The Freedom of the University in a Free Society
THE FREEDOM OF THE
UNIVERSITY IN A
By N. A. M. MacKenzie
President of the University
of British Columbia
THE FOUNDERS' DAY ADDRESS
FEBRUARY 16th, 1953
OF NEW BRUNSWICK
FREDERICTON N. B.
This is one in a series of speeches given at the University of New Brunswick and published by the University.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to be with you and to have the honour of delivering the Founders' Day Address for 1953: The province of New Brunswick and the Maritime Provinces in general have made a great contribution to British Columbia, in the numbers of their people who have gone there to play an important part in the development of industry and commerce, and to contribute much to education, the church, the professions, and provincial affairs. Because of that sense of indebtedness and because of all that I and members of my family owe in personal relationships to our friends in New Brunswick and in this university, including a host of happy memories, I consider it a privilege and an honour to be able to come back among you and pay tribute to what you have done for us and have meant to us.
The idea that your Founders' Day should be suitably commemorated was first proposed by the students of the university about 1942 during the period that I was president. Colin Mackay wrote about it in The Brunswickan, and he and other members of the Students' Council came in to discuss it with me, and I in turn discussed it with the members of faculty and senate. The idea was obviously such a good one that we all agreed that something should be done about it, and I am most happy that it has become a regular and formal part of your university ceremonials—a ceremonial, furthermore, that is carried on with such distinction and enthusiasm.
The challenge of choosing a topic for the address appropriate to this occasion was a real one. Were I an historian and as well grounded in the history of New Brunswick and the Maritimes as Dr. Bailey+ is, I would try to give you something in that rich area of history. Since I am not an historian, and since my knowledge of the Maritimes is the superficial one which all of us who love the Maritimes have acquired, rather intuitively and haphazardly than logically, I feel it best to leave this tempting prospect and to turn to something better suited to my training and experience. I think it is fair to say that the better subject for my purpose is universities and university life—and that fortunately it is also a most significant subject. I have been associated with universities, and more particularly with Canadian universities, since 1913, although there have occurred certain gaps in that record due to war and other causes. Because of this long association with universities as student, graduate student, professor, and university president, I feel that I should know about universities and about what I consider to be their function and place in society. Because my time is limited, there is one aspect of this subject upon which I would like to concentrate this afternoon: "The Freedom of the University in a Free Society".
I am the more drawn to this topic because of the nature of our contemporary society, because of my concern for the place of freedom in it, and because of the attacks which some unthinking and bigoted persons have been making in recent years upon university people, upon university ideals, and upon universities in general. I am happy to say that few of these attitudes have evidenced themselves in Canada. We Canadians have been secure and fortunately free from the excesses of injuries, of persecution and oppression, which have become dark commonplaces in our day in other parts of the world. Nonetheless, there are indications even on this continent that we in universities are not immune from the danger of regimentation, of control and the suppression of our freedom. There are a number of evidences of this which one could quote, and from these I select a few of the most vivid.
One notable instance is the controversy over loyalty oaths in certain American institutions and the growth of fear and suspicion in that country. Another is the appearance of such a book as "God and Man at Yale", written as an attack upon Yale by one of her graduates, and still another is such an article as "The Darkness at Noon at Any American College" which consists of a violent attack upon American universities in general by a professor at Earlham College. May I make clear at once that I do not object to individuals, certainly not to university professors, criticizing the universities. In fact, I am very much in favour of this, provided the criticism is intelligent, well-founded, and reasonably free from emotional prejudice. The significant thing about the current attacks, however, is not the persons who wrote them, nor the fact that they are critical, but rather the widespread circulation and promotion they have received throughout the
business communities in the United States and in Canada.
