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Egstad, H. M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumni magazine
Volume 33, Number VI (March 1932)

Jamison, Charles L.
Prof. William A. Scott,   p. 173

Page 173

March, 1932                                                             
The Wisconsin Alumni Magazine
  Resignation Closes Quarter Century of
  Active Life in the Commerce Sch0ol
         Professor of Business Administration
                University of Michigan
           HEN Dr. Scott retired from the director-
           ship of the School of Commerce in 1927
           there was no person associated with the      PROF. SCOTT
           school or closely tied to it by bonds of loy-  He founided an
alty and devotion, who did not feel a distinct loss,    ideal in 1905
Yet Dr. Scott was still there, occupying the same of-
fice, with its old Morris chair and its orderly rows of
books. There he unobtrusively dropped a word of
advice now and then-a balance wheel that was need-
ed more than many were willing to admit. Now that
this patriarch of the school has retired, has with-  tained a strict discipline,
however, that forbade loose
drawn his presence and with it his counsel and influ-  thinking and irresponsible
utterances in his classes.
ence, the old grads and those who worked with him   Many a man who sat under
him in his graduate cours-
on the teaching staff may well pause to take stock of  es can be grateful
to him for that rigid training that
what Dr. Scott meant to the course in commerce.     forced them  to become
clear thinkers rather than
  More than a quarter of a century ago when univer-  fuzzy-minded parrots.
As an administrator Dr. Scott
sity courses in business were new, he planned a cur-  was always fair and
loyal to his colleagues, support-
riculum that was a marvel of completeness and bal-  ing the men under him
with unflinching faithfulness
ance. Then textbooks on business subjects were rare  through many a stormy
battle. His urbanity and con-
and superficial. Trained teachers in the field of busi-  sideration of the
members of his staff marked him
ness were almost non-existent. And yet he surround-  always as an innate
gentleman. Never was he known
ed himself with a strong faculty- and--it is doubtful if  to -summon a- -professor-
to--his-- office as -an officious- -
a single graduate of those early years feels today that  business executive
sumons an office boy. He always
his time was wasted. One point of view that Dr. Scott  went to the professor's
office if he had anything to
had at the beginning, and seemed to retain throughout  communicate. His participation
in worthy student ac-
his entire incumbency as Director, was that business  tivities was marked
by earnest consideration and un-
is applied economics, that there is no wide gulf be-  derstanding of students'
problems. He did not waste
tween the science of economics and the science of   time with ill-considered
platitudes when called upon
business administration, that all business courses can  to address student
assemblies. What he had to say
be and should be tied into the theory of economics.  was carefully thought
out for the occasion in hand.
Therein lay the strength of the school. Other univer-  His talks always were
packed full of wisdom and sage
sities established schools of business that surpassed  advice.
the Wisconsin school in size and renown. Yet Dr.      While Dr. Scott has
not been as prolific a writer as
Scott remained loyal to his ideal of high scholarship  some of his contemporaries,
his scholarship has been
and the teaching of principles rather than methods.  none the less profound.
His work on money and
That is to say, he remained loyal to the ideal in his  banking has stimulated
many of the ideas expressed
own heart, although the trend of the times was away  in the writings of other
scholars. The influence of his
from that ideal, and he did not interfere with his  unpublished lectures
in economic theory is felt today
associates who followed the trend. The time may     in many class rooms from
one end of the land to the
come when the best universities will drift back to the  other.  It is regrettable
that so much of the manu-
trail that he so patiently blazed, when the tendency to  script that has
accumulated through the long years of
harbor sublimated business colleges in otherwise first  his patient research
is yet unpublished. Scholars who
grade universities, will be changed for the more schol-  appreciate the output
of his fine mind cannot but hope
arly pursuit of once more uniting the science of busi-  that his new leisure
will give him an opportunity to
ness with its mother, the science of economics. When  put this valuable material
into print.
that time comes, if it ever does, Dr. Scott will be en-  But the march of
time brings an end to the reign of
titled to a niche in the hall of fame as a pioneer who  all good leaders.
Dr. Scott at the age of seventy is en-
lived far ahead of his time.                             titled to a rest
after a strenuous and useful life. The
  As a teacher Dr. Scott was thorough and ineffably  best wishes of all his
former students and campus
patient with earnest, deserving students. He main-  associates go with him.
                                                 Page 173

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