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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
. OFFICE OF EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C., August 22, 1930. SIR: At the request of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, the Office of Education undertook July 1, 1927, a survey of the 69 land-grant colleges and universities, including 17 institutions for negroes. The survey was completed June 30, 1930. The expense of the survey was defrayed by Congress which appropriated $117,000 for the purpose.
For more than a half century these institutions have grown in importance as vital factors in the agricultural, industrial, and educational progress of the Nation. However, in view of the great changes that have come in the economic and social life of our country it became highly desirable to make a critical study of the achievements of these schools and to reappraise on a scientific basis their objectives and functions.
The survey provides basic data and information which can be used by these institutions and by the States in making adjustments that are necessary to develop a more effective educational program, and to render increasing service to the social and economic life of the Nation.
In order to promote the welfare of these schools and to assist the public in more fully understanding their contributions to society, I recommend the publication of this survey report as a bulletin of the Office of Education. Respectfully submitted,
WILLIAM JOHN COOPER,
Commissioner. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
It is the purpose of this introduction, first, to describe the circumstances under which the United States Office of Education 1 undertook to survey the land-grant colleges and universities of the United States; second, to indicate the purposes for which the survey was undertaken; third, to characterize the attitudes that have controlled during its conduct; fourth, to describe the methods followed
the organization developed for the prosecution of the survey; fifth, to acknowledge the voluntary assistance rendered by institutions, individuals, and organizations, and to list the survey staff; and sixth, to describe briefly the form and scope of this report, and to call attention to the wealth of material assembled that will repay further study.
In the spring of 1926, through its executive committee, the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, upon the advice of the Secretary of Agriculture, invited the cooperation and suggestions of the Office of Education with reference to a survey of the landgrant colleges and universities of the United States. This undertaking did not originate in the Office of Education nor in any other office of the Federal Government. The presidents of the land-grant colleges had been discussing such a survey for some years.
On April 22, 1926, Dr. John J. Tigert, then Commissioner of Education, wrote to the chairman of the executive committee of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities that the Office of Education“ would not care to enter into any arrangement to participate in such a survey except upon the basis that the Office of Education be in charge and direct the work. The importance of the task, the conflicting factors involved, and the necessity that the survey agency. be free from any possibility of the charge of undue interest, make this an essential consideration."
Under these conditions the executive committee on May 21, 1926, extended a formal invitation to the Office of Education to undertake the survey. In the letter it was stated :
The time has come when the colleges themselves feel that there should be a national study of these agencies, with a view to determine how well they are fulfilling the purposes for which they were established and what changes
1 The name of the Bureau of Education was changed to Office of Education in October, 1929, by order of the Secretary of the Interior.
or modifications, if any, are necessary in order to enable them to meet more effectively the new situations that are arising. We feel that such a study is a national problem, having to do with the work in all of the States, and that the investigation should, therefore, be headed by a national agency, and the natural agency for the study is the Office of Education.
I have taken the matter up with the members of the executive committee and I am now, on behalf of that committee, officially requesting you to make provision for such a study.
I can assure you that the executive committee, as well as the colleges themselves, will give every possible cooperation in this study and I am certain from it will result policies that will be of great value in the future development of these colleges in their relationship to our agricultural and industrial life.
On May 25, 1926, the Commissioner of Education, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, formally accepted the invitation of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities to undertake the study. The Secretary of the Interior, Hubert Work, presented the matter to President Coolidge. The President gave his approval and authorized the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to include an item for the study in the estimates for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1927.
When the project was submitted to the Congress during the hearings on the appropriations for the Office of Education, Department of the Interior, Congress gave assent immediately, with the result that an item of $117,000 was included in the appropriation to enable the Secretary of the Interior, through the office of Education, “to make a study of the organization, administration, and work of the land-grant institutions,” $61,000 being available in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1927.
It was contemplated in the beginning that the study would require two years. After the work was under way it became evident that a longer period would be required. Without increasing the total appropriation of $117,000, the unexpended balances of preceding years were made available for continuation of the study in the third year.
The following statement issued by Commissioner John J. Tigert on November 18, 1927, defines the purposes and attitudes of the Office of Education in undertaking the survey:
(1) The Bureau of Education regards the survey as a National study of the accomplishments, the present status, and the future objectives of the land-grant type of education, and not a collection of surveys of individual institutions.
(2) The bureau feels that the success of the survey depends largely upon the impartiality and thoroughness with which it may discover facts and make constructive recommendations. Therefore, it will be the policy of the bureau to maintain entire control of the work and assume responsibility for the report. At the same time, it is planned to utilize to the fullest extent all of the groups, agencies, and individuals who are now organized to carry on and promote the