work" on the part of all for the good of the institution as a whole.)

The Research Departmental Staff

It is not considered necessary at this time to make recommendations concerning the organization of the staff of the experiment station. So far as is known the present status is satisfactory, and it seems wise to leave this to the director.

The Extension Departmental Staff

It is not considered necessary at this time to make recommendations concerning the organization of the staff of the division of non-resident instruction. The director of this division is working on this and the present status is as satisfactory as could be expected. The matter should be left in the hands of the director.

The Faculty Of Resident Instruction

The salary schedule adopted by the Board last fall included three grades of faculty members, namely, professors, associate professors and assistant professors. Only these ranks are considered in the following recommendations, as it is impossible at this time to state definitely the needs of the several departments as to instructors and assistants. Until a decision is reached as to the preceding recommendations it is practically impossible to determine with certainty the requirements of the instructional staff. However, whether or not a general reorganization of the administrative system is effected, the revised curricula already adopted by the Board will necessitate certain changes in the instructional staff, if the work is to be done economically and efficiently. It is the intention to refer only to these changes now, and to present to the Board other matters of faculty organization when the budget for the college year beginning July 1 is submitted. If members of the faculty are to be dropped they should know about it as soon as possible. The same is true where the work of members is to be materially changed, or where their rank is affected. It is thought that all such possible cases can be pointed out now. Other changes, to be recommended later, will probably be of comparatively slight importance. Where no changes are mentioned it is understood that the present organization will stand for next year.

Terms Of Employment And Payment

Recommendation No. 22. It is recommended: (1) that members of the faculty be paid on a yearly basis, so much salary per annum, payable in monthly instalments thru twelve months, from July 1 to June 30; (2) that in the case of new members coming into the faculty their salaries shall be reckoned the first year at so much per month from the date of actually beginning work until the next June 30, the monthly salary being 1-12 of the annual salary for the position (e. g., a member employed before July 1 for work beginning with the opening of the next scholastic year would be paid from September 1 to June 30, 10-12 of the yearly salary of the position; likewise a member beginning April 1 would be paid 3-12 and so on); and (3) that a member whose work with the institution ceases at the end of the college session be paid only thru June 30, the end of the college employment year.

Duties And Powers Of The Faculty Of Resident Instruction

Recommendation No. 23. It is recommended that the duties and powers of the faculty as a whole be as follows:

1. To meet at the call of the president, for the consideration of such matters as may properly be brought before the faculty by him or by any member thereof.

2. To deal with matters affecting the institution as a whole, student life, etc., and to cooperate with the administration in all matters for the welfare, of the institution.

3. To deal with grave cases of discipline which have been referred to it by the president.

4. To hear appeals from decisions of the president, the deans, the, commandant, or other major officials, in matters of discipline and other matters with which the faculty may be properly concerned; but only upon the request of the president, it being recognized that no inherent right lies from the decision of the president to the faculty.

5. To render service on committees; and, individually and collectively, to seek to serve the institution in every way possible whether specifically directed or not.

The Agricultural Group (Resident Instruction)

Recommendation No. 24. It is recommended that the Board authorize the addition of an assistant professor of agricultural engineering.

Recommendation No. 25. It is recommended that, to fill a vacancy caused by a leave of absence, the Board authorize the employment of an acting associate professor of agronomy for the coming year, to give as much of his time to teaching as may be necessary, the proper adjustment being made with the director of the experiment station. (It is probable that at least one-half time will be required.)

Recommendation No. 26. It is recommended that if there is not enough work in biology to fill the programs of two full-time men, one or both be required to teach part-time in another department.

Recommendation No. 27. It is recommended that the position of associate professor of veterinary science be abolished.

Duties And Powers Of The Agricultural Group (Resident Instruction)

Recommendation No. 28. It is recommended that the duties and powers of the faculty of resident instruction in agriculture be as follows:

1. To meet at the call of the dean of agriculture, or of the director of resident instruction in agriculture, for the consideration of such matters as may properly be brought before the faculty group.

2. To deal with matters concerning the division of agriculture, including the students enrolled in courses administered by this group, the content and arrangement of courses, etc., both undergraduate and graduate.

3. To recommend thru the dean to the administration students completing the requirements for degrees, certificates, etc., under this faculty group.

4. To formulate and recommend thru the dean to the administration proposed new curricula in agriculture and related branches, changes in existing curricula, requirements for admission and graduation, etc., for both undergraduate and graduate students.

5. To discuss with the dean (or director of resident instruction) the individual students both undergraduate and graduate, matriculated under this particular faculty group, with a view to helping these students to higher scholastic attainments and to more acceptable personal conduct, to secure suitable employment after graduation, and in any other way that may be for their welfare.

