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For eight hundred years Western societies of turn to universities for the teaching discovery and preservation of advanced knowledge. From small beginnings in Bologna and Paris men have built giant educational complexes to serve not only students but governments industries and the general public as well. The huge American Multiversity these are the subject for this series Multiversity today. The programs were produced in the studios of WRAL the University of Illinois Broadcasting Service. Dennis Corrigan is your host for today's program about what's going on inside the Multiversity today. The Multiversity what will it be like 10 20 50 or 100 years from now. Where do we go from here.
I suspect that new means of communications. Electronic means of communications may mean that Multiversity is are not going to be confined to campuses as much as they are presently. If there was a knowledge which was able to make man a model without giving them knowledge of the way to use that immortality there would be no use in it. I would suspect that they will be broken up with then themselves into smaller entities. To a man who has any sense at all no question can be more serious than the meaning of human life. The point is that in the midst of this whether we will recover the fundamental concern
for the educative process which the earlier college and university possessed and of course this is essential because the culture can exist without it. As you cannot exist because you cannot exist without a characteristic education which which creates its members which gives them the common values the common knowledge is which they must have in order to be a culture. Wait for him. He demonstrates a very ragged. The Multiversity Where does it go from here. We would demonstrate a very rare gift indeed if we could see far enough into the future to answer that question with complete accuracy. Yeah certain observations about the future of multiverse cities can and should be made unless we wish to make it a policy of just muddling through. Planning is
organized speculation that is based on educated guesses about the future. And during the rest of this program we will be talking about some of the educated guesses about the future of our modern Multiversity. To put this program into perspective. We asked Mr Henry Johnson assistant professor of education at Illinois State University to compare old and modern goals of higher education. Right. The early college has its principal concern with education. That is there is no way that if you go back to the Middle Ages of course it's true that universities arise not as substitutes for your education but as
centers of inquiry and study. But they rapidly took on educated functions in the communities which is where some communities of which they were composed had definitely educational and definitely educational purposes involved in them. Now they are at the American College or the colleges the western world know at the undergraduate college for several hundred years previous to the middle of the 19th century at least had as its function the educating of a person that is the preparing of it in the making of him into a kind of man the society deemed to be valuable and useful. And this was everything was bent to this that is bad as it was it may have been inefficient at times and so on it may have been guilty of many errors. But everything was meant to it. On the other hand they are the modern university has so conceived its role in regard to advancing knowledge and making the fruits of it available to the culture and that this issue has become very much buried I think the question it seems to
me is that. It is the contemporary university as it has arrived now. The best place for the process of education perhaps it can be defended as the best place because it's to live as it intellectually and so on. But if it is the best place how are we going to develop educative center is within it so that the educated function is not lost in the light of the others. I'm not saying that the others are bad because obviously they're good there and they're necessary. One couldn't turn them back if one wanted to. But the point is that in the midst of this whether we will recover the fundamental concern for the educated prices which the earlier college and university possessed and of course this is essential because the culture can exist without it. As you cannot exist a culture cannot exist without a characteristic education which which creates its members which gives them the common values the common knowledge as which they must have in order to be a culture. And if the educational situation is so fractured and just unified the no longer presents that in any coherent way. It's doubtful that you're going to get any
kind of coherent man who is a man of the culture so to speak and we simply haven't tackled this in any kind of a realistic way. General education programs are not built on the necessity of education are usually built on a process of departmental political horse trading so that you get a few units of this and a few units of that it depends upon how strong one department is how many units are involved. Until we come back to a conception of education as a as a basic function which may have its own criteria and may require its own kind of expression I don't think it will solve the problem. Then Professor Johnson you believe that we need both education in its traditional sense and technical training. Oh absolutely yes there's no doubt because you can't I mean education simply can't withdraw from its relationship to the culture and its demands. But one of these demands though not the most obvious one today is the demand that we educate people. That is that we make them into men in the sense the culture of you is what a
man should be and that is an eye thing in itself. It is not a byproduct purely of research. It is an object of it in itself and it may be best to do that where research isn't in that is an action you say because you want the knowledge and the interpretation the understanding to be the freshest possible. The most profound possible maybe I think it is the best place to do it. But whether it's best to do it in the way we do it is a highly isn't quite another question I think. In the immediate future what sorts of changes would educators like to see that what sorts of changes do they believe they will see. Mrs. Louise Allen a faculty wife former faculty member at the University of Illinois and currently a member of the faculty at Parklane junior college in Champaign Illinois believes that there will be
an increasing integration of junior colleges and universities. Basically I think we're going to see a trangia Murrin Murrin in the coming years. Are the universities going toward and not just this one but universities in general going toward a quite high level of job training a kind of super specialization I'm talking about applies a fairly intensive examination of culture. I think we're going to see a great deal of job training also. And different kinds of job training. In the kind of institution where I'm teaching now it is to say the community college kind of institution and a lesser but real emphasis on the culture at that point too. So I think the whole history of American education tends to make these two tracks run alongside and we tend to think that in that a man ought to be both a way or an unlined about his
culture and highly skilled in some aspect of his future employment. This is Alan's interest in cooperation between junior colleges and universities is shared by many prominent educators. Dr. John a Hannah president of Michigan State University looks to publicly support a junior colleges to ease the pressure of numbers on his Multiversity. The following comments from Dr. Hannah were made during his State of the university address on February the 12th 1968. Now we're seeing another influence at work on the universe today and this time with a more welcome result. And this is the growth and development of the other colleges and universities enjoying public support which results in the lessening of the pressures upon Michigan State to accept large increases in freshman enrollment year after year. No matter what our resources and facilities and we're cautiously beginning to hope that we have finally reached the stage where we can
exert intelligent control over our growth rate as measured in terms of students the freshman class accepted in 1965 the current junior class may prove to have been the largest class of freshman at Michigan State University history. Transfers from junior and agreed granting colleges and admissions to the graduate program may and probably will account for the bulk of enrollment increases in the years ahead. Now then I may prove I was justified in our optimism. But at any rate we have no plans to build additional dormitories for undergraduate although we do have completed plans when additional residence hall for graduate students and we will proceed with it when financial conditions are more favorable for building and for borrowing. What about this question of size and growth rates than Dr. Hanna mention.
