How Land-Grant Universities Transformed American Higher Education

How Land-Grant Universities Transformed American Higher Education

August 22, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


This is the Carsey
School’s contribution to UNH’s year-long
sesquicentennial celebration. And for this we’re very excited
to welcome Nathan Sorber, who’s a national expert on the history
of land-grant universities. And after he speaks,
we’ll be joined by two panelists, Nancy Targett
our provost and Steve Taylor, for a discussion that
I’ll be moderating. I do direct the Carsey School. We have two master’s
degree programs. And we engage in
research and policy analysis and civic engagement. I would be remiss not to mention
that this program is also sponsored by the
Rudman Public Forum Series which honors the late
US senator Warren Rudman. The university-wide series
honors Senator Rudman’s lifelong commitment to
public service, democracy, and dialogue to address the
pressing issues of our times. Before I more
formally introduce– I’m gonna move this to the side. Before I more formally introduce
our speaker and the panel, I wanted to just say a couple
of things about why this– what Dr. Sorber and we
are going to talk about– is of particular interest to me. The period of the Lincoln
presidency when the land-grant institutions were– when
that law was passed– I’ve always felt has been a
little bit under-appreciated in the arc of
public policy-making history in the United States. People kind of jump from the
founding era of the Articles of Confederation,
the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the
foundational Supreme Court cases to the progressive era in
response to industrialization, and then to the Great
Society, and then sort of in the late ’70s
and early ’80s the backing off from the big investments
and interventions in society and the economy. And you know, the
Lincoln era actually– it obviously gets dominated in
our thinking by the Civil War. A public policy fight that
results in 600,000 people dying is going to kind of
get the attention. And the end of slavery was
obviously a huge landmark in our country’s history. And the ratification
of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
connected with that– that’s obviously the big thing
that happened in the Lincoln presidency. But people forget
about the Morrill Act, which Dr. Sorber will discuss. The National Banking Acts, which
created a national currency and which were really
laid the foundation for a modern economy. The first income taxes
were actually adopted by both the North and the
South to pay for the Civil War. The Homestead Act, which it’s
estimated that 30% of Americans are descended from
people who homesteaded, who got free land,
including me actually. And you think about how the
country might be different if that land had just been
open to the highest bidder, or with the portion
of it that was occupied by Native
Americans, if it had been left in their hands. The transcontinental
railroad was chartered. So people forget about all
of these things happening in this era, and how really
foundationally important they were for what
came afterward. So I’m very excited to hear
from Dr. Sorber about one very important piece of that. Now let me introduce Dr. Sorber. He is the co-author of
The Land-Grant Colleges and the Reshaping of
American Higher Education, as well as a forthcoming book,
The Morrill Act in Yankeedom– a History of the
Origins and Early Years of the Land-Grant Colleges. He has written extensively
on land-grant colleges, the history of American higher
education more generally, and the relationship
between higher education and American capitalism. He teaches on these subjects at
West Virginia University, where he is an assistant professor of
higher education administration and the program coordinator of
the higher education program. He has his PhD in higher
education from Penn State, a master’s in education
from Vanderbilt, and a bachelor’s in economics
and political science from Bucknell. Before I invite
Dr. Sorber up I’m also going to introduce
our two panelists, just so we can get right
into the conversation after he’s done speaking. Nancy Targett, our
provost and vice president for academic affairs
here at UNH– she began that in September. Prior to coming to UNH,
she was the president at the University of Delaware. She’s also served as
dean of the University of Delaware’s College of
Earth, Ocean, and Environment. And she’s a nationally
recognized expert on ocean issues and
has led or served on several important national
boards and commissions in that capacity. Steve Taylor is an independent
scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. He has been a newspaper
reporter and editor and served for 25 years as
New Hampshire’s commissioner of agriculture. At UNH, he served a
record-setting tenure as an ex officio member
of the University System Board of Trustees. He was the recipient of the
2009 Charles Holmes Pettee Medal, which is awarded annually
by the UNH Alumni Association in recognition of
outstanding accomplishment or distinguished service to
the state, nation, or world. He was the founding executive
director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. And with his sons he now