One may well ask how many of the articles which appear from time to time telling of the constructive and creative work done by universities, receive this kind of attention or circulation. Yet here one has promotion of a type which many writers might envy, given to statements as prejudiced and as unthinking as are these words written to me fairly recently by an old business friend in Toronto. He says, "I thoroughly disagree with you on the functions of the university. Universities should not be trying to foist new ideas on their students and they should not try to explore the unknown. Their education should be basic." This
is a direct quotation, incredible though it may appear to people who have come to associate university, functions with those defined in my own statement which my friend has thus criticized: namely, that one of the most important functions of the universities is to explore the unknown in search of new knowledge both in the world of ideas and in the physical world, and in due course to present these ideas and this new knowledge to society at large for its examination and criticism, its acceptance or rejection. One has, however, to face the certain fact that to a group of persons whose views cannot be disregarded because they are widely publicized and likely to be considered as authoritative by persons unfamiliar with higher education, the function of universities as promoting freedom of inquiry and opinion is a target for a sustained and often cleverly manipulated attack. What answer is to be given in behalf of a principle which university-educated
men and indeed all cultivated men have long held as axiomatic? Presumably the only kind of answer which the university mind as we conceive of it knows how to make, and that is a thoughtful re-consideration of the role both of the university as an institution for the higher education of the country's youth and as a free
institution functioning as an essential part of a free society. But this demands more searching and sober thinking about the traditions of both universities and free societies than many of the critics seem disposed to give them.
Let us turn our attention first to the role and function of universities, keeping in perspective the relevance of the matter of freedom as the ultimate point of consideration here. Of course universities are primarily concerned with the whole education of young people—with the traditional and admirable trinity of body,
mind, and spirit—an education that is concerned not merely with knowledge but with understanding, not merely with skills and learning but with values and wisdom.
It is true that universities provide and maintain centres of international influence, of scholarship and research in various parts of the country, but even this great role is incidental to their prime function of training the mind and helping in the maturing of mental and moral growth of the students who come to them—
and it is here that one has to come to grips with the concern for freedom: the freedom to inquire and to discuss, and to have the right and the duty to pursue truth, and having found it, to make it known.
It is always instructive at such a point to glance back in history and also abroad to note the views of distinguished men on just these matters. Benjamin Franklin's well-known evaluation of the role of education in the free society is always worth quoting again: "I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. . . . Wise and good men are, in my opinion, the strength of a state far more so than riches or arms."
I have also here a most relevant quotation from the address of Dr. Somerville, first president of this institution, though it was delivered well over a hundred years ago at the first conferring of degrees on the 21st of February, 1828. I am indebted for this quotation to Clarence Steeves. Dr. Somerville states in his concluding remarks that the great Desideratum in Education is not so much the quantum of knowledge which the pupil may acquire, as the spirit which may have been excited. If the student be put upon the right track of investigation, if the faculty be gradually expanded, and the curiosity aroused, the natural impulse of the human mind, except it be checked by indolence or timidity, is to go forward, and the scholar may make almost what proficiency he pleases. Let me quote directly from him in a later passage: "Let me earnestly urge upon you both, diligence in your studies. Nothing but industry and, labour can make a scholar. But above all things consider the awful responsibility to which you are liable for the benefits of Education bestowed upon you. Whatever abilities, natural or acquired, you possess, use them so far as you can, to the benefit of Society in general, and of your Neighbour in particular. For be well assured, that you never can employ your faculties more agreeably to the Will of the Gracious Donor, the Author of every good and of every perfect gift, than by endeavouring to the very utmost of your power to promote the welfare of your fellow creatures."
Later on in that century, Cardinal Newman made his great statement on the function of universities, in the course of which he wrote, "When the Church founded universities she did so not to cherish talent, genius, or knowledge for their own sake but for the sake of her children with a view to their spiritual welfare and their religious influence and usefulness, with the object of training them to fill their respective posts in life better and of making them more intelligent, capable, active members of society."
Then again, may I draw your attention to two contemporary statements which are stimulating. One is by Sir Ernest Barker of Cambridge, who has recently written, "To have lived in universities for over fifty years is to have suffered many disappointments; to have seen reforms thwarted, defects perpetuated, ardour frustrated, pedantries triumphant. But all the time the great stream is rolling forward, and rolling in increasing volume. The love of learning, the passion to add to it by research, the passion to communicate it by teaching—these are ineradicable impulses which are always growing, flowering and producing fruit in the old and rich and deep soil of universities. We may quarrel about the methods of horticulture. We must give thanks—and here we cannot quarrel—for the soil which we
I also like the view expressed by Mr. T. Fish: "The best advertisement for a University is still the 'University type'—the type of man who because of his university experience has the faith of the liberal university. The marks by which the faith may be known are fair-mindedness, ability to recognize nonsense, responsibility in thinking, moral courage, a conviction of the worthwhileness of the life of the mind, an awareness of the needs of the community and a readiness to create or maintain a society in which all men may live that life of faith."