Just how big should Multiversity get for now. There seems to be a continuing growth. The Multiversity. In fact the term Multiversity shows signs of giving way to mega versity just how much more growth can our Multiversity tolerate and still maintain high quality educational programmes. Just what is the optimum size for a multi bar city. You know an interview prepared for this series by W. K. are Dr. John B Wilson assistant published and director of undergraduate education at Michigan State University was asked what would be the optimum size Michigan State University. I very recently served on a committee that was directed by the president to examine the total undergraduate program at Michigan State University and of course we've looked at this problem as precisely as we could. And it was the consensus of that committee that the university should begin to think seriously about leveling off its in Rome and given our present
circumstances here given the multitude of fact factors that must be taken into account that somewhere between 40 and forty four thousand students in East Lansing. The assumption that committee was that the present undergraduate enrollment of approximately thirty two thousand students represented an optimum size. Once again given the geographic the. The architecture all the teaching resource factors that have to be taken into account in a in an assessment of this kind and that our graduate program over time should develop solely due to something on the order of 10 to 12 thousand students. This was the judgment I want you to realize of a faculty committee that asked to look at a whole range of questions and this was of course one of the first first ones but ultimately obviously the authority to make such decisions rests with the board of trustees and again with the people of the state of Michigan. And one can trust and hope that their wisdom will prevail. But I think that in trying
to decide this question you go one one of course tries and all sorts of ways to measure it objectively. But I think in the last analysis it's probably a subjective judgment of people who know the community well know the teaching resources well know the problems in the state of Michigan and outside the state of Michigan have to be solved by institutions of higher learning. You take all of these things into account and then finally it seems to me you you have to say what is that optimum size after which too much faculty and administrative and board energy and intelligence and and commitment. Have to be devoted simply to the problem of solving the problems of size. That is to say I think after the university gets very large IT spends an inordinate amount of energy trying to minimize the problems size when that point is reached in a given locale. And I think you probably become large enough. And again the committee I served on thought that that point was not too far
distant from somewhere around 40 44000 students growth rate was a major factor considered by Dr. Robert E. Corley dean of student affairs at the Chicago Circle campus of the University of Illinois. When we asked what in his opinion would be the optimum size for his urban commuter campus when you ask in my opinion I suppose it depends on the time of day you ask me and the particular season of the year there are times when I wish we had. Wish we had approximately three students but an optimum size of campus I think. We could deal with approximately 25000 students without too great a difficulty providing of course this. The students were not the increment of students was not added to rapidly. I think this is where we've had some of our biggest difficulties because in one year we grew 60 percent in one year which we
required a great deal of staff problems as well as student problems as well as the program problems for that size of growth in one year this is not normally done at any university or college. However I think in a more normal growth rate that a 25000 student campuses is rather easily managed. The Chicago Circle campus is one of three campuses operated by the University of Illinois. We asked our w command member and past president of the University of Illinois board of trustees to consider the question of optimum size for all three campuses. Well I often I'm asked this question about size and I think many educators believe as I do it many trustees that it's almost an impossible question to answer. No one has really given
any definitive answer as to optimum size. I think regardless of the size of our institution and the manner in which it's structured is extremely important and we need to have entities within the large Multiversity that give the student the feel and the experience of a smaller group he relates to smaller groups rather than the total university in most instances. And I think instruction within living borders and things of this kind are things that we should certainly be looking at as a means for. Lessening the adverse effects of larger society. With.
