Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The University of North Carolina news letter. online resource (None) 1914-1944, January 12, 1921, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

The news in this publica tion is released (or the press on iceipt. UARY 12, 1921 Bdiiorial Board i O. Branson, L. R, Wilson, E, W, Knight, D. D. Carroll, J. B. Bullitt. OUR POVERTY STRICKEN COLLEGES THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA NEWS LETTER CHAPEL HHX, N. C. Published weekly by the University of North Carolina for its Bureau of Extension. VOL VII, NO. 8 IS CAROLINA BANKRUPT? The arresting facts that show the collapse of college education in North , Carolina in this year of our Lord and I the'Legislature are: First, 2,308 appli cants turned away for lack of room last fall by the colleges of their choice —one rejected for every four receiv ed.' Second, a four-fold ^crease of ' high school, graduates during the last five years, and the clear necessity for doubling the college facilities of the ,st^e at once. Third, only fourteen million dollars invested in thirty-one coljeges, junior colleges, technical train ing schools, and the University, in two hundred arid fifty years. Fourth, a total annual working income of only two and a half million dollars in 1920-21.. Here are the bare facts reported to the Rural Social Science department of the University by responsible officials themselves in October, 1920. They in dicate the poverty-stricken estate of college education in North Carolina. Is it a cheerless, hopeless poverty? Are we really bankrupt in purse? As a matter of fact, are we too poor to pro vide our sons and daughters with col lege advantages equal to those of any state In the Union? . Are we rich in purse and bankrupt in courage? Are we poor in spirit or pov erty-stricken in spirit? Are we poor and unable, or rich and reluctant, or nch and unafraid? Whatever the facts are, we ought to know them competent- lyJand face them unflinchingly. We Once Were Poor ^Itooking back at our poverty' in by gone days—a pinching poverty unmis takable and undisputed— the present .'college situation is understandable. For two and a half centuries North Caro lina reckoned with destiny in terms of % deficit-economy, and out of hard, un- rollna—voters all—are asking. Who is to blame for the present unsavory col lege situation in this state? And why, with all the wealth of North Carolina, this unreadiness cannot be brought to a summary end? And if it is unduly pro longed, who ds responsible for the de lay? The ans_wers we make to these in quiries today will echo throughout North Carolina tomorrow and for long years to come. For courageous response to just such challenges as these, the state will long remember Archibald D. Murphy, Charles B. Aycock, and Charles D. Mclver. The men who today stand head high with these Great Commoners of the past are never likely to be forgotten in North Carolina. We Now Are Rich It is the roundabout look that dis closes the poverty-stricken condition of college education in North Carolina. We have' suddenly grown rich and we have been innocently unaware of it. During the last five years our farms and forests and factories have been producing brand-new wealth, at the average rate of a billion dpllars a year —five billions of brand-new wealth, all told, since 1915. And the gain is not in values alone but in quantities as well —in greatly increased crops of wheat and corn, tobacco and cotton; in the doubled and quadrupled output of our cotton mills, tobacco factories, and fur niture establishments; in trade and bank resources; in material good things in multiplied abundance in and around our town and country homes. Despite the momentary collapse of market prices, our farmers are less in debt and have more money in the banks to day than ever before in two and a half centuries. We have two hundred and fifty million dollars laid safely away in toward circumstances wrought wonders j iii)erty bonds, war stamps, and bank jf achievemenL And, next to the Civil account savings, and we are this year War, the hardest of these circumstan ces has been wide-spread illiteracy. In 1850 our illiterate adult whites were nearly one in every eight, and sixty years later this ratio stood practically unchanged. Illiteracy and poverty are twin-born ^ial ills; they have always been so Inlevery land under heaven. Poverty keds illiteracy, illiteracy breeds pov- By, and ‘the destruction of the poor is pheir poverty’. ■ flOf course we were poor—how could It^ave been otherwise? It Was two deicades after the war between the states before North Carolina found an assured footing for manufacture and was safely started toward industrial prpmiership in the South. It was forty- fi^^ years before our bank account sav- Ms reached a total of twenty-one mil lion dollars. And it was a full half cen- "tury before our per caffita taxables re gained the level of 1860. ^uring this period of struggle for bare existence there were very few people in North Carolina who had any left-over cash when a year was ended and a balance sheet was struck. Most