We have all read and heard a good deal in the last few years about the 'Harvard Report', appropriately dealing with the subject, "General Education in a Free Society." As the oldest university on our continent and perhaps the one most easily associated in the mind of great numbers of people with the idea of the university, it is of interest to read the following statement from a recent Harvard Bulletin. "A Harvard education seeks to develop in the individual the capacity for critical analysis and independent thinking, for understanding facts and ideas, reasoning from them and expressing conclusions lucidly. It tries to increase breadth and perspective, understanding and judgment. It is concerned fundamentally with values and standards and points of view, with the broadening of horizons and the increase of awareness of the basic problems of man and society. Freedom has three major aspects at Harvard. One aspect is institutional freedom from outside interference or control, political or otherwise. A second aspect is the freedom of the faculty to search for truth and express truth as they see it. The third aspect is freedom for the student. It believes in a minimum of regulation and maximum of freedom for both students and faculty. Liberal education is fundamentally education for the intelligent use of freedom in a free society."
Throughout all these different statements you will find concern about, and emphasis on, the importance of the individual; the opportunities for his development; his responsibility to the community and his fellow men; and his individual freedom, with its indispensable corollary, freedom in society—the freedom to have opportunity and to develop. All of these I believe to be in accord with the best in our Christian doctrine and teaching. Throughout you will have noticed the marked lack of reference to the place of authority, and more particularly to the authoritarian point of view. Authoritarianism has no place in the customary language of free men, and yet which of us can let a day's thought go by without taking it into account in the modern world? Our society and our western way of life is at the present time, and has been for the past 20 years or longer, engaged in a struggle for its continued existence with one or other of a series of dictatorships based upon an authoritarian view of life and society. It seems almost as though there were a demonic force in the world letting loose one challenge after another to the freedom we have cherished. In the thirties and the first half of the forties the greatest authoritarian threat came from the Nazi and Fascist forms of dictatorships of which the deep shadows fell across not merely Germany, Italy, and Japan, but over most of Europe, including many millions of people who had long taken freedom for granted. This threat we turned back, temporarily at least, by the expenditure of much blood and treasure. But the menace to freedom has now been actively replaced by the Communism of the Soviet Union and its satellites, and once again we are spending a great deal of our resources and some of our blood in that struggle.
Up to the present time, we in the WeStern democracies have, at what might once have been considered unendurable costs, preserved our freedom. But inevitably we have found dangers to freedom from a more elusive and more difficult source, the authoritarians in our own midst. Because of the duration of the struggle and its pendency, because of the nature of this threat, and because we as a people and a society are among and within ourselves not free from the tendency to hanker
after biases of power and authoritarian attitudes, it is not surprising that in the process of defending our freedoms we find important inroads being made upon them here at home—in fact, anything else would hardly be natural. We would hardly be human if this were not so, because the very process of defending one's society against authoritarianism from without inevitably involves a certain growth of authoritarianism within if only in the concentrated structure of defence. But just because this condition is almost certain to exist, and does exist, we must more than ever be aware of our ideals of freedom, of those objectives or
goals which we have for our people which I believe are best summed up in the word "freedom" (as by no other)—that is, the maximum opportunity of every individual for the maximum development of his own person, in its physical, mental, and moral aspects, consonant, of course, with the necessary minimum safeguards for the welfare of the whole state.
Now this concept of individual growth in a free society with the minimum of necessary safeguards I believe to be contrary to the views held and the policies expressed by the authoritarians, and notably by the dictators, Nazi, Fascist, and Communist. I believe it is their desire and their intention to destroy our ideas, our ideals, and our way of life—in a word, to destroy what might be called the whole art of freedom. I do not think they much care how this is done provided it is done, and in many ways it will be cheaper and easier and more effective if it is done without their having to employ the active use of military force.
That is why I view with such perturbation both the development of fifth columns in our society and the repressive and authoritarian measures that are frequently taken to deal with this. For these are certain to become a threat and injure or destroy many who have no other folly than that they are nonconformists, or
liberals, or in real fact are foolish or stupid people. Fear, suspicions, hatred, persecution, and repression, together with the smear, the big lie, and domestic espionage are among the instruments and weapons of the menace of Communism and Fascism, and are properly identified by us with those ideologies. Their introduction into our lives, and their use and indeed growing use in whatever measure in our Western society is, to me at least, one of the most disturbing aspects of the continuing crisis. For it will not provide many of us with satisfaction if we save ourselves from the external attacks of the Nazis, the Fascists, and the Communists, only to discover that we, unwittingly under their pressure, have destroyed our own freedom; have established through ourselves their form of dictatorship and authoritarian control—we having, in fact, demonstrated for our enemies the proof of the proposition which they all along had been interested in making, that the values they esteem and the way of life they follow are superior to our own, that they are inevitable and must succeed.
