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Buchen, Walther (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VII, No. 7 (April 1910)

Zollman, C.
Recent criticism of the university,   pp. 7-8

Page 7

Recent Criticism of the University
                        C. ZOLLMAN, Law,'09
  One of the necessities of such a public
institution as our University is public
criticism. Honest, fair and bona fide criti-
cism can only be helpful in its develop-
ment. Without such criticism the danger
of ossification can hardly be avoided. Every
inhabitant of the state has an interest in
the University and a right to point out its
defects. By this means the University will
not only maintain its present high stand-
ing, but even increase its usefulness. Hon-
est criticism of its educational, govern-
mental, social and other policies is one of
the duties of the patriotic citizens and
loyal sons of the University. Every criti-
cism which seeks to thus expose defects,
even though its author should be mistaken,
is to be welcomed. The University has
nothing to hide. All it has is exposed to
public gaze and is public property. Its
sole aim is to serve mankind. If it makes
a mistake, the more speedily this mistake
is corrected the better. If any one, there-
fore, exposes such a fault he confers a
benefit on the state and on the University.
  But much of the criticism that has been
made, especially of late, is not of this char-
acter. It is not helpful, but harmful. It
is not constructive, but destructive. It is
not bona fide, but mala fide. Starting with
the local papers, a hue and cry has of late
been raised which has echoed and re-echoed
through the state. It has spread like an
infectious disease into every part of it and
has even gone beyond its boundaries. Well
meaning people who do not know the facts
and have no means of ascertaining them
have been misled and have become preju-
diced. The persistency with which the
campaign of misrepresentation has been
carried on would indicate that there is a
well organized coterie behind it. It cer-
tainly is not a mere accidental, temporary
spurt. This fact makes it worth while to
enlarge a little more at this time upon
this matter.
  The visible outward cause of all this stir
has been the visit of Emma Goldman in
Madison. The real facts of this visit are
few and simple. The anarchist came to
Madison of her own volition, visited the
University, which is open to all, went
through the buildings and asked to be al-
lowed to address some. of the classes. This
was refused, but the Socialist club granted
her a hearing in the Y. M. C. A. hall,
which is not a University building. Prof.
Ross, because he had seen some woman
tear down the placard announcing a lec-
ture of Miss Goldman in a downtown hall,
mentioned her presence to his classes,
breaking a lance for free speech and at the
same time announcing his opposition to
philosophic anarchy. Miss Goldman lec-
tured on two successive evenings, a mile
from the University grounds, and an-
nounced that she would return in the sum-
mer to carry on certain studies in the. Uni-
versity library.
  On this foundation the local newspapers
have for weeks built up the most extrava-
gant charges against the University. So
insistent have they been that the board of
visitors, through a committee, has inves-
tigated .the whole matter most thoroughly,
hearing testimony, visiting classes and
reading the books used in the various
classes. The result of this investigation
was laid down in a report of which the
following is an extract:
  "This investigation discloses nothing
that would warrant the charge that anar-

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