In researching high impact student entrepreneurs I spend a lot of time trying to learn about and understand American research universities. Today, while reading Edwin E. Slosson’s Great American Universities (1910) I found an interesting passage in the chapter on Stanford (known as Leland Stanford Junior University at the time of publication and just 18 years old in 1910).
The snippet below is taken from a passage where Slosson describe’s Stanford’s President David Starr Jordan and his university (p. 114):
“President Jordan has done a good deal of public service both at home and abroad; for example, by his work on the Fish and Seal Commissions. His faculty do little public work by comparison with the State university faculties, and they are prohibited from engaging in outside occupations, such as establishing private offices or seeking practice, lest they should neglect their teaching. It is hard enough to get first-class men in engineering even when they are allowed to carry on professional work, and this is in most schools regarded as rather an advantage, because it jeeps them efficient and up to date.”
The Stanford that Slosson visited and the Palo Alto he describes are quite different from Stanford/Palo Alto of today. Have to read about Bush, Terman, Shockley, Fairchild, etc. to get that story. It was well after Slosson’s time.