The English Catholic writer, Barbara Ward, for whose writings I have a high regard, points out in a notable article in The Atlantic Monthly for December, 1950, some of the tragic risks we run in taking our freedoms and liberty for granted. She says in part,
"We know something of the civilizations that have risen and fallen in the long history of mankind. Through all of them two themes of human belief and organization appear to run: the first that man and society are molded by the immense impersonal forces of destiny and circumstances the second, that the state—whether spiritual or temporal—is omnipotent and the source of all meaning. Subjects were not more than shadows of shadows. Reality rested with king and priest and temple. And humankind together, king and peasant, priest and servant, were bound to the 'melancholy wheel' of fate, the impersonal and unchanging order of times and seasons, the infinite fatality of history. For thousands upon thousands of years, the great civilizations rose and fell, the people alike in servitude to destiny. Behavior, ritual, thought itself, were determined collectively. Men and women lived out their lives within the closed circle of omnipotent government and omnipotent fate.
Into this static world with its slow rhythm of rise and fall, exhaustion and renewal, there broke a new force of ideas and vitality which wrought probably the most radical transformation of the human science since man became recognizably man. Two peoples brought about this transformation, each small in number and vast in energy and fertility—the Jews and the Greeks.
With the advent of these two societies the whole character of human development changed and there entered into history something which we may reasonably call 'the Western spirit'. The measure of its revolutionary power was that it completely contradicted and annihilated the two dominant themes of the archaic world: the fatality of environment and the omnipotence of the state. It is a commonplace that our society is grounded to its deepest foundations in Classical and Christian antiquity. But of all the riches and diversity, these two entirely revolutionary facts must be remembered, for they are the key to the understanding of our own society and to its fundamental divergence from Communism. It is only in their light that the radical newness of Western thought and fundamentally reactionary character of Communist thinking can be fully grasped. The idea that the sum of things could by human will and action be transformed and remade in the image of the Divine took hold of men's imaginations. The Divine order ceased to be the sum of things that are and began to become the sum of things as they should be.
It is the tragedy of Marxist Communism that it restores the old fetters of fatality and tyranny. Because it borrows the terminology of the West and speaks of true freedom and true democracy and true science, men often overlook the profoundly and terrifyingly reactionary character of its doctrine.
In such a world, the return to omnipotent government is inevitable. If man is no more than a unit in a social calculation, to what rights and pretensions can he lay claim?
These are not idle fears. We know from man's long history that the Western experiment of freedom and responsibility is a flash in the pan, a spark in the longest night, an experiment bounded in space and time and preceded by aeons of collective servitude. To step back into an older environment, to regress, to abandon an experiment at once so testing and so abnormal, must be a temptation at the very roots of our being."
The picture which Miss Barbara Ward paints is a sobering one, and it is directly relevant to our discussion of the role of universities in a free society, because the protection of that role as one of continuing freedom and enlightenment represents one of our chief lines of defence against what she describes as "the old fetters of fatality and tyranny". When all is said and done, there is not much that we can do about changing the state of affairs in other great countries, save on a long-term basis of persuasion and influence—assuming always that our ideals and ideas are so kept that they are good and should survive, and should be acceptable and useful to others. But there is much that we can do and must continue to do to protect the integrity of our domestic freedom—indeed I would suggest that this may well be the most crucial factor in our ultimate survival as democracies.
It is proper to be concerned about the extent to which fear and suspicion and hatred and division have developed or are developing in our western societies—not so much, I am glad to note, in Canada as elsewhere, but yet the possibilities are also here. It is proper, too, to be concerned lest in our absolutely essential preparations for military defence we also find ourselves and our allies tending to be converted into military nations in which patterns of organization and behaviour expeditious for the armed forces may obtrude into civilian life; and in which in course of time under the stress of outside aggression, a perfectly
proper concern for security and loyalty among our people may make it difficult or impossible for any one with ideas outside of the rigid standard of conformity to hold nonconformist ideas or to give expression to them. Should such an atmosphere grow, then the police state, the secret police, the spying upon neighbours, and the denouncing of those one does not like or disagrees with—all of these things become possibilities. In such conditions, too, as they tragically progress, the intolerance by certain groups of other groups, and the temptation ultimately to suppress the weaker of the dissenting groups is constant. Surely so long as
the development of such a climate in a free nation's life is even remotely possible, in such a world over-run by "fatality and tyranny ' as is our present world, it is of unusual importance that the universities should continue to be islands of freedom, and that our society should support and defend the universities in
their struggle to retain and to extend this idea and practice of freedom at whatever cost.
