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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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In 1869 $4,600 was paid out by the college to the students for labor. In 1870 and 1871 $7,000 was so paid out.

By the time we reach 1876 the distinction between instructive and uninstructive labor was carefully elaborated-the latter was compensated by wages, the former by instruction given and expertness acquired, and a very carefully drawn rule defined each class of labor.

By 1880 we find that the freshmen are alone required to engage in uninstructive labor -three hours per day, four days per Week ; but that the members of the higher classes shall engage in instructive labor daily. Special details were gradually coming into vogue, given by the heads of departments to the most faithful and meritorious students of the higher classes.

In proportion as the "rough jobs" were completed, the capacity of the college to supply work diminished; but, at the same time, and in a higher ratio, the instructive labor in laboratory and workshop increased. Much executive energy of faculty and trustees in the years of 1876-1882 was absorbed in the solution of this labor problem. Gradually the mental asserted itself over the manual, and since 1884 the problem has dropped out of sight. Many students do uninstructive labor in the various departments now; but there is no systematized plan on which it is conducted. The student who wants work applies to the head of the department, and if any work needs to be done gets it, and is paid what it is worth to the college.

So the experience here, in the long run, has brought the college around to the same point as other schools that had given the system a fair trial in good faith had been brought.

It is an abuse of terms to call laboratory practice, of whatever sort, labor. It is instruction-in fact, the essence of instruction in a scientific course of study.

The manual labor of students, even when the college had "heavy jobs" to do, was never profitable to the college. Of course many students were enabled to work their way through college by means of the plan, who otherwise would have been compelled to give up the college course. Where tuition is offered free, it is considered the college has done its duty. The young man must do something also.

The proposition that "when a student ceases to labor (uninstructive) he is related to the industries only in theory, and a tendency to gain wealth without labor is fostered," is supposed to be a fallacy, and is certainly negatived by practical experience.

The Fifteenth General Assembly appointed a joint committee to investigate the affairs of the Iowa Agricultural College and Farm. The immediate object of the investigation was caused by the defalcation of the college treasurer, S. E. Rankin.

From an examination of all the college accounts to the date of defalcation, the expert accountant made the following statement, which is here transcribed:

Main laboratory building. $22,000 00

Farm improvement fund. 4,000 00

Endowment interest fund 378 50

Contingent fund 11,022 29

Main college building fund 1,000 00

Total amount of defalcation $38,400 79

The Fourteenth General Assembly made an appropriation of $25,000 for a main laboratory building. The first item in above table relates to this appropriation. So the loss to the interest fund of the college was about $12,000; the remainder of the loss fell to the State. But Treasurer Rankin turned over enough property, which more than covered the loss of the State. When the next General Assembly made an

Page 250 of 460

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