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The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 14, Number 7 (April 1913)

Pease, Lynn S.
Legislative bill no. 276A,   pp. [337]-341


Page 338


THE WISCONSIN ALUMNI MAGAZINE
state wide election ean ,control M,
election. Ev.ery nefof these a7w*-
yers has also a direct personal in-
iterest, in securing and mnaintaining
:an efficient spreme court.
  Hence, we have safeguarded: the
selection for- this particular office by
securing a non-partisan election with
only one issue-the    actual merits
of -the respective. candidates-with
every candidate. measuring   up   at
least fairly well, to a known stand-
ard.
  So far, we have not tbeen able to
so safeguard the   election of any
other public officer, -whether at fall
or spring election.
  Can -we secure the same safe-
guards in the election of regents,
viz., (a) non-partisan election;- (b)
a  standard ,of qualifications; (c)
,qualifications tested  by   efficient
service; (d) merit of candidate the
sole issue; (e) a large group of citi-
zens representing every community
in the state directly and personally
interested in selecting, the most effi-
cient candidate, and (f) bearing such
relations to their several communi-
ties that they have a controlling in-
fluence in the election.
  Even a casual inquiry discloses
the impossibility of establishing in
the election of regents the funda-
mental safeguards which protect the
election of supreme court justices.
  First: The work of the board of
regents is of such a character that it
would be a most serious blunder to
attempt to establish one standard of
qualification for each member. Of
course there are certain fundamental
qualifications essential to the real
efficiency of any regent. Integrity,
intelligence, non-partisanship, strong
personal interest in the work of the
university, a natural, real interest as
W-citizen. in, public affairs, close con-
tact with the life of his own commu-
nity, proved, efficiency in. h :-.own
business life, ,& epend'n-e i n-" d
menrt are all essential qualificatins
-for a .i!eally- efficient- regent. BI ut
alone they are not sufficient,  The.
university is a.r very large and; im-
porfant institution. In order t' serve
the best interests of 'all the people of
-the state, it must engage in a large
number of differenit activities. There
is a constant demand from the state
for larger service at every point. It
is an impossible task -to. meet: all the
,demands for service. Hence, it be-
comes -aý tremendous task'ý to  keep
these: activities in hand so that the
university growth is most- efficiently
directed  to rendering   the service
which is most important. It is a per-
fectly simple matter for any depart-
ment at Madison to show beyond any
question that on account of the limi-
tation of funds appropriated for
that department, it cannot begin to
contribute the service that it could
if it had at least fifty per cent more
money. The healthful development
of the university requires regents
whose special training is such that
each one is able to comprehend and
appreciate certain important feat-
ures of the university work which
escape the attention of the other re-
gents who have not that special
training. Hence, the most efficient
board of regents will be composed of
thirteen men and women, each one
possessing special qualifications not
possessed by any of the other mem-
bers. It is evident that we could se-
cure a board of regents, possessing
all the various qualifications enumer-
ated, and yet select them from a sin-
gle type or class the same as we se-
lect supreme court justices. But sup-
338


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