derived directly from the University's technical courses. According to a State Journal story, E. b. Cushman, the founder of Cushman Motors, "secured enough technical training in the university to enable him to perfect the old type of gasoline engine and greatly increase its efficiency." Here in the factory manufacturing light-power engines was "the ripened fruit of the university."
In December, 1902, the regents had stated that they anticipated no diffuculties in financing a proposed college of engineering; they expected it to be self-supporting. Because the instruction was very costly and because "no students are surer. . . of obtaining lucrative employment at once upon leaving the university," there had been some thought of imposing special fees upon engineering students. But this idea had been dropped, and as a result, in their 1907 report the regents requested funds to cover improvements in buildings and facilities for engineering.
In that year Professor C. R. Richards was appointed associate dean of the Industrial College in charge of engineering. Previously he had been director of the School of Mechanic Arts, whi had been doing so poorly-- not for lack of University support, but for lack of interested students-- that at one point Richards suggested it be discontinued; he did not think that it should interfere with the regular work in engineering. Reporting to the regents in his new capacity in December, 1908, Richards declared that the University must establish a college of engineering. Conditions had changed since the early years when "the Industrial College, comprehending all pure and applied sciene was a useful subdivision"; the need now was to place all branches of engineering within the structure of their own college. Separating out the engineering courses and forming them into their own rational unit, Richards, believed would undoubtedly strengthen them.
Confusion in the Agriculture Department
Meanwhile the agricultural deparment of the Industrial College was finding the going heavy. None of its difficulties were new, and the University continued to fight the same old battles in behalf of scientific agriculture and agricultural education. Yet the desire to solve the department's problems took on new urgency in the first decade of the twentieth century, for as the population of the world mounted, demographers, economists, and other experts, influenced by the writings of Malthus, saw the specter of famine looming on the horizon. And at a time when it was becoming all the more important for agricultural production to be increased, countless young people were leaving the farms and heading for the
"wealth and ease" of the cities.
In 1900, the agricultural department wsa so submerged in the University scheme of things that Dean Bessey, speaking at chapel to the downtown student body, felt it necessary to point out that an agricultural campus and an agricultural course were associated with the University. The average student's unawareness of the existence of the agricultural branch extended to the people of the state, who, according to farm editors and spokesmen, were either completely indifferent or openly hostile to the University's offerings in this field. Referring to the small enrollment in the department, S. C. Bassett, a major figure in Nebraska agriclture, said that the University offered enough agricultural courses, but the students usually made their own decision as to what they would take, without any parental instruction, and not man chose these offerings. Bassett strongle indicted the common schools and high schools for failing to offer instruction in agrilcture. In the course of many visits to rural schools and high schools, he said, he had heard the pupils reciting lessons in geography, arithmetic, English, and Latin, but never once was their attention directed to the agriculture
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