June 28. The board adopted regulations for the college, which were appended to the minutes of this meeting. The regulations identified the president as the chief executive officer, who served as a liaison between the faculty and the board, made recommendations for faculty appointments, and recommended plans for the college. The faculty had the power to elect an acting president from within their own ranks when a vacancy occurred in that office.
June 25. A committee of three appointed by the president was directed to examine the act of the legislature at its last session which gave the professor of chemistry responsibility of analyzing chemical fertilizers sold in the state and gave the A&M College fees from the sale of such fertilizers. The board directed the committee to prepare a resolution which would allow the college to take advantage of this act's provisions.
June 26. On February 23, 1883, the legislature passed an act to establish
a state Department of Agriculture. This act provided that one-third of
the net proceeds from the sale of commercial fertilizer tags be transferred
to the A&M College for the purpose of developing its agricultural and
mechanical departments. The legislature directed that all chemical analysis
of fertilizer called for under the act be made at the college at no charge.
It further directed that a portion of the funds so appropriated be used
for creation of an agricultural experiment station that would furnish information
to the Commissioner of Agriculture for publication in monthly bulletins
and annual reports. At this meeting, the board of trustees officially agreed
to accept the provisions of this act and to implement their responsibilities
June 28, 1883. The board passed a resolution of appreciation for President Broun, who had resigned to accept a position in another state. The president's annual report, dated June 23, was attached to the minutes of this meeting. Regarding the future of the college, Broun recommended that the school concentrate on a few courses, rather than diffuse its efforts into many. Furthermore, these courses should be the ones it was responsible to teach under the law. By doing this, the trustees could build up something the state desperately needed, "an Institute distinct for teaching science and its application."
December 19. The board resolved that their mission was to operate an agricultural and mechanical college "to fit young men for the practical duties of life in these two departments of industry." The board directed the faculty to arrange for the teaching of Latin, French, and German for those students who wished to study these subjects, which were "not to conflict with the regular courses or to be so subordinated as to be excluded."
December 19. At this meeting the board received the annual report of President David French Boyd to the board of trustees, which was dated December 18. Three woman had been admitted to the college. The faculty did not believe they had the authority to admit them as regular students, but "gave them the privilege of attending the classes of such of the Professors as chose voluntarily to instruct them." One of them, Miss Payne of Auburn, has enrolled and was doing well in some of the upper level classes.
December 19. The board appended Boyd's report to the executive committee, dated October 15, to the minutes of this meeting. In this report, Boyd called the board's attention to a glaring lack of "the necessary appliances for instruction." He urged the board not to refuse requests for such tools "out of mistaken notions of school economy." If they did so, the result would be a college in name only. Furthermore, he told the board that they should not elect a faculty and then "let them do nothing for the want of means to do something." Good faculty members would not remain content under such an arrangement. He went on to note that the faculty were "here day in and day out...thinking of what is best for the college." The board could "be here but seldom and then only for a few days." Consequently, it was reasonable to expect that the faculty knew more about the college than did the board.
December 19. Boyd's report of October 15, appended to the minutes of this meeting, also called attention of a lack of clarity in the relationship between the treasurer and the president. Apparently, the treasurer customarily made purchases without presidential approval, but Boyd believed that one official should provide a check on the other. On the other hand, he did not want the president to be overburdened with financial detail.
December 19. Boyd also discussed the relationship between Auburn and the University of Alabama in his report of October 15: "To Tuscaloosa let the student of general culture go, and here let the young man come who wishes to fit himself for a special scientific or industrial pursuit. Alabama needs both her University and her Agricultural College. May both prosper and fill their very different and distinct missions."
December 19. Boyd's October 15 report also charged that the school had "military requirements enough to harass your boys and raise a row," but the president lacked the power to put down such a disturbance. Generally, he found the idea of a military institute under faculty government inherently contradictory and went on to say that the college rules and regulations conformed to "no one principle or method of school government," but were "a combination of two or more totally different and antagonistic methods." The entire system needed overhauling "from top to bottom," which could not be done "too soon."
