« PrejšnjaNaprej »
TABLE 1.-Organization of State agricultural experiment stations'
1 Data from Report on the Work and Expenditures of Agricultural Experiment Stations, Office of Experiment Stations, 1901.
: In 1882 the State organized a station here and maintained it until June 18, 1895, when it became a part of the Hatch station at the same place.
Scope of Study of Agricultural Research The ensuing survey has for its purpose a comprehensive study of the nation-wide system of agricultural research built up during the last half century in the United States, a system that is unsurpassed by any other country in the world. The various phases of the work will be treated under the following general headings: (1) The control and relationships of research activities; (2) financing; (3) the results of research in agriculture; (4) station organization and management; and (5) standards and special problems in agricultural research.
Throughout the study it is proposed to present the facts with a view of showing the agricultural experiment stations as an agency of service to the agricultural industry, to the many other related industries and agencies, and to the American people as a whole.
Chapter II.-Control Over Research Activities by Agencies
Outside of the Station Organizations
Originating as they did through the interest of the people as a whole, and made a part of a State and national system, the agricultural experiment stations from the first have been subject to supervisory control by Federal as well as by State governments. At creation, also, they were in most States made a part of the respective land-grant agricultural colleges, and as a result have been subject to the control of the institutional authorities.
The individual agencies that may directly or indirectly exercise overhead control have grown in number, as governments and colleges have grown, and become divisionalized and departmentalized. Table 2, although lacking somewhat in completeness, indicates, in a rough way, for 1928, such control agencies and the main activities over which control may be exercised.
TABLE 2.-Agencies which may exercise overhead control of agricultural experi
ment stations and the main station activities in which such control may be (xercised
State administrative control, for the most part, stops with the president of the institution and the regents or corresponding agency which constitutes the governing body of the institution. Federal administrative control is limited to the supervisory work of the Department of Agriculture in connection with Federal subsidies provided through the Hatch, Adams, and Purnell funds.
In some instances delay resulting from the necessity of securing authority and approval from several agencies may retard progress and interfere with the prompt action that agricultural emergencies sometimes demand. Obviously it becomes difficult to maintain high morale among research staff members if the channels of overhead authority are so intricate as to prevent prompt purchase of minor supplies and equipment or to interfere with travel for timely observation in connection with a research project that may mean thousands or millions of dollars to the agricultural industry.
Difficulties are sometimes due no doubt to lack of complete understanding between control agencies and research workers concerning the influence that business formalities may have upon the object and output of research for which funds have been made available. Gorerning boards and presidents may well keep constantly in mind the following statement of James Rowland Angell as regards the individual in research:
Individual initiative, resourcefulness, ingenuity, imagination, vision must be kept at a high pitch all along the line.
Here we are not concerned with quantity production of a stereotyped product, of which the hundred thousandth specimen shall exactly resemble the first. On the contrary, the product is in some sense constantly varied and, unless it proves to be varied, the process has failed of its purpose, has degenerated into mere hack work, or has been based on essentially mistaken principles.
Although it is true that the modern tendency and need is for organized research as distinguished from research by the individual genius working alone and in seclusion, the element of individual initiative and responsibility must be large. Research must be organized in such fashion as to promote joint effort and purposeful cooperation of individual research workers. Organization for control must carefully avoid suppression of individuality and diversion of attention from the research problems themselves to control procedure. Businesslike accounting for public funds is essential, but procedure should be as simple as possible and so arranged as not to become a competitor with discovery for the best efforts of the research staff. Otherwise control action will result ultimately to the disadvantage of the State and its agriculture.
& Angell, James Rowland. The Organization of Rescarch, Association of American ['niversities, Proceedings, 1919, pp. 27-41.
The survey returns and field study by the survey specialists show that the research staff is not jealous of such control as an infringement of prerogatives. Such discontent as exists arises for the most part from the disturbance by reason of multiplied and inapt regulatory control of concentration upon complex and difficult research problems. Once a research is assigned the objective of control should be none other than the providing of adequate facilities and promotion of a morale capable of super effort. To the extent that this objective is distorted by control agencies they should accept responsibility for delays and reduced output from research.
Relationships with the United States Department of Agriculture The responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture under the Hatch Act were delegated to the Office of Experiment Stations, established October 1, 1888. For the first few years supervision was mainly through reports submitted by the colleges and stations. Since 1894, however, the work and expenditures of each station under the Federal acts have been reviewed with some thoroughness annually by a representative of the Office of Experiment Stations. The procedure for such review has developed with increases in Federal funds. At present it is essentially as follows: (1) A representative of the Office of Experiment Stations visits each State experiment station annually, inspects all vouchers drawn on the Federal funds and discusses each research under way with staff members and administrative officers. The review of research on Federal funds is supplemented to some extent by review of all research carried on by the station. (2) All research paid for from Adams and Purnell funds must be outlined in writing and submitted to the Office of Experiment Stations for approval before expenditures are made. Any changes from the approved plan must be with the consent of the Office of Experiment Stations. (3) A program of proposed investi
. gations on Adams and Purnell funds is submitted to the Office of Experiment Stations annually before July 1 each year showing by projects the proposed expenditures of these Federal funds during the succeeding year. (4) Annually the station submits a financial
( report of expenditures classified on forms provided by the Office of Experiment Stations. (5) The station director each year submits a report on station work and progress to the Office of Experiment Stations and in recent years a complete list of station research projects is solicited but not required.
By questionnaires and discussion with administrators and research workers an attempt has been made by the survey to discover how this Federal supervision is viewed by the State institutions and the Fed