I have referred earlier to a statement upon this whole area of discussion by the Harvard Bulletin. It seems appropriate here to draw your attention to certain statements made not long ago on the subject of the freedom of universities by the distinguished former president of Harvard, Dr. James Bryant Conant. His words are thrown into a particularly vivid light because of the recent and continuing attacks made upon him and upon his appointment as High Commissioner to Germany for the United States—attacks which, be it noted, have also been directed at the university. President Conant says,
"There is justifiable concern today in academic circles about certain malicious misrepresentations of the nation's colleges and universities. But there is nothing new in the phenomenon. Mr. Lowell in his day had to meet head-on demands to 'fire' certain faculty members because of what they said as citizens. For the whole of my term of office there have been off and on recurring attacks on Harvard as well as other universities. At the moment the charges range from that of harboring members of the Communist Party to teaching economics in such a way as to make converts to the political doctrine of nationalization of industries or to supporting socialistic schemes for health insurance. However, I am inclined to think the proponents of the ridiculous charge that our colleges are subversive receive a wider hearing today than at any time in recent history. Among the reasons for this change in the popular attitude towards institutions of higher education is the failure of colleges by their collective action to demonstrate the nature of their primary task. For example, the public entertainment business in which almost
all of us are engaged has become so competitive as to generate public scandals.
I have mentioned two reasons why I think those who attack our colleges receive a hearing, but I am well aware that the attackers do not use these arguments. Rather, they make the most of the public activities of certain faculty members and of the political disagreements about economics and social national policy that have divided this nation for twenty years. As to the first, we must admit that a few (a very few) professors in some universities have made foolish public statements as a consequence of their earnest desire for an immediate peaceful settlement with Soviet Russia. To most of us their attitude has been completely unrealistic as to the nature of the global struggle with communism. But before anyone condemns the utterances of those who have seemed apologists for Russian Communism, let him remember how recently we were allies of the Soviet Union and also how long it took for many of us to become fully aware of the true nature of the Communist Party in the United States. If there are members of the staff of any university who are in fact engaged in subversive activities, I hope the Government will ferret them out and prosecute them. But in so doing, I trust it will not create an atmosphere in which professors would be afraid to speak freely on public issues. Certainly if the trustees or administrative officers of a university were to engage in any investigation of a professor's activities as a
citizen, the life of this university would be destroyed. Of that I am sure. Outside of his classroom a professor speaks and acts as a private citizen. What his views may be or how wisely or foolishly he speaks is no concern of the university administration, provided he is not acting illegally as determined by due process of law. And the phrase 'due process' can well be underlined in this period of tension.
As I have said on more than one occasion in the past few years, I would not be party to the appointment of a Communist to any position in a school, college, or university. There are no known adherents to the Party on our staff and I do not believe there are any disguised communists either. But even if there were, the damage that would be done to the spirit of this academic community by an investigation by the University aimed at finding a crypto-communist would be far greater than any conceivable harm such a person might do.
As to the charges that some professors hold unpopular political opinions, the answer is, of course, they do. It would be a sad day for the United States if the tradition of dissent were driven out of the universities. For it is the freedom to disagree, to quarrel with authority on intellectual matters, to think otherwise, that has made this nation what it is today. Indeed, I would go farther and say that our industrial society was pioneered by men who were dissenters, who challenged orthodoxy in some field and challenged it successfully. The global struggle with communism turns on this very point.
As to the balance between orthodoxy and unorthodoxy in any faculty which deals with controversial subjects, be it theology, philosophy, law, political theory, architecture, or economics, that is for each university to determine by its own procedures. The independence of each college and university would be threatened if governmental agencies of any sort started inquiries into the nature of the instruction that was given. The colleges of the United States have nothing to hide, but their independence as corporate scholarly organizations is of supreme importance. One need hardly argue this point in view of the dramatic examples of what occurred under the Nazi and Fascist regimes as well as what is now going on in totalitarian nations."