of us can still remember when making- buckle-and-tongue-meet was the cheer less effort of almost an entire people. Inlvery truth. North Carolina was a poverty-stricken state for more th&n hundred years. And out of our Jle we really gave much to our col lejes. They have grown in number from three to thirty-one during the last seventy years. And until the Great War began they had room at least for all the students who applied for en trance. During this period of poverty the colleges were calling for our sons and daughters; now our sons and daugh ters are calling for colleges—and calling in vain, twenty-three hundred of them. North Carolina is at last rich. A con vincing evidence of it is the thirteen thousand college applicants last fall. Hich and unready. A convincing pifoof of it lies in the fact that the col lie applicants she rejected in,1920 are fourteen times the number she received in 1850. ''■_^thelred the Unready has long been ^familiar acquaintance to high-school ^dents. They have sudderjly discov- eijed another—Carolina the Ijinready. ^And even now the mothers of men ^d the men of tomorrow in\ North Ca- twp U4le « second-class matter November U, 1914, at the Postotflce at (Ihapel Hill. N, C., under the act of August EDUCATION PAYS D. A. Tompkins Whatever else the legislature does or does not do, it ought to plant the flag of education through the state. We are not here regarding'education as a burden upon the resource/ of the state, but rather as a means of bringing the state’s resources to profitable fruition. Better education will not only con duce to more tax money, ■ but will conduce also to better observance of the rule^ of the Christian religion, to better morals, to better thrift and economy, to better industry, to the betterment of the children and youth of the state, and to the gen eral prosperity of the state in all fu ture time. We earnestly recommend to the legislature that it make sure, first, of an increase of the school term, and then raise the money the best we can, if we »go in debt a little more. The schools and the education of the youth of the country will pull us through in the matter gf the debt; but if we let things drift into the al ternative of ignorance, ignorance will never improve the state in any particular.—George Tayloe Win ston’s Life of Tompkins. enjoying an interest income of ten mil lion dollars from this one source alone. There has never before been anything like this situation in North Carolina in her whole history. True we shall have two hundred mil lion dollars less of farm wealth this year, and it is a cruel calamity for merchants and bankers as well as farmers. But it is childish to conclude that the state is therefore facing bank ruptcy. Two hundred 'millions of loss against more than five billions of gain is the fundamental fact. The state is solvent by a comfortable margin of many billions of dollars. What has happened is the passing of North Carolina out of a long period of deficit-economy into a new period of surplus-economy, and what we need to learn is to spell at present problems and future necessities in terms of wealth instead of poverty. North Carolina is rich—rich beyopd question or debate, and she can no longer afford to think in small-scale ways about the big-scale concerns of the commonwealth. But Our Colleges Are Poor Fourteen million dollars in round num bers is the ^ull total of what l^orth Ca rolina has been able or willing to invest in college properties in two and a half centuries. Th^ exact figure is $14,008,- 071. And set against the poverty of bygone years it is a colossal sum. But set against the wealth of today in North Carolina it is a bagatelle. Expressed as an average, it is five dollars and fifty cents per inhabitant. And five dollars and a half will barely pay for a pair of good shoes, a hat or a bonnet,- three bushels of wheat, a dozen pounds, of Cheap candy, ten pounds of butter, ‘ or the gasoline for Christmas joy-rid ing. But it represents the average per son’s investment in college properties in North Carolina after two hundred and fifty years of history. If the colleges of North Carolina were burned to the. ground tonight, our sweet potato or our peanut crop would rebuild them all tomorrow. What-we spend for automobiles and aucomobile parts in a single year would replace our college buildings and equipments nearly four times over. In ten years we' have invested one hundred and forty million dollars in au tomobiles, but in two hundred and fifty years we have invested only fourteen million dollars in college properties, de nominational and state. And further more, we are buying automobiles fast er than any state in the Union—at the rate, indeed, of forty-seven million dol lars a year, or one hundred and thirty thousand dollars a day, counting Sun days. California has invested in her state university alone two and a half million dollars more than North Carolina has invested in all her thirty-one college properties. And the same startling contrast will be presented by Michigan when her nine million dollar program of university building is