6. To cooperate with the extension division and experiment station branches of the agricultural work, to the end that all three phases of agricultural endeavor may harmonize and work together as a unit for the service of the state.

7. To give information and advice to the public on agricultural matters as far as possible, and to cooperate in meetings of farmers, etc., at the college or elsewhere, by giving short courses, lectures, demonstrations, etc., and in general seeking to serve the farming interests of the state.

8. To cooperate with other branches of the college faculty and the administrative authorities for the upbuilding and well-being of the institution at large.

9. To conduct a continuous enquiry or self-survey with a view to determining whether or not the agricultural faculty is meeting the special needs of Virginia, is attracting here all the students who should be brought here, and what weak spots there are which need strengthening, etc.

10. To do everything proper and possible to forward the interests of agricultural instruction at the college, to seek to secure more students, to encourage and help students and make them feel satisfied after they come, to welcome parents and other visitors, and to create a favorable impression thruout the college and thruout the state for agricultural work, as well as other work, of the institution.

The Engineering Group (Resident Instruction)

Recommendation No. 29. It is recommended that the appointment of an associate or assistant professor of civil engineering, who is a specialist in structural engineering, be authorized for the coming year.

Recommendation No. 30. It is recommended that the professor of metallurgy be assigned for part time to some other department until the demands on the department of metallurgy increase sufficiently to justify his whole attention to it.

Recommendation No. 31. It is recommended that the professor of mining engineering be expected to continue to volunteer his services to the department of civil engineering, or some other suitable department, to the end that he may have a full-time program of work until such time as his own department shall demand his full attention.

Duties And Powers Of The Engineering Group (Resident Instruction)

Recommendation No. 32. It is recommended that the duties and powers of the faculty of resident instruction in engineering be mutatis mutandis the same as those outlined for the agricultural group in Recommendation 28.

The General Group

Recommendation No. 33. It is recommended that the editor of the extension division be employed to give the course in agricultural journalism.

Recommendation No. 34. It is recommended that the professor of economics and political science, in view of the fact that the work of his department will be considerably reduced by the new curricula, be assigned for part-time work (about one-half time) to the department of English.

Recommendation No. 35. It is recommended that, since the new curricula require no foreign languages, two of the professors of modern languages be dropped after this year; and that the one retained be assigned work in some other department or branch of the college to make up a full-time program until the demands of the department justify his entire attention to it.

Recommendation No. 36. It is recommended that the professor of geology be expected to continue to volunteer his services to the department of chemistry so long as the work in his own department does not demand his full time.

Recommendation No. 37. It is recommended that the professorship of economics and political science be changed to a professorship of social science as soon as this is feasible; and that, until a department of social science is developed on a basis justifying the whole time of a professor, the said professor be assigned to the department of English for part-time teaching sufficient to make up for him a full program of work.

Duties And Powers Of The General Group

Recommendation No. 38. It is recommended that the duties and powers of the faculty group including the general departments of instruction be as follows:

1. To meet at the call of the dean of the college for the consideration of such matters as may properly be brought before the faculty group.

2. To deal with matters concerning the departments in this group, including the students enrolled in courses administered by this group, the content and arrangement of such courses, etc., both undergraduate and graduate.

3. To recommend thru the dean to the administration students completing the requirements for degrees, certificates, etc., outside of the professional fields of agriculture and engineering.

4. To formulate and recommend thru the dean to the administration proposed new curricula not lying within the professional fields of agriculture and engineering, changes in such existing curricula, requirements for admission, graduation, etc., for both undergraduate and graduate students.

5. To discuss with the dean the individual students, both undergraduate and graduate, matriculated outside of the professional fields of agriculture and engineering, with a view to helping those students to higher scholastic attainments and to more acceptable personal conduct, to secure suitable employment after graduation, and in any other way that may be for their welfare.

6. To cooperate with other branches of the college faculty and the administrative authorities for the upbuilding and well-being of the institution at large, to seek to secure more students in all departments, to encourage and help students and make them feel satisfied after they come, and to do everything possible to create a favorable sentiment thruout the state for the institution as a whole.

7. To conduct a continuous enquiry or self-survey with a view to determining whether or not this faculty group is meeting the special needs of Virginia, and is contributing as much as it can to the professional divisions of the college, and what weak spots there are which need strengthening, etc.

Conclusion Of This Report

This report has been prepared in a purely impersonal way, and solely from the standpoint of the welfare of the institution. It is not a pleasant task to disturb members of an organization who have done certain things for a long period of years, and who desire nothing so much as to be let alone; but unpleasant duties as well as pleasant ones must be performed. The Board cannot afford to create jobs for people, but on the other hand must seek to find the best people for the jobs that are to be done. To do the jobs which the state expects us to do, economically and efficiently, is the only program we can safely and properly map out for ourselves, regardless of the individuals we should like to help or to refrain from hurting.