December 19. Finally, Boyd's October 15 report urged the trustees to put the chemistry department into better order. The state had furnished the necessary funds through the fertilizer tax. Furthermore, the chemistry department needed more financial support to fulfill the college's obligations under that act. Boyd closed the report by saying that he had employed "earnest language, hoping not to be misunderstood," but had not intended to be "discourteous or disrespectful."
June 25. William LeRoy Broun was unanimously re-elected president.
June 26. The rules and regulations of the college were amended and the powers of the president enhanced at the expense of some power previously exercised by the faculty. Boyd's annual report of June 23 was appended to the minutes of this meeting. Among other things, he noted that some "derangement of classes" had been carried out in January to fulfill an order of the board, but the change had "worked injuriously to the scientific and industrial character of the school" and was made "without due reflection as to consequences." During the past year, much had been done "to make this a science college in fact as well as name." If the board would only "hold the present line" and clear away some additional studies "not rightfully pertaining to industrial education," all would be well. Boyd made this statement with regret, for he loved the classics and had spent much of his life teaching Latin and Greek. Furthermore, he feared that the new emphasis might cause the college to lose "the very best man" on the faculty.
June 26. Reports of other college officials were appended to the minutes of this meeting, along with Boyd's report. These included the report, dated June 16, of J.T. Dunklin, who taught Latin and Greek. Dunklin complained that his students had to take these courses "unrewarded by any merit achieved as far as class promotion" and in addition to the prescribed course. He bemoaned the fact that the college deemed this study "so unnecessary."
June 26. The board also appended the June 16 report of J.S. Newell, who taught agriculture, to the minutes of this meeting. Among other things, Newell had delivered a series of lectures on agriculture to the entire college to disabuse cadets of their prejudice against this course of study and impress upon them its dignity and importance. This prejudice had not been entirely overcome, but progress had been made.
June 22. The president submitted his annual report of this date for consideration by the board of trustees. Broun reported that the curriculum outlined in the catalog now included three degree courses, "two technical and one general." Whenever possible, the general should precede the technical. Many students entered the college "defective in training and discipline," which necessitated a general course of education. Furthermore, a study of general culture should "occupy a portion of the time of those who enter upon a technical course." Broun noted that the experiment station existed to make experiments, could not be expected to turn a profit, and needed an annual appropriation. He went on to say that there existed "an unfortunate and wide spread fallacy that the College fails...if it does not turn out farmers." In the first place, many graduates have neither the land nor the capital to start farming. The experiment station, through its bulletins, addressed those who had the necessary land and capital by disseminating information regarding "improved methods."
June 25. The board appointed one member "to interview the editors of the Advertiser" and request publication of the president's address. The board deputized the same individual "to request the editor to correct mistakes made in his issue of the 25th inst. as to the leading objects of this institution."
August 27. The board authorized the faculty to print "Alabama Polytechnic Institute" on the school catalog, in addition to the legal name, to signify "the expanded system of practical instruction in industrial science in the courses of education now provided for."
August 27. The board appended to the minutes of this meeting their quarterly report to the state auditor, required under law. It included a history of the school, which noted that on April 14, 1864, and July 23, 1866, the United States Congress had extended the time for states to take advantage of the provisions of the Morrill Act. Under this legislation, Alabama was entitled to land script amounting of 240,000 acres. On October 10, 1868, the state legislature empowered the governor to secure the land script and on December 31 the same legislature accepted the benefits of the Morrill Act. On February 27, 1871, the legislature authorized the governor to accept the land script. On December 15 the legislature authorized the governor to issue state bonds for $1 million. The funds generated by sale of the script were to be invested in these bonds. This gave the school an endowment of $253,500 in Alabama state bonds, with an interest of eight percent annually. Then on February 26, 1872, the state legislature chartered the school. Early that spring, the board met in Auburn to organize the school. Unfortunately, the state paid the interest on the endowment in certificates known as "Patton money," which were depreciated at five percent or more. The interest was paid in Patton money until December 19, 1873, when the legislature passed another act for funding the state debt. This act created what was called "horse-shoe money," which were discounted at a rate of fifteen to twenty percent. The professors accepted their salary in horseshoe money, but apparently also wanted to difference between its true value and the $1800 the board had agreed to pay them. Because the state had "just been redeemed from the worst carpetbag and radical misrule," the trustees decided to accept the horseshoe money and trust the state to make good the rest, as it was required to do under federal law. The authors of the report estimated that the college lost approximately $20,000 as a result. This constituted in part what was called the "back salaries" of the faculty. The report implied that this was resolved by a $30,000 appropriation made by the legislature to the college. Until this appropriation, the college had been severely limited by a lack of funds for "equipping the departments of agriculture and mechanic arts." Some thought that the curriculum should deal exclusively with these subjects, but this could not be done under the acts of the federal and state legislature. In conclusion, the trustees conceded that the work of the college had sometimes moved forward at "a seeming slowness."
