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Pingree Vs. Boone

Pingree Vs. Boone image Pingree Vs. Boone image
Parent Issue
Day
26
Month
May
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

I l'he tronbie which has been precipitated at the State Normal College appears to be serious and to threaten the highest interests of that important institution. The trouble appears to bè cbiefly on the ontside, however, rather than within the institution, for the year jast closing is acknowledged to be one oí the most quiet and prosperous in its history. Tbis row is but a resurrection of the fight of sorae years ago ou the president. President Richard G. Boone is a strong man and any institution at the head of which he stands will always know that he is no inconsiderable factor in its affairs. This is and has been the source ot lunch of his trouble as president of the college. That he has made rnistakes goes without saying. That ha is not always diplomatic and that he is not always as tactfnl as he might be is possilby true, bnt it is equally true that as an educator he is more than the peer of any of his predecessors, the strongest man who has ever been at the head of the itistifriition. In fact Lis strength lias buen his weakuess. It is alleged that President Boone is dictatorial and heartless, untruthful and fails to pay his debts, but these things seem not to have militated agaist the progress and growth of the school. The years of his administratiou have been prosperous without exception. The institution has grown in numbers, making riecessary more buildings, and an enlarged faculty. The graduating classes have more than'trippled. The numbers graduat ing f rom the life certifícate courses have iargely increaed as have the number of high schooi graduate.3 who enter. All this too in spite of the fact that the courses of study have been euriched and extended. As to his dictatorial policy, it seems to have consistedprincipally in his determination to exercise those furctious which belong tohis office. When it is inown that the entire administrative work of the institution is in the hauds of eight comniittees appointed by the council which is the administrative body of the college, it ia diffiult to see where the opportunity for the alleged dictatorialuess comes in. Hisheartlessness appears likewise toconsist in lecommending for dismissal teachers who are thought to be inefficiënt and uuable or unwilling to do the work properly required of thein. So far as the Argus is able to learn the charges of lack of veraoity have grovvn out of issues which have been hotly conttsted such as the dropping of certain teachers. Under such circumstances such charges are to be taken with a grain of allowance. So far as the disccurtesy to and bad treatmfint of Misses Plunkett and Berkey, as alleged in the Free Press is concerned, the Argus has been unable to obtatin any information ; bnt if this charge is ou a par with the falsity of the charges relative to the teachers who were dis■charged two years ago, they are entitled to no consideration whatever. In the cases of Miss Cannell, of Lau - sing, and Miss Ball, thty weie uot tendered a re-engagement because their work was not satisfactory either to President Boone or the htate board of educatiou. The board of education was certainly in syinpathy with niin in the matter, lf there was discourtesy and treatment to cause indignation in the fact of not retaining teachers who were considered iuefficient, then these teachers were discourteously treated but not otherwise. Relative to Mr. Hiratn W. Miller, his work was not qoestioned but his trouble was au ubfortuuate temper which he seemed not to ba able to control at all times. He had been warned of what this would lead to. Miss Ida Taylor was not retained because of her refusal to do certaiii model lesson work required of her iu her grades. Her position left no possible ground for compromise. Everyone who has liad experence with school matters understands how extremely difficult it is to get rid of an inefficiënt teacher without causing trouble and just such charges as are made against President Boone. Yet who will say that they should be retained year after year, especially in a normal school when the work is coustantly held up to those who are fittiug themselves for teachers as model work? Iu regard to Prof. Sinmious, it is "vvell known that his appointment was made under circumstances which caused much talk at the time. He was a niember of the state board of education uud as a meiuber of the board remarked "pulled the wires" for the place he was appointed to. President Booue did not desire Prof. Hoyt be transferred from the superintendency of the training school to the department of I I pedagogy in order to make room for Mr. Sinanuons. He declined to reoommend the appointment of Mr. Simmons. Proí. Hoyt did not desire the position to which he was transferred and did not condsider himself best qualified for that work. Nevertheless it was done aud Mr. Siininons resigned from the board at the very meeting at which he was appoiuted superintendent of the training school. In the talk at the time it was said he was not agreeable to certain members of the board or the faculty while in the position of a member of tne board. Therefore the board proceeed to pm him in a subordínate positiou frotn which it was said he could be droppec at any time. That the president of the college should uot have the highest regard for a teacher so appointed is nol surprising. The Argos nnderatands, ho wever, that his only objection to Mr. Siinraons is on the ground of his work. All these things would seem to be within the legitímate sphere of the president. That his hand is upon the ïnBtitution in its entirety