operates a dairy, maple syrup, and cheese-making enterprise. So with that, I will turn
it over to Dr. Sorber. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you all. It’s such an honor to be at
this wonderful university. And I got to spend some time in
the lovely town here in Durham. And it’s really been
a great experience. I want to just think the
Carsey School of Public Policy, the UNH administration and
faculty, my fellow panelists this evening, our
moderator Michael Ettlinger for that
nice introduction, and of course all of you for
joining us for what I hope will be an engaging and
thought-provoking event. I should also thank Dartmouth
for dropping the ball so many years ago so we could
move here tonight and have this great event at
this great campus. I thought that would sell. You know, I thought a
Dartmouth joke would go– OK. So you know, my talk tonight
is entitled “How Land-Grant Universities Transformed
American Higher Education– the Past as a Foundation
for the Future.” And yes, it’s
based on two books. Most of my comments
tonight are going to focus on my forthcoming book,
The Morrill Act in Yankeedom, which is a history
of New Hampshire and Connecticut and
Massachusetts and Maine and Vermont, and a
very unique history in the overall land-grant arc. I’m going to discuss how the
land-grant movement progressed through three stages
between 1862 in 1914– what I call the origin
stage, the reformation stage, and the standardization stage. I’m going to spend most of
my time on the first two, because that’s where
UNH comes into the story and help to kind of understand
how this institution emerged. I’ll conclude with some thoughts
on where we are today and kind of transition us
into our conversation on contemporary issues
in land-grant education. So let me just introduce
the legislation, right? It was first introduced in
1857 by Representative Justin Morrill of Vermont. It would pass both chambers
before being vetoed by President Buchanan in one
of his many fine decisions in 1859. The Morrill Act we
know today was then reintroduced by Senator Morrill
after the start of the Civil War. The act’s main opponents were
Southern congressmen, always fearful of federal
incursion into state issues. But as they departed with
their state secession, the Morrill Act passed in
1862 with little debate, signed by President Lincoln
on July 2nd of that year. The law authorized
the distribution of 30,000 acres of federal
land per each congressional representative for those
states not in rebellion against the United
States at the time, that could then be
sold as the basis of a permanent higher
education endowment for the various states. The law said a little
bit about purpose. It stipulated that the leading
objects of these land-grant colleges shall be, quote,
“without excluding other scientific and
classical studies”– that part will be important–
“and including military tactics, to teach such branches
of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic
arts in order to promote the liberal and practical
education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits
and professions of life.” So how do we make sense of
the origins of this bill? So for a long time we’ve
had a traditional view of the land-grant colleges. Now I’m going to call
it the romantic view, the traditional view. And some of you might get a
little upset with this as I go. But don’t throw anything at me. But the traditional
view has always been what we like
to celebrate, right? That scholars, statesmen,
campus presidents– the Morrill Act,
from its beginning, inaugurated democratization
in American higher education in two parts. The curriculum–
practical studies, agriculture, the
mechanical arts– that could appeal to the masses. And democratization of access– college, usually the domain
of the professional classes, could now be open to the
progeny of farmers and workers. And those two things together– we enter our celebrated
phase of the beginnings of mass higher education. We also have Justin Morrill. He’s in statues. You’ve named libraries
and buildings after him. Right? He is our celebrated hero. Son of a blacksmith,
having been deprived of the opportunity
of an education, was passionately
at the forefront of opening higher
education beyond just the professional classes. OK. So my origins view,
from my research– a lot of that is true. OK, now I tell my
students, this is the moment when I was in an
undergrad history course, and I finally researched my
grandfather’s history story about how my great great great
great great grandfather was a Revolutionary War
hero, and found out he was a loyalist that spent
a lot of the time in prison during the war. And I had to deal with that. OK? But it’s going to complexify
his motivations for us. The reason is, I begin my book,
and I begin this whole journey on studying land-grant
institutions, in 1888 in Vermont. And in Vermont
President Justin Buckham of Vermont is facing relentless
criticism from the State Grange, an organization
representing farmers, for failing to serve them– for not providing
a curriculum that met their needs, for
not being accessible to farmers and workers. Justin Morrill was there too. You want to guess on what side? President Buckham’s side. He was standing with the