June 28. Broun's report also recommended that the board publish a detailed report of the college's activities for distribution to the legislature prior to the upcoming session.
June 28. Broun further reported that "some dissatisfaction" existed among the faculty because salaries were not paid when due. It had been the custom to pay faculty four months after salaries were due. Broun recommended that, in the future, the faculty be paid quarterly.
June 30. The board appointed a committee of three, including R.F. Kolb, to lobby the legislature regarding the agricultural and mechanical needs of the college. The board urged them to lobby the legislature for at least one-half of the fertilizer fees.
June 30. The board urged the president to prepare a report on the college for publication [and presumably for distribution to the members of the legislature].
June 7. A February 28 act of the legislature appropriated $12,500 to the college, $5000 for 1887 and $7500 for 1888. Broun recommended that $5000 for mechanic arts, $4000 to construct a chemistry laboratory, $1000 for physics equipment, and $1000 for chemistry equipment.
June 8. The board approved the president's recommendation regarding the $12,500 appropriation from the state legislature.
June 14. The president submitted his annual report for 1887-1888. He noted that the Department of Mechanic Arts had been well-equipped through a state appropriation; recommended the creation of experimental farms in different regions of the state; and urged that officers at the experiment stations lecture at farmer's institutes organized by the Commissioner of Agriculture.
November 15. President Broun submitted a brief report dated November 14 to the board regarding the condition of the college. He recommended that the board apply for a $75,000 appropriation from the legislature, half for the current year and half for the coming year. He also urged the board to establish experiment stations in different parts of the state "to determine the influence of soil and climate." The board of trustees revolved to have the board of visitors (of the experiment station) investigate this proposal.
November 30. The board of visitors resolved that the trustees were authorized to conduct "farm experiments in different agricultural sections of the state."
June 10. The board received, but did not adopt, a report of the finance committee which recommended discontinuation of work on experiment stations at Abbeville and Uniontown. They so recommended for lack of funds and a belief that funds derived under the Hatch Act and from the state "fertilizer fund" could not be used for this purpose. R.F. Kolb offered two resolutions to support the sub-stations, both of which lost.
June 12. The board continued to debate Kolb's motions of June 10. They subsequently adopted a budget which included $2000 for the Uniontown station, but the board refused to act on Kolb's recommendations of support for stations in Abbeville and Athens.
June 12. The board appended Broun's annual report of June 10 to the minutes of this meeting. Among other things, Broun noted that having graduate students perform additional instruction required for the lower classes represented "the best economy of the college." He recommended the appointment of four at a salary of $250 each. This would also provide the four students with an opportunity "to pursue a post graduate course" and "better qualify themselves as teachers."
June 12. Broun also recommended an experiment station appropriation for tests of soil in various locations around the state. All other experiment station activities were subordinate to determining what methods of cultivation would restore fertility to the land and at the same time provide a reasonable profit for the farmer.
June 28-29. The board of visitors of the experiment station adopted a resolution which made the station and the college separate, the former "not being in any manner under the control of the trustees" of the latter.
October 31. The board authorized Broun to attend the meeting of the American Association of Agricultural Colleges scheduled for November in Washington.
June 9. Broun also reported that the new college building was "an elegant structure, built of the best material in a substantial manner." The laboratories in the building would be supplied with gas and water and the structure heated by steam, not by stoves.
June 9. Broun urged the creation of a "physical laboratory," which he associated with the teaching of electrical engineering. "Important educational interests" demanded its creation "as rapidly as possible."
