June 9. The board of trustees assembled and heard the annual report of O.D. Smith, acting president. He noted that a smaller number of students than usual had dropped out "for neglect of study," but recommended retaining the sub-freshman class.
June 9. A bill to establish mining engineering programs at land-grant universities had been introduced into Congress. The Association of Land-Grant Colleges supported it, but universities in ten states opposed it. The University of Alabama was among the opponents. These schools had sought to amend the bill either to acquire a portion of the appropriation directly or to divert a portion to the state legislatures. Thach had gone to Washington as Broun's representative and negotiated a compromise with the representative of the University of Alabama, by which the funds for the state would be divided equally between the two schools. Smith anticipated passage of the bill.
June 9. The director of the experiment station had recommended changes in its organization, but Smith recommended that the board postpone action on them until the appointment of a full-time president.
June 9. The board elected Charles C. Thach president of API.
June 8. The legislature had enacted a horticulture law that subjected nursery stock sold in the state to inspection for dangerous insects and plant diseases. They further appropriated $1500 annually to API for implementation of the act. Thach recommended that the board provide the support necessary to the professor of horticulture for carrying out his responsibilities under this law.
June 8. The legislature had enacted a law for the inspection of illuminating oils sold in the state similar in nature to the fertilizer law. One-half cent per gallon tax would be levied. In turn for performing the inspection, API would receive one-fourth of the levy.
June 8. Thach noted the importance of the school's program in mining engineering. API already had several graduates who had made major contributions in developing the state's "mineral region."
June 8. In addressing the overall needs of the college, Thach noted that the school could not expand without additional income. API was already excelled "by every single southern state in point of annual income and equipment in institutions of similar nature." He urged "a fair and full presentation of the case to the people and law-makers of the state."
June 8. The board resolved to ask the legislature for an appropriation to establish a textile department.
June 6. During the past year, API established mining engineering as a part of the regular course for undergraduate study. Thach reported that "profitable openings" were available for young men trained in this field and that API received frequents requests for people trained in mining engineering from "the mineral regions" of Alabama.
June 6. During the past year, C.A. Cary, director of the farmers' institutes, held twenty-four meetings in twenty-three counties, with a total attendance of 3639 and an average attendance of 151. Furthermore, API had sponsored a summer school for farmers in August, 1903, which attracted "130 of the most progressive farmers in the state."
June 6. The animal husbandry department had begun work to encourage cattle production in Alabama, which Thach considered "on the threshold of development." He predicted that the boll weevil would never be eradicated and looked upon this industry as a necessary and potentially profitable form of diversification.
June 6. The state's nursery inspection law has made the professor of horticulture defacto state horticulturist. This has necessitated extensive travel.
June 6. At its last regular meeting, the board appointed J.F. Duggar director of the experiment station. According to a law recently passed by the legislature, the professor of agriculture at API has been empowered to suggest courses of study for the various district agricultural schools located throughout the state.
June 6. The board committee appointed to petition the legislature for establishment of a textile department made its report. They had drafted a bill and presented it to the committee on appropriations. It had not gone further than that committee, possibly because the members feared the "extravagant use of money." Nevertheless, the committee was convinced that the state needed such a program and that there was sufficient money to establish it. They urged continuation of the effort, which the board approved.
June 6. The board moved and adopted a resolution that prior to the annual meetings the president send copies of the various departmental reports to the board committees charged with oversight of those departments.
June 5. Thach has been in correspondence with Andrew Carnegie, who pledged $30,000 for the erection of a library, provided a comparable sum could be raised by API. So far, Thach had received private pledges for more than $6000. The board subsequently authorized the president to take whatever steps necessary to take advantage of the Carnegie offer.
June 5. The War Department informed Thach that API needed an officer in the U.S. Army as professor of military science and tactices. Otherwise, the school would be required to return its arms and equipment to the War Department. Thach asked that the board confer upon him power to act in this matter. He also noted that "the duties of the present incumbent" had been performed satisfactorily. The board subsequently conferred upon Thach the power he had requested.
June 4. Thach reported that, in a sense, the sub-freshman class had no place at an institution of higher learning. Many of the students enrolled in the class came from rural Alabama and lacked proper training for college. Despite his mixed feelings, Thach recommended continuation of the class. To do otherwise would "shut the door of hope to many of these young men and relegate them to ignorance and a life of drudgery."
June 4. The act of 1890 stipulated that a division of funds be made based on the number of white and black children in the school census. Thach reported that the ratio of blacks to whites had increased during the past few years, which meant that Auburn received proportionally less money. Approximately $13,000 had gone to the school at Normal during the past year, while API had received $11,000.
June 4. The present Congress had passed the Adams Act, which would provide API with $5000 during the coming year. These funds were designated for the experiment stations in each state to address problems related to agriculture. In Alabama, at least, the greatest need was for a chair of entomology to support research regarding insects that harmed crops.