University of Vermont saying that they were serving
what his expectations were for the Morrill Act. The answer to this
riddle is also the answer in my mind to UNH. But we’ll get to
that in a second. So keep that in mind. I don’t always
view Justin Morrill as a progressive
champion of democracy. OK? Despite being
yoked to the masses through his land-grant
colleges, he didn’t show much
interest in expanding political
participation to women, promoting the
welfare of laborers, increasing political
power of common people. He said little about
emancipating slaves. He was born the son
of a blacksmith, but his most cherished mentors
were New England merchants, traders, and investors. And it would be these men who
shaped the young Whig Justin Morrill into a prototypical
member of the Yankee bourgeoisie. He was a hard-nosed
businessman who pursued debtors unmercifully,
dismissed uncouth customers as backwoods, and
worked tirelessly to accumulate wealth
and capital by investing his profits in railroads,
banks, and manufacturing. What did he do as a legislator? He was a stalwart defender
of emerging industry. He opposed progressive reforms
like the eight-hour workday and direct election of senators. He voted against
women’s suffrage and rarely mentioned
the education of women when speaking of
land-grant colleges. He spent most of his time, in
addition to the Land-Grant Act, drafting and defending
tariff legislation that protected American industry. Now Justin Morrill
is really important. And I love him. But understanding his
motivation is critical. So what did he actually
say when he was talking about this land-grant bill? On the floor he says
to his colleagues, “American agriculture,
manufacturing, and industry is being dwarfed by
international competitors.” He exclaimed, “It’s enough to
know that European governments seem eager to place their people
ahead in the race for mastery.” He discussed how scientific
advances in England and France had led agricultural
production to quadruple, while American
yields had decreased in the previous decade. America’s economic
success depended on federal sponsorship
of scientific education and research. And to these ends,
Morrill lectured Congress to “make no blunder
in the guidance of the industry of the country.” Now he also talked about
being the son of a blacksmith. But he’s talking
about agriculture and industrial development. The other part that I’m
revisiting in the origin story is this assumed
uniformity, which we know. When we look at
land-grant colleges today, they’re very different. And they always have been. The Morrill Act language
was vague and paradoxical. It welded together opposite
views, practical and classical. Right? Don’t exclude– you know, for
all the professional pursuits of life, be open to
the industrial classes. What that means
is the people that would be responsible
for determining how that Morrill Act
would be operationalized would be state governments. OK? So what I try to put forth
is that understanding the development of
land-grant institutions is more dependent
on understanding the realities of local and state
political and economic context, less than any romantic notion
of grand democratic ideal. So we actually see many
types of institutions. We see more vocational
agricultural colleges in the Midwest. Right? We see new state universities
form for the first time, like in West Virginia. Or we see in New
England the Morrill Act being attached to preexisting
private institutions. We also see very
different models. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was
at Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, Connecticut’s
land-grant, who would go on to be president at University
of California and then most famously at
Johns Hopkins, was very upset about how things
went down with the legislation at the federal level. It passed too quickly in 1862. They didn’t have a chance
to have a robust debate and thus all agree what
these institutions could be. He had hoped that they would all
be national schools of science. He had just returned
from Germany. He had seen the universities
at Giessen and Gottingen. And when he was there, he
saw faculty members not only disseminating
knowledge but engaged in advancing knowledge as well. So we see many
land-grant colleges, especially in the
Northeast region, tending more towards this
national school of science model– higher standards, advanced
scientific and engineering curriculum, PhD faculty. But when you recruit PhD faculty
or some leading scientist these institutions
become more costly. As such they become
less accessible. Also, if you’re teaching
high-level science the admissions requirements
need you to get up to above trigonometry. Right? Not something that the
average child of the farm was able to do. But you also had very
vocational institutions, out west in the Midwest,
unified under what was called the
Michigan Plan which any student probably with
a district school education could get into. Vocational curriculum, some
more manual learning pedagogy, practicing farmers as faculty– and they had lower costs. And they were highly accessible. So what this means is– and
as I’ve seen in my research– in places that use
those high science model or national school
of science model, they weren’t really
democratizers. The same people that
went to those colleges went to other colleges. That’s why everybody
was so upset at the University of Vermont. That’s why the Grangers
were so mad at Dartmouth. Because those institutions
were pursuing a different model of the land-grant idea. And that’s what we see in
the early New Hampshire model in Hanover. The New Hampshire
legislature considered some different proposals. One thing you need to know
about the Land-Grant Act is while the federal funds were
to be a permanent endowment, only 10% of that
funding could be used for any capital projects
that we would say today. The New Hampshire legislature,
then as now I believe, was not interested
in appropriating that much funding. And Dartmouth said,
we will do it. We’ll do it. The first person
that’s appointed to run the institution,
the land-grant operation, connected to Dartmouth
is Ezekial Dimond. And he’s a perfect example
of that scientific professor I was just discussing. He had training in Germany. He had been doing original
research at Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School. And when he talked about manual
training or vocational farm training he said, “No. We are not training
boys here to blindly be taught the manual arts as
monkeys are taught to perform tricks at the circus.” His commitment was advanced
scientific education. So when the populist movement
emerges and the Grange starts to gain strength in
places like New England, they critique on three
points these type of models, like we saw at
Dartmouth, Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, at
Brown in Rhode Island. They’re concerned about access. The high standards and
impractical curriculum and costs were keeping
farmer boys out. They were concerned
about mobility. When farmers’ progeny did
get into these institutions, god forbid they became bankers. They left. They didn’t return to the farm. They had a more
advanced education. And now they were
leaving the class, right? Leaving the solidarity
with the Grange. And it was cultural. They saw places like
Dartmouth or Brown as places run by dilettantes,
upper middle class dandies. Right? They did not want their boys
to return as feminized working boys. They wanted working on the
farm, real masculine men, not middle class idle individuals. What was their solution? We needed, like the
Michigan plan, open access, vocational curriculum. And we need education
in a specific line. Don’t teach them all
this other stuff. Teach them farming–
just farming– so they return. Our rural communities
are losing people. They’re losing them fast. And if you don’t return them– brain drain today, right? And culture– we want less
football, fraternities, general frivolity. We want required manual labor. So we have actual
Grange campaigns. You know the one
best here, but let me talk about a couple
others just for a second. I said to you that
legislatures didn’t– they had a good
thing going that they had these private institutions
footing part of the bill. But they had Grange
pressure as well. But there were two other federal
acts that changed the dynamic. The Hatch Act of
1887 provided funding that was supposed to go
to agricultural experiment stations only. Rhode Island cheated
and used it to create the University of Rhode Island. But the real money came in
1890, the second Morrill Act, where land-grant institutions
got an additional $25,000 a year for every year to
grow by 1,000 each year. This was real money now. Now that money could be
used with some state money to create new institutions. Dartmouth– the
Dartmouth response is different in a hilarious way. While Yale and
Brown are fighting to keep the land-grant,
Dartmouth is pushing it away. The reason is– and
it kind of shows how all these institutions
were kind of cheating. The arrangement
with Dartmouth was that the New Hampshire
Agriculture Mechanical School in Hanover kept
some independence. They had an interlocking
board of trustees. And the money could only go
to that side of the house. So the president of Dartmouth
couldn’t get at the money. It stayed over on that
side of the house. So when the Grange convinced
New Hampshire to make a change– they were complaining just
like we saw elsewhere that– this is a classic
Grange statistic. In New Hampshire,
only 20% of graduates are practicing farmers,
whereas 39% are going into business or retail. This is just proof that
we need to go to Durham. It’s proof that Dartmouth
is not a good place to achieve their goals. So the Dartmouth president
expedites the move. And of course, we’re here
today the situation was also altered by the reality– I’m sure many of you
know the story well. Benjamin Thomson’s
bequest brings $408,000 which will have its own return. And what is the stipulation
he puts with his will? The state has to give money too. And finally New Hampshire
gives over an appropriation to get us founded here, the
University of New Hampshire. After the reformation
period ends, everything is not
necessarily all rosy. There’s dynamics happening
in American culture. One of the things
that’s happening is we’re seeing more
public high schools being built all throughout
New England, right? So we have more graduates
interested in going to college. And places like University