completed. When Minnesota finishes her three and a quarter million program of building, she will be the third state whose university property is worth more than the com bined value of the thirty-one college properties of North Carolina. Our fourteen millions in college prop erties of every kind mean that North Carolina is poverty-stricken in college education. Once upon a time, as has been said, there was a reasonable ex planation for the college-poverty of this state, hut that day has passed, and we are now face to face with a situation that is disgraceful when set against our vast stores of new wealth and our vast expenditures for almost every other purpose under the sun. A Shabby Worhing Income The exact total of the working income of our colleges is $2,434,646.. Here is what it cost the people of North Caro lina to keep their 31 colleges going in 1920. It is an average of only ninety- five cents per inhabitant. And ninety- five cents is right around the cost of a single circus ticket, or a half bushel of wheat, or a plug or two of low-grade chewing tobacco, and it nis a good deal, less than the cost of a pound of smok ing tobacco ef any grade whatsoever. Illinois spends upon' her state univer sity alone just about what the people of North Carolina spend upon all her thir ty-one colleges put together. And the University of Texas is asking for a maintenance appropriation that is half a million dollars more than the com bined ingomes of all the colleges of North Carolina at present. The work ing fund of our colleges needs to be doubled at once. It can be done at a cost of less than two dollars a year per inhabitant. We spend six million dollars a year to keep our churches in commission, and less than half that amount to keep our colleges in commission. Education has always been called in North Caro lina ‘the. hand-maid of religion’; what we seem to mean is, ‘poor relation, on half rations’. It is distinctly not creditable for North Carolina to spend twenty millions a year for gas and oil to keep her mo tor cars going, and only two and a half millions a year to keep her colleges go- ; ing. It is brain-power that determines ; the quality of a civilization, not gas- I engine power—the diffusion of culture, ; not the consumption of gasoline. Greece I was great twenty-five centuries before motor cars and airplanes were invented. Rich Enough to Educate The emergency the state faces today is the necessity for quadrupling the buildings and equipments of her colleges and doubling their teaching forces with in the next five years. It calls for at least fifteen million dollars for state colleges alone, and perhaps another five millions for state institutions of benevo lence, or twenty millions all told, or four millions a year during the next five years. We do not happen to know just what these various state institu tions have called for in their budgets, but our opinion is that the crisis we face cannot be met with much less than the total we have named. ' It is a large total. If our eyes are turned backward upon the ancient pov erty of the state, we are likely to flinch. If we row like John Bunyan’s water man, with faces' set to the rear, if we look one way and row another, we shall move ahead at a pitiful pace. But if we look about us at the substantial wealth the stftte has accumulated in amazing abundance during the last five years, we are likely to take counsel of courage and not of fear. The simple fact is, the state has accumulated greater ma terial wealth during this five-year period than during all the preceding two hun dred and fifty years of her history. Our farm crops alone last year brought six hundred and eighty-three million dollars reckoned at farm prices, and the output of our mills and factories sold for six- hundred and fifty-eight million dollars. All told, the brand-new wealth we cre ated in 1919 amounted to more than one and a haIfj,billion dollars. We are at last a billionaire state—not merely in the wealth we have accumulated, but in the wealth w'e annually create. In view of facts like these, it is pert inent to ask whether or not we are rich enough to give our sons and daughters a liberal college education equal to that offered by any gther state in the Union. The answer is, yes. And there is no other answer.—E. C. Branson. of themselves better farmers. A goodly number of farmers from all sections of the State no doubt will make it a point this year to take this Course. In order that our farmers may be better prepared for better and more profitable farming next year and in subsequent years, than they have been doing in the past, it would appear to be the part of wisdom for theip to take a few days off in January and to go to the State Col lege for this work. People in other lines are attending and profiting by sim ilar short courses; will not a large num ber of our farmers do the same? It is announced that the Course this year will include practical matter' per taining to field crops, commercial ferti lizers and farm manures, pruning, spraying, insect and diseasd enemies of crops and orchards, and the most effec tive