is trne. This activity and progressiveness has been distasteful to some members of the facnlty. But those members of the facnlty who have been most displeased with him and are his enemies are the very ones who nsed all their influence to secare his appointment. They likewise were leaders in working to secure the removal of Principal Sill. It will thus be seen that the coudition of dissatisfaction with the head of the institution is chronic with them. Some years ago, dunng the principalship of Mr. Sill, after an election of two new members of the board, a committee oí the facnlty composed partly of those members who are regarded as nnfriendly to the present administration, asked for a conference witn the members of the board elecfc The purpose was to lay before the members elect, before their terms began, the weaknesses and inefflciency of Mr'. Sill. They did not wish the new members to flnd out for themselves the facts in the case, but to nave them come upon the board with preconceived notions, if possibie, prejudiced against him. This element of the faculty has long made the burdens of the executive head of the institution doubly heavy. If anyone interested in Continued ou Forth Page. PIIGHEEJS_ BOONE. (Continued from first page.) the mater wül take the tronble to look tip the history, he will find that the variona principáis of the ïustitution have not been long lived. President Boone is already approaching the limit. Dnriug the admiuistration of the saiutly Estabrook, life was made a bnrden to him and he was finally driveu out. He was followed by Dr. McVicar who in order to maintain himself was forced to rde rongh shod over certain of the faculty. H found the position sonnpleasantandunsatisfactory that he took the' first opportnnity to lay the bnrden down. He was followed by Edwin Wihetts wkose term was brief He left to become president of the agricnltural college. The institntion never feit his individnality. Then carne J. M. B. SilL The ' institntion prospered under his adminstration bnt a considerable element of the facnlty was against him and intrigned to get him out. He was considered a weakling and his snggestions and advice were scorned and defied. President Boone has never been a figuría head. He has been an pver nr.t.ivf forcefnll. Progressive tor in the life of the institntion. The jhanges whióh have been made in the faculty upon bis recommendation have enerally resnlted in strengthening the faculty. Better work was never done in the institntion than now and it oever stood higher. Dr. Boone's ability as an edncator is unquestioned. Ie isin de.mand at all sorts of teachers' jatherings and sammer schools as a ectnrer and he has given the State iormal College a reputation far beyond our state which it has never had efore. He is likewise an anthor of note. It is altogether hnman that tbere should be differences among the members of so large a facnlty as that of the State Normal College, but when these oecoine so great as to threaten the highest interests of the institution, they or the persons responsible, shoulc be cut out, root and branch. Auc ■when the time comes that the good o: the college demands the retirement o President Boone, there are others who shonld!go with him, for their respon sibilty for the exisiting difficnlties i not gmall. The same reniedy that was applied by the board of regents to the homeopahic medical college here will thp.n serve the best interests of the school. It is allegad that President Boone does not pay his bilis promptly. For vhatever of trntb there may be in this charge, the Argus has no -word of defioise. But'it is át a loss to tttiderstandwhy so mnch is made of the charge by citizens, when it is known that at the time of President Boone's appointment, varion s prominent citizens nsed their best éndeavors with the state board of edücation to seoure the appointment totbe 'presidency of the college of ar former professor of the institution ■who remoled from the city with vari - ons unpaid bilis sdme of which at least were still rnnning at the time said citizens desired his appointment to the presidency. This wonld indícate inai there mnst be some other animus. It is understocd the state board of edncation is split in two m the middle that the two who are opposed to President Boone are Perry F. Powers and Jason E. Hammond. These men are mere puliticians and birds of a faather. The institutiou is most unfortunate in having two such men on its board of control. Tne furthering of tbeir own politica! ambitions is the matter of flrst importance with them. The rule under which every person on the pay roll of the college, from the president down to the janitor, is "re-hired" each year, a rule which lowers the digmty of every position in the faculty, is a couception of tbeirs. It was alleged at the time this regulation was passed tnat its object v as to enable these two members to get President Boone out of the institntien. But under this rule he has been reengaged for the coming year and it is not clear how they eau get him out, n he declines to resign, which he nndonbtedly will do. There is concerted action eruauating from some source to bring about the resignation of President Booue. It is understood a letter is extant over the signature of Gov. Pingree in which his purpose not to sign auy appropriation bill for the Normal College while Dr. Boone is at its head. is declared. The short sighted people who are responsible for bringing on this row at the prresent time, may thus find that they have done an irreparable injury to the institution in their zeal to "üown"4President Boone. Should this iresult come npon the college, those who have been respon8ible wijl have an account to settle with the people. The end is not yet.