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Berge, A. John (ed.) / The Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 41, Number 2 (Feb. 1940)

Kellogg, Louise Phelps
The University of Wisconsin: its history and its presidents,   pp. 115-121


Page 115


The- University of Wisconsin
                   Its history and its presidents
             Prof. Arthur Beatty, Editorin chief
       I  Dr. E. A. Birge, Associte Editor
                                 Chapter II.
                        .HENRY BARNARD
                  by Louise Phelps   . Kellgg, '97
                  Research Associate, wisconsin Risto-rical Society
THE University of Wisconsin had been in
   operation as a small classical college for
nine years, when it was reorganized in
1858, at the demand of its enemies in the
legislature, and its friends on the Board of
Regents.   One feature of the reorganiza-
tion involved the entire faculty who were
all dismissed at a meeting of the Board of
Regents, on July 27, 1858, when Chancellor
Lathrop's resignation was accepted. Nearly
all the professors were at once re-elected,
and the 'Chancellor was appointed professor
of moral philosophy, ethics, and political
science. On the same fateful day a new
  chancellor was chosen, /Regent Levi Vilas
nominating Henry Barnard of Connecticut,
and. N. W. Dean sponsoring Horace Mann.
The votes were taken: eight for Barnard
and one for Mann. Barnard was declared
elected, and Lathrop was directed to corre-
spond with Barnard, inform him of his elec-
tion, and request his acceptance. Thus Barn-
Srd entered offie in a storm which never,
subsided into calm during his brief tern of
service, and lasted long after his departure
from the state.
  What lay behind this effort to secure one
of the chief educators of the nation for the
University of Wisconsin,, for it was well
known that next to Horace Mann, Henry
Barnard stood as the foremost advocate of
improvement in educational forces? First,
the dissatisfaction with the University it-
self, as evidenced by the continued attacks
upon it by the legislature and many of the
people of the- state; secondly, dissatisfac-
tion with the entire school system, especial-
ly with the preparation of teachers. Dur-
ing the discussion in the legislature and its
culmination in the reorganization by the
Board of Regents, so well described by Dr.
Joseph Schafer in the preceding chapter,
considerable emphasis was placed on the
necessity for Normal training; and finally
the regents appointed- a committee of three
-to cooperate -with the Board of, Normal Re-
gents with regard 'to securing a professor
for that department in the University. The
three men appointed were Lyman C. Draper,
superintendent of public instruction, Josiah
L. Pickard, president of Platteville Acade-,
my, and Chauncey Abbott, a-well-known
lawyer of Madison. At the fateful meeting
of July 27, 1858, these men reported in fav-
or of the reorganization, criticizing the Uni-
versity for its low standard of scholarship,
and its lack of practical training.
IT WAS evident that these "school" men
  favored a reorganization of the entire edu-
  cational system of the young state and were
  determined to obtain competent ability to
  accomplish it. The- older group, headed by
  Professor 0. Ml. Conover, were in opposition,
but Conover was displaced at this meeting
of the re ents, and the friends of Normal
train'ig carried the day.
   Draper can hardly' be classed with the
 professional educators, since his position as
 superintendent was somewhat of an anoma-
 ly. He was a scholar of. wide acquaintance,
 who had come, to Wisconsin five years
 earlier-to reorganize and build- the State
 Historical Society; this he was accomplish-
 ing well and his two years of superinten-
 dency were but an episode in his true ca-
1'--
115


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