method of their prevention and control; farm dairying, poultry raising, livestock feeding, handling and judg ing, soil management, fruit and vegeta ble growing, diseases of farm livestock and poultry, and their prevention and control; and gas engines and farm trac tors. Those attending the Course will be supplied free tuition, and rooms may be secured in private homes in close prox imity to the College. Meals may be had in the College mess hall at the rate of $19.00 per month. Those wishing further information with reference to the Course, cost, etc., may secure it from Dean of Agriculture, West Ral eigh, N. C. THE LAWRENCE HOLT FUND The University has received from Lawrence S. Holt, Jr., ’04, of Burling ton, a gift of $10,000 to be used in help ing provide a college education for stu dents who do not otherwise have the money to go to the University. The principal of the $10,000 will be es tablished as a loan fund for worthy and needy students, and the income from these loans will be used for four schol arships which will be awarded annually to that member, man or woman, of each of the freshman, [sophomore, jun ior, and senior classes who shall be judged the most needy, deserving, and worthy. It is my wish, said Mr. Hplt, in mak ing the gift to President Chase, that no person shall receive one of these scholarships who would otherwise be able to. attend the University of North Carolina. President Chase points out, also, the double efectiveness of the gift which establis’hes a loan fund and provides scholarships at the same time. It is a generously conceived and finely planned gift, said he, and, so far as I know, is unique in the multiplied results it will achieve. Lawrence Holt has been in close con tact with the University for many years. He has been prominently con nected with cotton manufacturing in terests in Alamance county and now lives at Burlington.—Alumni Review. A UNIQUE SCHOOL SURVEY The Report of the Educational Com mission of North Carolina, appointed by the Legislature of 1917 and contin ued by the Legislature of 1919, has just come from the press. It was the cen tral theme for discussion at the recent session of the North Carolina Teachers Assembly in Asheville. Every citizen of North Carolina interested in the wel fare and prosperity of the state should read this report not only in bulk but paragraph by paragraph and. sentence by sentence. This study of our public school system is one of the best reports on state sur veys of public schools that has come to our attention. It is unique in ;form, ar rangement, and style. While recogniz ing that we are making long strides in educational progress in the state and while acknowledging that conditions in our public schools are much better than they have been even in the recent past, the report clearly, specifically, and force fully points out that we are not doing in this state .all that we can do. It is searching, but thoroughly sympathetic. There is nothing in the report of carp ing criticism but all the way through the study one finds a most understand ing portrayal of our state public school attitude. It is not to be expected that there will be entirely universal agreement with all the recommendations and sug gestions for improvement. This .was shown clearly in the discussions during the sessions of the Teachers Assembly. That there will be practically univer sal agreement upon' the general princi ples involved in the recommendations and suggestions was shown with almost equal clearness in the discussions at Asheville. We may differ in our opin ions about the details, but we undoubt edly will agree in the main with the points made in this report. Copies of this report may be secured from Dr. E. C. Brooks, State Superin tendent of Public Instruction, Raleigh, N. C." FARMERS SHORT COURSES At the State College of Agriculture and Engineering at West Raleigh, there will begin on January 20 a Two Weeks Short Course in Agriculture. This course has been arranged by the College to come at a slack time of the year with farmers and is to embrace only subjects of direct practical value to the busy farmers of our State who wish to make The University started in its career in 1793. Eighty-eight years later, in 1881, the State of North Carolina made its first direct appropriation for support or maintenance of this institution. For eighty-eight years the^young men of this state were receivu^ education at our University when the only funds the University received for all purposes were provided by alumni and friends, and a very insignificant revenue from escheated lands. Not until 1905 did the state erect a building at the University. At the present time alumni and friends have provided funds from which the salaries of the twelve highest paid pro fessors ait the University are being met. Four-fifths of the loan funds for the benefit of needy students are provided by alumni. More than 1200 students have been enabled by loans from these funds to receive education at the Uni versity.—R. 0. Huffman in Charity and Children. •tl I I*' I ri

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina