MARCH 25, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—I was interested in reading the other day Owen D. Young's letter on a matter which seems to be agitating the educators of New York State just now. This was in reference to whether the new state university should be under the control of the Board of Regents or under its own trustees.
Mr. Young, who served on the Board of Regents for some time, seems to feel that they have already more to do than they can actually accomplish successfully and that the new state university should be under the supervision of a separate board of trustees. I gather also that Herbert H. Lehman thinks this method should be tried out thoroughly before any change is made.
It has taken us a long while in New York State to reach the point of setting up our own state university. Many of us have felt that the great number of young men who have swelled the attendance in every university since the war because of the G.I. Bill, was proof that something should be done to make higher education available on the basis of merit and not merely on the basis of ability to pay. A state university will help to do this.
The G.I. Bill has not only meant that more boys who could profit by a college education have obtained it, but it has meant also that more girls have received advantages they might otherwise not have had. If a family has to choose between giving a boy or a girl more educational advantages, it is still the usual procedure to give it to the boy, if he shows any kind of desire to have it. When the boys are taken care of, as they have been under the G.I. Bill, then the girls are given a chance by their families. So, more girls, as well as boys, have been sent to college since the war.
The new president of Smith College recently made a statement touching on the education of girls which interested me greatly. He feels that the problem never has been met in the education of women, which is created by their early marriage after leaving college and then their desire to find some way to use their training after their children are grown. He feels apparently that some special education should be devised to meet this particular situation and I am very curious to see what he considers the right preparation for it.
I confess that from my point of view it is one of those things that individuals must more or less work out for themselves. But if there is some particular kind of training which would make it easier to meet the situation, I am sure there will be a great many woman glad to prepare themselves for a situation which confronts so many of them.
Last night in Washington Miss Thompson and I were guests of Bess Furman, together with some of her other friends to celebrate the publication of her book, "Washington By-Line." It has been out now for some time and a number of people tell me that they find it most interesting and entertaining.
Miss Furman has had great opportunities to know many people in Washington. It is an advantage to come to Washington from some other part of the country, as you keep a better perspective on news and know more about areas of the country which should not be forgotten even when one is engulfed in the Washington scene.