NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1142759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Using Calamity to Drive College Policy: President William Beardshear, Iowa State College, and the Challenge of Enrollment Growth, 1891-1902
Biggs, Douglas
American Educational History Journal, v43 n1 p59-74 2016
The six Land Grant colleges and universities across the upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and Iowa State) all faced unprecedented challenges in the 1890s. The economic depression brought on by the Panic of 1893 saw budget cutbacks and lean times, but the "McKinley Prosperity," combined with the beginnings of the Golden Age of American Agriculture put more money in the pockets of farmers and townspeople alike, who sought higher education for their sons and daughters. The economic recovery, in turn, helped to fuel a significant enrollment growth in all of these institutions at the turn of the century. These challenges of growth touched every corner of the institution from curriculum, to classroom and lab space, to concerns over student behavior, but two of the most difficult issues facing colleges in these years related to the housing and boarding of students. This article argues that Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State College from 1898) worked diligently to meet the housing, sanitary, and food service challenges head-on as they arose. In the period from 1891-1896 the college successfully largely worked within its traditional paradigm as a residential campus to meet these challenges, but in the period from 1896-1902, enrollment outgrew the available housing and forced a change in paradigm from a residential campus to a non-residential one. In meeting these challenges, the college went through a series of internal struggles when the vision of the president met with opposition from the eleven member Board of Trustees who micro-managed affairs and fought to retain the college's residential character.
IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 79049, Charlotte, NC 28271-7047. Tel: 704-752-9125; Fax: 704-752-9113; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A