June 9. Broun urged the appointment of "instructors" for teaching the increasing numbers of students "in the lower classes."
June 9. According to Broun, the recently-appointed professor of biology, G.F. Atkinson, promised to render valuable service to the experiment station in "investigating the causes and remedies of diseases of plants."
June 9. Broun recommended hiring a professor of veterinary science "to fulfill all the objects of the Experiment Station."
June 9. Broun recommended the appropriation of $1000 for the continuation of soil test experiments in different portions of the state. They had relied on volunteer farmers, only a portion of which had conducted the experiments properly.
June 9. The president further recommended the appropriation of $500 for student labor. This would be used to "assist worthy young men in obtaining an education." He noted that the college catalog encouraged young men over twenty-one to enter college to study agriculture and excused them from all other college duties.
June 10. The board approved Broun's recommendation regarding employment of a veterinarian.
June 11. R.F. Kolb introduced a resolution calling for the creation of experiment stations in Uniontown, Abbeville, and Athens, which was defeated.
June 8. Broun further recommended some new appointments which represented academic expansion: a professor of history and Latin; an adjunct professor of electrical and mechanical engineering; and a professor of veterinary science.
June 9. The board unanimously elected George Petrie professor of history and Latin. They also elected an adjunct professor of electrical and mechanical engineering, but postponed a decision regarding veterinary medicine.
June 8. Broun also recommended nine post graduate scholarships at $250 each. Students from the graduating class would be appointed to these position. They would assist with instruction and pursue post graduate studies.
June 8. Broun and Atkinson attended the meeting of the Association of Agricultural Colleges at the University of Illinois in November 1890. Broun had also been called to Washington by the AAC "to confer with officers from other colleges in regard to the bill then before Congress."
June 8. The minutes of this meeting also contained references and attachments regarding a dispute between James S. Newman and Isaac Ross regarding the agricultural experiment station. For a full discussion of this dispute, see Norwood A. Kerr, A History of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, 1883-1983 (Auburn, 1985), 18-19. (AubieCat Record here)
June 13. Broun made his annual report to the board. He recommended admission of women "in a limited way." Those eighteen and older, and qualified to enter the junior class, could be admitted as students "under such regulations as may be prescribed by the faculty."
June 13. The policy of hiring graduate students to teach part time while they pursue their studies had "excellent results." Broun recommended that appointment of assistants take place by faculty recommendation and presidential approval, which would save the board "much petty annoyance."
June 13. Broun noted that in many educational circles university extension--"extending the benefits of colleges by public lectures"--had generated much interest. Petrie, Cary, and Atkinson had delivered such lectures during the past year.
June 15. The Alumni Association asked the board to appropriate funds for an annual banquet, but the trustees declined the request saying they could not do so under the law.
June 14. In accordance with "the spirit of the age," the college admitted women during the past year. Broun predicted that this would widen the influence of the institution. Requirements for admission of women were high "so that only earnest students would make application." Three were enrolled.
June 14. Broun noted that Cary's extension lectures in veterinary medicine were popular with farmers throughout the state and helped fulfill the college's obligation under the law.
June 14. Under the law, Broun wrote, the college existed primarily to teach "science and its application." To do so required properly-equipped laboratories. Broun hoped that the state would not further reduce its support of the college, which had been decreased by cutting the fertilizer tax in half. He concluded by saying that the college belonged "to no church or party," but "to the people of Alabama."
September 7. At the annual meeting held in Auburn from June 11 to 14, the board declared vacant "the positions of the officers of the college faculty" and the close of the 1893-1894 session and "an election of a faculty...to be held then and every three years thereafter." Broun had not had the opportunity to discuss this with the board prior to its approval and he now recommends that they reconsider this decision, although he acknowledged that the board had to power to act in this matter. Apparently, some new board members had been appointed, as was likely to happen biennially in state institutions. In such situation, a faculty could lose confidence in the board, which would be detrimental to the institution. Some of the better institutions of higher learning had begun a policy of awarding "tenure of office" to those who by years of service had demonstrated their worth. The board followed Broun's recommendation and reconsidered its previous action. Furthermore, they decided that professors who had served satisfactorily for three years would have "indefinite" appointments, pending good behavior and proper performance of duty.