What will Multiversity be like in 50 or even 100 years. Both Dean Corley and Howard W. Clement stressed organizational and technical changes. Well I suspect they'll be quite different than any of us really can imagine at this point. I suspect that new means of communications electronic means of communications may mean than Multiversity is are not going to be confined to campuses as much as they are present. My fact we already see some of the technical developments in the study and the use of the language labs through the telephone systems where you can sit at home and you don't even have to come to the campus to use an language or lab anymore you can simply dial a number from your own home. I think this might be a lot of those techniques might make the campus itself into something quite different than we have
normally thought it should be and maybe much of the actual studying and new kinds of libraries will develop so that the information retrieval will be of such a nature that we don't have to depend upon the same kind of old traditional structures for libraries. It's it's. I'm not imaginative enough and creative enough to know to write this kind of science fiction that I think might actually characterize the multiverse to be of the future. But by the same token I'm not frightened of it. I think the human species is capable of adjusting to a number of things and I think it will probably take this kind of development in stride. We will screen very often and it will complain about it then it will call it dehumanizing and in alienating in its effect. But I suspect that that same kind of human being that we will see in the future will
be making the same general kinds of complaints but he will be he will be able to take this kind of thing in stride though I am afraid to say what it will be 50 years or hundred years in the future. I'll look back from somewhere and probably not in anger but in wonder at what has happened but I think it should be exciting. I would suspect that they will be broken up with bend themselves into smaller entities. Although physically they'll be one large campus I think we may be by that time back to the concept of a college within a university in its truest sense namely
that the colleges themselves are comparable to what we think of today as as individual institutions. I think there will be very large advances in the techniques of transmitting knowledge. The development of computer assisted teaching and things of this guy this kind are really just beginning. So that it's almost hard to imagine how far we we will be able to go in that direction. There may be I think great strides also in that you know techniques such as reading you know we are beginning to learn many things about some of our previous techniques such as in the teaching of reading. We're learning a great deal about the new age at
which an individual can start to learn and I think in the future our university campuses will not have this stratification of age groups that they have now but that many people will advance to the university level at a much earlier age than they're advancing today. By the same token I think there will be a much greater emphasis on the continuation of the learning process and we may well have the student bodies that are made up of individuals to age. Seven or eight up to 70. But change is an organization and teaching techniques the dean Robert Connolly and trustee Howard Clemente discussed will have an influence on future education. Though it's difficult to say exactly what the effect will be. We suspect that
these changes will be regarded as changes in tools in the how of doing things and not the why and then what about the why. What about the questions of educated and training functions. Professor Johnson discussed at the beginning of this program Dr. July Burnett professor of the philosophy of education at the University of Illinois looks forward to not only a growth of Multiversity days but a growth of technical and community colleges as well based upon a much richer foundation in the arts and sciences and we've had it in the past. Not a low level vocational or technical program which is just simply a mastery of that work skill but rather technical and vocational education that is based on a good background in science and the arts. So it's that well it would be a vocational education that allowed one to really educate himself. It would be as foundational as we hope our undergraduate BMB dance program here. Well it is foundational for specialized training and continual so
for education. What does Professor Burnett believe will be the future of Multiversity. Well I think the multiverse cities are going to grow enormously in size and in number. I think however projecting all trend lines concerning number of students going on for higher education practically every form of American higher education is going to develop and to quite an amazing degree. I think the multi-verse days are going to. So you want at least to the development of one new phenomenon and that is so more post-doctoral work the Ph.D. is not and a few years I think going to be a terminal degree at all you will have to have had post doctoral research someplace to cap this off. So I think the moment diversities will grow in size and number and I think the number of years that a person applauds his weary way of onward in getting through one
probably will be extended though perhaps not on the same formal basis as it has been in the past with the awarding of formal degrees for the subsequent work. Where is the multiverse today now. And where do we go from here. Professor Burnett. Well I think they're going to and already have changed the whole character of higher education they've introduced a new factor and they've introduced complexity galore and the saying I would suspect that not only are they going to grow to become more influential and much more influential in national affairs and state affairs but they're also going to call into existence a whole variety of other types of educational institutions at the higher education level. And their rather obvious shortcomings I think are going to be bolstered in a very short time as exhort going to be
curtailed somewhat I think because people will try to erect different types of institutions to solve some of the problems that the multiverse cities can't cope with. So on the homeland I think that they're serving a good purpose. However there are many good purposes and there are going to call into existence other types of institutions which will specialize in different ways. But Multiversity What is it. It is a giant highly complex institution of higher education engaged in the business of producing adults adults that cannot only live with our changing technical society but work with it and direct it. Multiversity these are places where the noise of a seamount mixer is as much a part of life as struggling with an
empty ballpoint pen or jumping at an expected class bow. They are skyscrapers chicken coops library stacks. Fraternity houses dormitories a fleet of cars a case of mousetraps but most of all Multiversity these are people. People who in varying degrees all share the responsibility of teaching our future leader who's. Boss diversity these are people who have a role in shaping not only their own future. But the future of our nation and the world by what they are doing inside the Multiversity today. During the past half hour you have heard the final program in a series about what's going on inside the Multiversity today. Your
The multiversity today
Where Do We Go From Here?
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University of Illinois
WILL Illinois Public Media
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3648. This prog.: Where Do We Go From Here? Some serious and not-so-serious predictions.
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Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-38-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:26
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Chicago: “The multiversity today; Where Do We Go From Here?,” 1968-11-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 29, 2022,
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