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Bohi, M. Janette / A history of Wisconsin State University Whitewater, 1868-1968

5 The impact of specialization: the reign of business education (1912-1939),   pp. 123-[178]

Page 123

The Impact of Specialization: 
The Reign of Business Education 
The educational history of a community, broadly con- 
sidered, is the history of its civilization. 
The business of America is business. 
History does not usually do its chroniclers the favor of falling into well
defined categories, but such was the case with the great age of business
(commerical) education at Whitewater. Since Albert Salisbury himself 
personified the traditional normal school, his death in 1911 signalized the
about-face of which the adoption of commercial education into the cur- 
riculum at Whitewater in 1913 was concrete evidence. As the leader of 
a marching band proceeds backward down the avenue with his rhythmic 
brood, so Salisbury directed the progress of his Normal; but in the new 
era administrators found themselves astride trends which, quite beyond 
their control, demanded a forward march into the winds of fortune. It was
an interesting coincidence that Professor Shutts, into whose hands the 
management of the Normal passed for a year after Salisbury's death, typi-
fied the transition. He had served the School for all but the first three
years of the Salisbury administration and was thoroughly identified with
that generation; but he was also a businessman at heart-an organizer, 
publisher, and mathematician who had directed the first bonafide class in
bookkeeping at Whitewater in 1898.2 
Because of increasing opportunities for educational institutions to 
express themselves in a nation shaken by a world war, challenged by hopes
of prosperity, and flattened by a depression, the outreach of the state nor-
mal schools was forced to expand. Because of its particular emphasis in 
commercial education, Whitewater had a chance to step out in an unusu- 
ally profitable fashion as these vicissitudes drove it beyond the relatively
static environs of Normal Hill. Enrollment fluctuations due to World War
I, curricular adjustments arising out of the transition from normal school

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