of New Hampshire, the new University
of Rhode Island, that are built by Grange
interests, that are supposed to be more vocational– before you know it, you have
more and more middle class families wanting a
traditional education. You also have, in these high
schools, vocational education going on. My point being that as you reach
the standardization stage, what I call the state
college ideal, it starts to become in all these
agricultural schools’ interest to start looking
in similar ways. Right? They get rid of manual
labor almost as soon as they start it. And they start what? A football team. Because that’s what
the people demanding to come to the college want. And that’s the first
kind of standardization. Farmers are upset. Right after they won
this, it seems that it’s ripped out of their hands. But there’s another
movement afoot. The progressive era
movement, a movement that’s been started at Cornell
and other places in the region as well– but the movement
towards extension. And extension is not necessarily
a legacy of the movement. It’s a legacy of
the people pushing back again against
land-grant institutions for not doing enough
to reach them where they are, to meet their needs. So what do we do with all this? It’s a more
complicated story when you arrive at the land-grant
modern model of all these things wedded together. The legacy of that old
scientific national school of science research
university model– that’s part of what we do. The state college ideal, the
teaching of undergraduates, the extension– we put it all together. That’s what we do
in a democracy, to meet all these
different needs. So we’ve reached that reality. And I think what I
wanted to leave you with, or at least to think about, as
we move into the modern era is, what does that story afford us? Which I think is
the accurate story, as opposed to just focusing
on the romantic nature that we thought about
it in the past– that these things all emerged
as this collective effort of we need to do better. No. It was a fight. The legacy of extension is
not from the democratization. It’s from the populist pushback. Right? Us finding our current
model is accommodating competing and diverse interests. So I guess my lesson, then, is
in this history of competing interests and demands we’ve
seen a lot of different groups fighting for a piece of those
federal and state spoils. When the Grange
pressed, you know, there at the University of Vermont,
and were fighting Justin Morrill, or when they were
fighting against Dartmouth to move it here,
they were saying, we are not getting the
benefit of this legislation. Sometimes it was a
special interest. Sometimes it moved
the institution in a different direction. But the university showed
some amazing agility to accommodate these competing
demands on this legislation. So today, in this era
of privatization– that we’re feeling more
at West Virginia today. I know in New Hampshire
you felt it first. You kind of led us down the
path of where we’re seeing land-grant institutions go. What is this idea going
to mean in this era? You know, will the land-grant
idea in an era of privatization become meaningless? Or can we create again not
only a meaningful narrative of how we can serve
the public good, but actually create an
organizational saga that encourages institutional actors
across all different parts of the university
and have a shared commitment to public
good conceptions, however they may be defined? And maybe, just maybe, by
re-tailoring our efforts and reconnecting
with the public, we can see an era of at least
some renewed state support of American higher education. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] So thank you, Nathan. That was very interesting. I sort of want to just say, OK. Nancy and Steve, answer those
questions he asked at the end. And actually, you know, look. The Morrill Act was passed
however many years ago– a long time ago. I would just hear
your reflections on what is its relevance today. Is it in our DNA? Or how does it manifest
itself in what UNH is today? So I think that– I do think it’s in our DNA. And I think a lot of
the people who are here at this institution are
here because they believe in the Morrill Act
and in the purposes of a land-grant institution. I think it’s messy. I think it’s not always
clear how we execute on that and where we’re
going in the future. I think the Academy
right now across the US is in a time of re-equilibration
and re-normalizing. And I think that’s true for
land-grant institutions as well as all institutions. And I think the way that we– I think the strong
institutions, particularly the land-grant institutions,
will emerge from this in a way that they redefine how they’re
connecting with the public and with the private
sector in partnerships. And I think partnerships
have always been key to the land-grant mission. And I think they will remain so. And they will be perhaps
in different forms and formulations
as we move forward. But it’s that feedback
loop between the public and the private sector
and the institution that will remain important. Steve? I’m fascinated with the
history we’ve just heard. I’m sort of a scholar of
that time in New Hampshire, particularly of the force
of the Grange movement. And one little footnote