The president understands that the Board looks to him to present a plan of reorganization which in his estimation will promote greater efficiency and greater economy of administration. Such a plan must be based on a careful and impartial study of the situation, and a knowledge of the best practise elsewhere. The president is fully convinced by the facts before him that reorganization is needed and that the institution can hope for little progress until this is accomplished. Nothing revolutionary is desired, but the aim is rather to initiate an evolutionary movement whereby we may gradually and safely rejuvenate the institution and put it on the way to greater development for service to its state and nation.

With this end in view the purpose of the Report on Organization and Administration is to put before the Board the facts as found, together with such recommendations as these facts seem to justify at this time. The president has no desire to urge the Board to adopt his recommendations as they stand in this report. It is recognized that there is room for difference of opinion, and all of us are working with the same high motives and aims.

[The Board approved the general plan for reorganization as set forth in Chart No.2, and the same was adopted to take effect July 1, 1920, or as soon thereafter as possible. The thirty-eight recommendations made by the president in this report were adopted with the exceptions noted in the following:

It was considered that action taken by the Board at its meeting on April 23, 1920, covered and adopted Recommendation No. 6, making further action unnecessary.

Recommendation No. 22 was amended by the addition of: "provided that, in case of voluntary resignation or unsatisfactory service, the salary shall be paid for actual time of service only, at, the discretion of the president and Board."

Recommendation No. 26 was amended by the following resolution: "Whereas the report of the president clearly shows that in the department of biology there is not sufficient work to justify the employment of two full-time professors, and that the type of work in the department of mechanic arts does not justify the three full professors employed therein; resolved, that one full, professor be retained for biology and two full professors be retained for mechanic arts, and the president be requested to recommend to the Board such adjustment of the positions and salaries of the professors affected as the best interests of the institution would dictate." (It will be noted that this has an important effect also on the mechanic arts department of the engineering group.)

Recommendation No. 34 was amended to read: "It is recommended that the professorship of economics and political science be abolished."

Recommendation No. 37 was amended to read: "It is recommended that a professorship of social science be established as soon as feasible."

The Board gave authority to the president to select the deans, to set their terms of office, and to change them at any time deemed desirable, due report being made to the Board.]

[NOTE. -- Because of limitations of space, it has been necessary to omit from the Special Report on Instruction seventeen pages of tables containing the data on which the statements and recommendations were based, and ten pages containing the revised curricula. The latter are printed in the annual catalog of 1921. Several tables have been omitted from the other reports for 1919-1920.]

1919-1929 Reports

Early President's Reports were published in bulletins, with multiple reports in each bulletin. Note that the original spelling of many words (enrolment, remodelling, etc.) has been retained.

1930-1931 Report


General Report of the President

Reports of

The Dean of the College

The Dean of Agriculture

The Dean of Engineering

The Chairman of the Summer Quarter

The Committee on Graduate Programs and Degrees

The Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station

The Director of the Engineering Experiment Station

The Director of the Agricultural Extension Division

The Director of the Engineering Extension Division

The Librarian

The Adviser to Women Students

The Health Officer

The Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association

Statistical Tables

Statistics of Enrolment and Graduation

Summary of Treasurer’s Reports

1929-1930 Report


General Report of the President

Reports of

The Dean of the College

The Dean of Agriculture

The Dean of Engineering

The Chairman of the Summer Quarter

The Committee on Graduate Programs and Degrees

The Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station

The Director of the Engineering Experiment Station

The Director of the Agricultural Extension Division

The Director of the Engineering Extension Division

The Librarian

The Adviser to Women Students

The Health Officer

The Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association

Statistical Tables

Statistics of Enrolment and Graduation

Summary of Treasurer’s Reports

1927-1928, 1928-1929 Reports


1927-1928 -- General Report

1928-1929 -- General Report


Enrolment Statistics

Summary of Treasurer's Reports

1925-26, 1926-27 Reports

1925-1927 Introduction

1925-1926 -- General Report

1926-1927 -- General Report


Appointments, Tenure, and Salaries

Vacations, Office Hours, Records, etc.

Enrolment Statistics

Summary of Treasurer's Reports

1919-1925 Reports



1919-1920 Report

Preliminary Statement

First General Report

Second General Report

Special Report on Instruction

Special Report on Organization

1920-1921—General Report For The Year

1921-1922—General Report For The Year

1922-1923—General Report For The Year

1923-1924—General Report For The Year

1924-1925—General Report For The Year

Enrolment Statistics

Summary of Treasurer's Reports