September 7. At its last meeting, the board had dismissed the staff of the experiment station, which consisted of three individuals, and replaced them with one. Broun pleaded that t he station could not fulfill its responsibilities to Congress under this arrangement. The president stressed that his case was not in behalf of any individual, but in behalf of the proper organization for the experiment station.
June 11. Broun also feared that the legislature might reduce the amount of income the college received from the original endowment. Congress required no less than five per cent return, but the school had been receiving eight. Apparently, he thought the legislature might keep all or a portion of the other three percent, or maybe he thought the return would be lower because of the national financial depression. In any case, he recommended appointment of a committee of the board to lobby the legislature during the upcoming session.
June 11. Broun reported that the board earlier resolution regarding organization of the experiment station had been implemented, but he remained adamant in his position that this arrangement was not "adapted for conducting accurately scientific experimentation in agriculture." Hence, it did not "comply with the provisions of the law establishing the station." The present organization possibly lent itself to good farming, but the station had not been established for that purpose. Consequently, the president again recommended that the station's organization come closer in line with the practice in other states. In other words, he urged returning to the previous organization. He further recommended that the name of the station's board of visitors be changed to committee on experimentation. Apparently, under the existing arrangement the visitors conferred only with the board, not the president. Broun wanted this practice changed as well.
June 11. Again, Broun lauded the post-graduate scholarship program and urged its continuation. Among other things, post-graduate scholars took over some teaching responsibilities, which allowed for subdividing the larger classes.
June 11. Broun praised the encouragement of "physical culture" and specifically mentioned "intercollegiate contests of athletic games," which instilled discipline and "a manly spirit." Of course, this was "subordinate and auxiliary to the mental and moral training" the college provided.
June 12. The board resolved that the president meet and cooperate with the board committee on the experiment station.
June 11. The board adopted a resolution directing the president to rent a building for use as a dormitory. They also appointed a committee to make recommendations regarding the erection of dormitories.
June 8. The president also noted that the farmers' institutes approved by the legislature and conducted by the experiment station had fallen into disuse. He intended to revive them.
June 9. The committee appointed to review the president's annual report recommended approval of his plan for boarding students.
June 13. Broun also recommended approaching the legislature regarding a change in the name of the institution. He believed Alabama Polytechnic Institute would better reflect the scope of its academic offerings.
June 13. He also reported that the experiment station was now "well organized with an efficient corps of officers."
June 13. Broun reported that intercollegiate athletic contests were in some ways objectionable. Participation in them was "limited to a few experts" and they sometimes resulted in the players' "loss of interest in their academic work." Overall, however, they cultivated "vigor" and provided a valuable means for "securing good discipline."
June 13. The president also recommended making the experiment station veterinarian and entomologist the state veterinarian and state entomologist. As such, they would come under the direction of the Commissioner of Agriculture for a portion of the year.
June 14. The board committee appointed to make recommendations regarding the president's annual report made their report. They supported Broun's position regarding the name change and the full board adopted this position.
June 15. The board resolved that intercollegiate athletic contests be limited to five per year in baseball and five per year in football. Four of the five were to be played on the grounds of the A&M College or some other college.
June 13. Broun also noted that the faculty had recommended a limitation of intercollegiate football games to four per season, three of which should be played on the college grounds. He prefaced this by saying that athletics, while beneficial, should be "controlled by the authorities" and kept "subordinate to study." Later that day, the board approved this recommendation.
June 13. The board also appointed a committee to petition the legislature to change the college name to Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
June 12. Broun complained that many students came to college with inadequate preparation. This made even more important the role of graduate assistants and the president recommended their continuation.
June 12. Cary had conducted farmers' institutes in various parts of the state. Broun predicted that "this practical educational extension of agricultural science" would "excite in Alabama an interest similar" to what it had done in other states.
June 10. Broun anticipated congressional legislation that would support mining engineering at the land-grant colleges. He urged the trustees to prepare themselves for this eventuality.
June 10. Cary continued the farmers' institutes during the past year and Broun urged the board to support them for the coming year.
June 10. The board abolished the board of visitors of the experiment station and established a board committee on the experiment station.
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