June 4. Thach called the board's attention to the relative expense of scientific as opposed to classical education. He argued that the state had a choice of either allowing its natural resources to be developed by men trained in Alabama or by outsiders. Endowing institutions that could provide this training was more than "a mere gratuity." Students trained there turned the state's unexploited resources into "taxable wealth." Thach noted that other southern land-grant colleges trained comparable numbers of students, but had more income. He noted that many other land-grant schools in the South and the rest of the United States had physical plants of greater value than API. He urged the board to ask the legislature for $75,000 "to erect a building suitable to the great work of agriculture in the state of Alabama." He also noted that the school needed better facilities for mechanical engineering; that "the barns belonging to the Experiment Station would be discreditable to a private citizen;" and that the legislature still refused to establish a textile program, even though the states of Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina had done so. He also called for a legislative appropriation of $24,000, to complete the match for Carnegie's earlier offer to build a library building. Thach urged the board to bring these needs to the attention of the legislature.
June 4. The board approved a resolution calling for the legislature to establish a textile program at API.
June 3. The school stood on the verge of an extended building program made possible by the state legislature, which had appropriated $56,500 for that purpose annually for the next four years. This was in accord with the memorandum adopted at the last annual meeting of the board. Thach recommended that the board follow that memorandum in expending the construction funds.
June 3. Thach reported to the board that, since its establishment, the college had been "largely devoted to the study of natural sciences and their application to practical education." This was based upon "thorough education in history, language, and mathematics." "The proper proportion of these two elements" had been "the constant study of the institution theoretically and practically since its foundation."
June 3. Thach saw the experiment station as "a body of men" engaged "in studying the manifold problems pertaining to all phases of agricultural life and in leading a propaganda for arousing an intelligent interest in the profession of these great masses of our people who make their living from the soil." This group consisted "largely of those professors who teach the corresponding subjects in the college curriculum."
June 3. Thach recommended the creation of a chair of architecture and drawing. He did so after studying the popularity of this course in northern universities, noting the demand in the South, and conducting "an extensive correspondence with Columbia University, Cornell University, and the University of Illinois."
June 1. The legislature had passed the illuminating oil law that they had considered in the past. It was similar to the fertilizer tax, in that the state levied a one-half cent tax per gallon sold, with one-fourth of the funds raised going to API. In exchange, the college performed all chemical analysis upon illuminating oil sold in the state.
June 1. The head of the veterinary medicine department organized the farmers' institutes during the past year, with twenty-eight programs in twenty-three counties and a total attendance of 2440. The entire experiment station staff took part in teaching the institutes. The farmers' summer school, held in August, 1907, attracted five hundred and seven, including some of "the most prominent and progressive farmers in the state."
June 1. Thach affirmed that "the fundamental training for all of the scientific and technical departments" came from "the old time studies of language, history, and mathematics." These classes, "though large in the aggregate," were divided into small sections that provided individual attention.
June 1. Thach recommended a three-part organization of the faculty into engineering, agriculture, and academic. Each division came under a dean.
June 2. The board approved the president's plan for the organization of the faculty.
May 31. J.R. Rutland occupied the position of High School Visitor during the past year. He visited twenty-four schools, an endeavor which the college undertook "without outside aid." Thach considered "the high school movement" one of the more significant educational developments in Alabama history. He thought there was much that the college could do to support this undertaking.
June 6. The board acknowledged their appreciation for the support that Governor B.B. Comer had showed in education in Alabama.
June 5. Thach reported that the cotton boll weevil had "invaded" Alabama and the state's crop was "threatened by its ravages." This filled the president with "gloomy forebodings." Dr. Hinds, API's professor of entomology, was well-acquainted with the subject and had issued several bulletins relative to it. Cattle and hog raising took on even more importance in light of this pest.
June 5. The past legislature appropriated $200,000 in four annual installments of $50,000 each for building and maintenance. The legislature passed the bill as written, which Thach took as an indication of their appreciation for the college.
June 5. The board of trustees endorsed the policy of the president and faculty regarding hazing, which they condemned as "brutal, inhuman, and degrading" to both practitioner and victim.
June 3. During the past year, the school increased its outreach activities through a local experiment or boll weevil bill. Under this act, experiments related to the boll weevil had been conducted throughout the state.
June 3. In 1909 the college organized boys' and girls' canning clubs with support from the federal government and the General Education Board. L.N. Duncan headed this work. Thach considered the state "the school-house of this form of education." This "mighty army of boys and girls" portended a promising student body. This, in part, taught the state's children to value rural life as it became "organized" and farming became "scientific."
June 3. The graduates listed in the minutes included those who received the degree of master of science, with their thesis titles.
June 2. Thach reported that the college not only analyzed fertilizer and illuminating oil for the state, but also human foods, feed for animals, drugs, and liquors.
June 2. Thach wrote: "In 1873 when I first attended this institution, I did not know a young man in the state of Alabama in polite society who had any acquaintance whatsoever with engines and machinery....Within this period it has been my privilege to see thousands of your men instructed in these practical arts."
June 2. The principal work of the "extension department" of the experiment station had been organizing boys' corn clubs and girls' tomato clubs. In 1912 the clubs enrolled 9784 boys and 1758 girls.
June 2. Thach noted that API received one-fourth of the funds raised for inspection of illuminating oils. He requested that, from time-to-time, the school received more than that to fulfill some of its needs for buildings and equipment.