to the establishment of the University of New
Hampshire over here in Durham was something called
the Grange School Law, or the Thompson Will Case. And there were people who
wanted to get Mr. Thompson’s money and his land and go
against his intent in his will. But the Grange hired some
sharpy lawyers from Manchester to defend the old man’s will. And they would prevail
in the probate court. And without that
decision, history here would have been much different. But I’m particularly
interested in the period during which Cooperative
Extension took root in New Hampshire. And I would like to argue that
Cooperative Extension did more to cement a bond
between this institution and the people of New
Hampshire than anything else. And it started up in
my county in 1912. In 1912 in Sullivan County
there were 1,500 farmers. And a group of farmers
got together and said, if we can get 600 of these
guys to each put up $1, we could hire an
agent, an expert, to bring us knowledge
from the campus and from those experts
down at Durham. And it was a great idea. And by golly, they
pulled it off. And so in Sullivan County
came to be the first Extension office in the state. And the other counties
soon followed suit. They saw what a
great idea this was. And you burrow into
the history and you see what was accomplished by
the establishment of Cooperative Extension in the counties in
just a matter of about five or six years. They broadened it out
from just agriculture to include youth programs
and programs to help families in the home and help homemakers. And you know one of the
most interesting things that they taught? People would go– they called
them home demonstration agents. And they would go out
in the countryside and gather some
farm wives together. And one of the
things they taught was the wisdom of
boiling diapers. All right? Well, you laugh. But in 1912, about
25% of babies died from strep and staph infections. And when you boil the diapers
you really put a stop to that. I mean, that was
a profound thing. I mean, it sounds crazy today. But that was the kind of
thing that was game-changing. And in agriculture, all kinds
of things– ideas, new ideas, testing cows to see which
ones made the most milk, and bringing in
disease-free nursery stock, and on and on and on. And then with the
coming of World War I, the establishment
of victory gardens– that was an
Extension initiative. But it got people in Merrimack
Valley and all over to say, look. We’ve got these
people over at Durham that can come and help
us grow our own food. What a great idea. And this just built over time. And so in my lifetime,
the university– when I was a kid, I
was 4-H. I mean, boy. Go down to Durham. They’re going to have a program. You know? Us kids– oh, boy. Let’s go to Durham. And it just cemented– and it still does. In my county, when
people think of UNH, they think of the little
office over on the Main Street in Newport where they have
a couple or three or four people that bring the
university to the grassroots. You can pick up the phone and
say, I got a bug on the bush by my front door. I don’t know what it is. And somebody will help
you figure it out. Or I’m trying to can peaches. And they get bad after
a couple of weeks. What am I doing wrong? You know, these kinds of
little nitty gritty things– but the university has
that imprint on it. It’s a brand. And long may it live. Yeah. Oh, I’m sorry. May I just make one comment? And just say that today– just to bring it up to today,
there are 148 Extension agents. And more than half
of them are out in the 10 counties in the state. And they are doing small
business development, working with kids,
monitoring the water quality. There are just a
whole host of things that these agents do and have
direct impact in the state. Yeah. No. I think that’s really good. I think the real
challenge is we all have, when we think about what
drives our organizations, these rich sagas, these rich
histories, and practices that we continue to
commit to passionately because of that history. We also are faced with the
challenges of challenging changing conditions, right? The great thing about
the land-grant idea, and not just as a
label or as a brand, but there are a lot of
things to pull from. Like yes, the
Cooperative Extension has a great, rich history. It’s also true that when it
started, 80% of the people were in agriculture
in the country. There’s a lot of states
that have 2%, 1%. You know? And it can be a challenging
conversation of, how do we change
Extension’s portfolio? Should we change its
portfolio to respond to issues in urban
environments, to connect Extension to private players,
or to economic development? I don’t get paid enough to
make any of those decisions. But these are questions I think
that land-grant institutions need to be asking. Because we have to
embrace this history. But we have to look
and be smart and think about how we renegotiate it as
it’s always been renegotiated. Nathan, I wonder
if you could also– in the story you
wove in your talk you focused mainly on
the contested turf. But Nancy referenced the
partnership aspect of this. And I’m wondering if you
could talk about that, and how that developed,
and how much partnerships were involved in the developing
of the concept and its building out? Yeah. No, I mean I– yes. I mean, I think I told