President Conant's words bring home in a forceful way the need of protection of inquiry and of individual opinion in the universities. However, there is one further important element in the case which his statement does not take into account, and which is of equal or even greater importance. I refer to the trends
toward uncritical, unintelligent conformity which seem to be developing in our highly urbanized and industrialized societies through the media of mass communications. It is always easier to appeal to fear, to hatred, or to suspicion, or to exploit the inertia of the people, than it is to persuade them on the basis of reason to be alert, patient, and objective in their points of view. Perhaps there is a sense in which those who build and operate the channels of mass communication and entertainment are themselves victims of the easy urge toward immediate profits and types of power which have become implicit in much of our value system.
At all events, it can hardly be said that the people who build and operate the radio and television vehicles, the movie production companies and the movie chains, the mass magazines, tabloid newspapers, and third-rate pocket editions which pour out in an endless flood, and the purveyors of professional athletics and other mass spectacles, are concerned to help people think more clearly, be more critical and more resistant to slogans, catchwords, and clichés. Indeed, these are the very stock in trade of much of modern mass-produced advertising, reading, moviegoing, and the like. My point is that no matter with whatever innocence of motive so far as the ultimate political or intellectual results may be, the builders and producers of mass communications are steadily promoting the very type of unthinking conformity, the passive acceptance of diluted standards and values which Ortega y Gasset sees as one of the gravest dangers of what he calls the
Here again the free university functioning in a still free society has an indispensable role to serve. It is just because we are increasingly subject to and dependent upon mass production and mass media for information and recreation—which is to say, by corollary, numberless and continuous instances of mass conformity - that the maximum number of individuals should be equipped to resist these pressures toward uniformity and conformity. Our modern free societies cannot long function as such unless the high conceptions of the individual citizen which have come to us largely from the Christian tradition are not merely ideals but are widely practised; so that the maximum number of our people are encouraged to acquire or develop the abilities to live as individuals; to work and think and act as individuals; to have standards of value, as individuals, which are not necessarily those of the market place and the mass audience; to believe, as individuals, in the importance of safeguarding individual self-fulfilment for all men; to have the capacity, as individuals, to choose and discriminate between the good and the less good, the true and the false, the wise and the foolish, the just and the unjust.
Now it is true that concern for the protection of such a conception of a free society should exist throughout the whole range of a country's educational systems, but if it does not exist in the universities and in the ideal of the free university, it will soon cease to exist at all; whereas much of this concern may be lost
temporarily in certain sections of a free society, but it will not perish and it will ultimately win out and save the whole spirit of freedom for that society, so long as the universities, the very vitals of scholarship, research, mature teaching, inquiry, and free opinion, are themselves free.
These, then, are some of the reasons why I am so emphatic in stating my opinion that universities should have and should retain and maintain the greatest possible freedom, and why I claim that all of those in a position to exercise influence should do everything in their pOwer to preserve this freedom for the universities and for those attached to or connected with them. I know better than most the difficulties, the embarrassments, and the occasional dangers which result from the possession and the exercise of this freedom by some of the members of teaching staffs of universities and by some of the students who attend them. That is why, in talking to university people, I always try to impress upon them the necessity of moderation in what they say and do, the importance of their concern for the feelings and attitudes of others, and why, if they are to claim and possess freedom, they must be prepared as well to accept and give effect to the responsibility that goes with it.
The history of the tradition and the record of achievement of the universities of the Western world is a long and impressive one. Their contributions have been greater perhaps than those of any other group or institution in our society, and, while I would be the last to claim for them or those who belong to them a
monopoly of wisdom or ability or righteousness, I do claim that they are of tremendous importance, and that the future of our society and our world—provided always we survive the atom bomb—will depend upon the freedom and the support which we extend to our universities.
Such books as Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here" and George Orwell's "1984" seem fantastic and incredible, but there are trends which suggest that both of these in a limited way may prove to be intelligent prophesies. They need not be, but our only guarantees that the conditions described in them will not become realities lie in our ability in the new world that is emerging to maintain in his rightful place of supreme importance, the individual; and to insist that our real and only concern is with him and with the opportunities available to him for developing himself in all of his capacities and characteristics to the maximum.
In this again, I insist with all modesty and humility, that the universities have and should have a most important role, and even perhaps the most important role of all.
+A. G. Bailey, Dean of Arts, University of New Brunswick.