June 8. The student body, "through its leaders and organized sections," had eliminated hazing.
June 8. Beginning in 1914-1915, the college would require fourteen units of high school work for unconditional admission to the freshman class. With the gradual development of high schools throughout the state, Thach believed that API could now make this change without serious impairment of its duty to rural Alabama youth.
June 8. Thach claimed that API had a smaller per student expense than "any leading institution in the United States." He observed that the president, deans, and faculty at the University of Alabama were paid more than at Auburn. Furthermore, the latter's income from the state as of June 30, 1912, had been $93,500, whereas Auburn received $68,500. Later in the report, he noted that API received an annual income of $30,000 from the Hatch and Adams funds.
June 8. The college was still organized into engineering, agriculture, and academic faculties, with the entire agriculture faculty participating in the work of the experiment station.
June 8. Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914. This reaffirmed the existing organization for extension, as approved by the state legislature on February 9, 1911. L.N. Duncan, then superintendent of extension, would continue in that position. Among other things, API intended to establish thirty movable schools, twenty for whites and ten for blacks. At this time, they also discussed employment of county farm agents and a state leader for home economics.
June 7. API and other southern schools operated under a financial handicap because federal funds were divided between white and black schools. The college in Normal received $22,500 in federal funds per year, which would have gone to Auburn were it not for "the Negro Problem." Moreover, API performed numerous services for the state in return for the revenue it received from that source. These involved overhead costs. The state funds appropriated in 1907 for the experiment station, commonly called "the boll weevil act," were spent away from the college for a variety of extension purposes. Furthermore, the Smith-Lever funds brought about additional responsibilities and expenses for the college, not all of which were necessarily covered by the federal government. The 1911 legislature appropriated $200,000 for API, but half of that remained unpaid. If the state failed to meet its obligation, the college had nowhere else to turn for revenue.
June 7. Thach also submitted the annual report of the extension service, which noted that he had secured the assistance of the black school at Normal and the assistance of Tuskegee in providing movable schools for blacks. The latter concentrated on work in north Alabama and the former on work in central Alabama.
June 5. The committee appointed to investigate continuation of the 1911 appropriation was unsuccessful. According to the president, the college was "suffering most keenly from the lack of these funds."
June 5. The college had organized a Department of Education. Juniors and seniors who aspired "to go into educational work" made up most of the classes in this field.
June 5. The governor, superintendent of education, and commissioner of agriculture requested that API provide an inspector for the nine district agriculture schools located throughout the state and the board of trustees agreed to do so.
June 11. Thach still has not succeeded in obtaining the remainder of the 1911 legislative appropriation.
June 3. President Thach presented his annual report. He discussed all the contributions the college had made to the war effort, both abroad and on the home front, which included a series of lectures by George Petrie on the origins of the conflict.
June 3. The state legislature assigned API responsibility for training teachers of vocational agriculture under the Smith-Hughes Act (1917).
June 3. Income from tuition dropped significantly during the past year and the college still has been unsuccessful in obtaining the balance of funds appropriated by the 1911 legislature.
June 3. Thach also submitted the annual report of the experiment station director, which warned that lack of financial support posed the danger of losing the most productive faculty members to wealthier institutions.
July 3. Thach reported that he had not yet examined in detail the report
of the "federal experts" from the Bureau of Education in Washington. The
report was in the hands of the Alabama Education Commission. Apparently,
the AEC had urged the presidents of API, Alabama, and Montevallo to formulate
an agreement regarding modifications in the course of study at the three
schools. The API board approved the recommendations of the three presidents,
provided the boards at Alabama and Montevallo did the same. The report
approved the proposed Council on Education and accepted the recommendations
of the federal survey commission, with the following exceptions: Montevallo
would remain a junior college, with the exception of home economics, which
could be four-year; Montevallo would continue to receive Smith-Hughes funds
for teaching home economics; API would drop its mining engineering course
and offer a one-year service course in mines instead; Alabama would drop
its course in highway engineering, offer sanitary engineering instead,
and API would not establish a course in sanitary engineering; both Alabama
and API would offer degrees in chemistry and metallurgy. Thach also submitted
the three schools' joint budget statement to the Alabama Education Commission.
Apparently, the three separate budget requests been too high and the Commission
asked for a joint request reduced by fifty percent. The differences between
API and Alabama broke down this way:
|Maintenance $ 55,000 per year
Buildings $150,000 per quadrennium
|Maintenance $ 55,000 per year
Extension $ 10,000 per year
Experiment Station $ 10,000
Buildings $165,000 per quadrennium
December 4. The executive committee met because Thach needed "a rest for an indeterminate period." They named B.B. Ross acting president.
March 5. Acting president Ross announced that college authorities, in conjunction with their counterparts at the University of Alabama, had fixed admission requirements for the freshman class at fifteen high school units. After discussion, the board voted that the faculty should had power to determine entrance requirements at API.
June 7. President Thach's wife and son urged the board to declare the office vacant and look for a permanent replacement if they considered that best. The board did so. They also elected Spright Dowell president.
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