a part of the story that is absolutely contentious. And I think just the idea about
Extension, and how it grew, and the contributions that
land-grant institutions made to agricultural
modernization and rural electrification and
improving the lives of people in some very poor conditions. These were partnerships
between county officials, state officials, land-grant
institutions, regular people. I mean, it’s a real powerful
story of folks coming together. And later on, when we’re talking
in the ’50s and ’60s, the land-grant mission– that idea about access,
the industrial classes– I mean, that was
behind conversations of state legislatures
putting more money in to grow campuses or the
passage of the Higher Ed Acts. You know, these same traditions
about expanding access also can’t be lost in this
privatization world. As we increase tuition to
$25,000, $30,000, $35,000 and we price out people in our
state or in our communities, that can be a real challenge. But I still think
there’s a lot of people that want to come together
around that idea in itself, about providing accessible
higher education to the best and brightest. You know, Nancy, you said that
it’s in the university’s DNA. Or I said it and
you agreed, I guess. Actually I shouldn’t–
but I guess the original– you know, what instigated
all of this was money. Right? You know, there
was the land which could be converted to funds. And to some extent, the
story Nathan has told is that the sustaining of
it or advancement of it was always money. And now the money picture is
different than it used to be. And I’d just be interested
in your thoughts on how much of the future
of embracing of the mission is connected to the availability
of resources to do it. So I think resources, of
course, are an underpinning for all of this. But I thought that
really what drove this was the desire to have
a better competitive edge. So when you were referencing
what people in the US were seeing in Germany, coming
out of the science from that– and so it was a desire to
move institutions in the US to be more competitive. And particularly in the
agricultural sector, but then that
broadened beyond that. And so I think that’s the
underpinning piece of this. And of course, in
order to be competitive it does take resources. But you know, I
think about things– when I look at
some of the impacts that New Hampshire
has had on the world. So if you go back to
three UNH graduates, the Hubbards, in the 1920s, and
the disease-resistant chickens that they worked with people at
the University of New Hampshire to help develop. And we keep talking
about how we change, and things change along the way. What did the development
of those disease-resistant chickens– which
by the way, a third of the chickens in the world
can trace their lineage back to that. But that foreshadows
biotechnology. And that foreshadows all
of the molecular work that we’re doing today. So I think we have
continued to adapt. And we have continued
to give back to a community
that then has been able to be more competitive,
and enhance productivity. And I think that’s
what it’s all about. And does that take resources? It does. I think we have to factor in
the importance of quality. In this era right now when
we have a lot of let’s call it “fly by night”
education on offer in the marketplace,
to see parents and prospective students
looking at the quality of the institution
and they see, here’s an opportunity to get an
education at a premium value right here in our state– it’s very, very powerful. And I think that– I mean, it traces
way back, of course, to the farmers’ boys who
wanted to study agriculture. But in my community and
my circle of friends, the idea of a top-quality
institution with a wide array of offerings– I scan the UNH catalog
online once in a while. And it’s amazing what
opportunities are there for students. I have three grandsons here now. And they come home and they
tell me what they’re studying. Holy smoke. It’s wonderful. And people are making
tremendous sacrifices in order to send their kids here. And that tells me that we
have a wonderful brand, and that we have a
tradition and a commitment to quality that means
a great deal to people. And I think that is our
greatest strength going forward. I know we worry about resources. Well, the biggest
piece of resources now is the checkbooks
of parents who are sending their kids here. And we need to make certain we
recognize the sacrifices that are being made by
families in New Hampshire and elsewhere for their
kids to come here, and put a great deal of emphasis on
preserving the image that we have and that the quality of
our institution remains high. That costs money. And somebody’s
got to pay for it. And I think an
awful lot of parents are willing to pay for it. Because it’s a good deal. Yeah. Some really good points. I just– I think the best
leaders at land-grant institutions are capturing
exactly what you’re saying– that we recognize we
have to do new things. The people in our
communities are interested in
economic development. They’re interested in strong
workforces and research that connects to innovation
and commercial application. You know, we have to be
part of that– being part of those private
partnerships and increasing competitiveness in the state. I always– I would
add to that, though, that I think the best
land-grant leaders always recognize the complexities
of all these moves. And I think there’s a great
book written in the ’60s called Hard Tomatoes, Hard
Times, which took a real kind of negative
view of the Land-Grant Act. Because while we got
beautiful tomatoes through agricultural
modernization, while we got more productive,
we also needed less farmers. So if we don’t see
both sides, if we don’t fight for
productivity and realize that rural communities
are in real tough shape, we’re not doing both parts. I think we can do that. I think we can push forward, be
part of the knowledge frontier and innovation and
economic development. But we have to be
mindful of the realities of social and economic
and cultural externalities that can come from
some of that movement. You’re absolutely right. Right now at the campus of the
University of New Hampshire they’re researching ways to
make cows make more milk. Well, we’re swimming in milk. And there’s so much milk
in the national marketplace that they’re dumping it out. There aren’t enough customers. So a perfect illustration. We’ve got an imbalance here. And we’ve got to figure
some of this stuff out better than we’re doing. But I do think that that’s why– so Cooperative Extension moved
into some economic development areas. And when I look at the
new strategic plan that was developed for UNH’s
Cooperative Extension, it really broadens the
kinds of communities that they’re touching,
and how we’re interfacing and
translating into– and the kinds of research. I think I would consider
business innovation and entrepreneurship
as part and parcel of the land-grant mission. I would think about the
disability aspects of studies as part and parcel of
the land-grant mission. So I would just define it– I think the definition
has broadened over time as a result of that. I don’t know if you
agree with that or not. So one thing that– actually I picked this
up from all three of you. It’s a little bit
of a tension between a transactional
relationship with the state versus a relationship based
on broader objectives. And what the objectives were
was contested at the founding. But they were pretty
broad objectives. It wasn’t about whether
it’s a good deal for my kid to come to this school
or whether my business can be helped. It was broader than that. And I’m wondering if any of you
would like to just comment on– because you know,
if it comes back to support from the community
as opposed to the transaction, how do you navigate that? Because clearly, you know, if
the future is going to be– if the university is going to be
supported as well in the future as it has historically,
it can’t be on the basis of a transaction,
it would seem to me. So I’m interested
in your comments. Yeah. No. I think what has– I mean, I think the
transactional relationship, the way we’ve looked
at our relationships with higher education,
has partially fueled the tuition increases. Right? I mean, it’s more likely
to hear people say, hey, they’re getting a better job. They’re going to
have a better life. They should pay more
of their education. We call them neoliberal
arguments, right? And there were times that
we didn’t think about that. We thought about the extension
of 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th grade as a public good. It was something
that in a community, you had an educated citizenry. And all boats were lifted
from that broad support. We didn’t think about
it transactionally. So I think it’s
always been there. I can’t always
put my foot on it. What was in the
water in Wisconsin in the 1880s that
seemed to create this broad-based
acceptance of some of those progressive ideas? I mean, there’s things
driving it today we know. Right? State budget pressures. There’s a lot of
things that we do. Demographics, older– you know,
all these things are costly. That’s part of it, too. But I think it’s a mindset, too. A different generation–
this generation accepts to some degree that this
is another transactional thing, that this is another
consumer good. And that plays
into our politics. When state budget
officers and legislatures are making decisions, and
they have to go somewhere, if there was that much pushback,
they wouldn’t go there. Right? They wouldn’t take money
away from higher ed and see the tuition increases. But we’ve seen an
acceptance by families. They are writing checks. They’re accepting deferring
with increased debt loads. I know a lot of folks
are feeling pain. But there’s not pitchforks at– I mean, maybe some legislatures. So it tells me that
culturally folks do view this more in a transactional
way than they have. And I guess I would also say
that within the institution we’re always mindful of the
debt load and the cost load for our students. And of course, many
of you in the audience know that we just launched
the Granite Guarantee. We try to do whatever
we can to enhance the experience of our
students on a whole bunch of different levels. The Hamel Scholars Program– these are all driven towards
New Hampshire residents. So this is all specific to
New Hampshire residents. I can’t think of a way
that you can be more land-grant-centric than that. And so again within
the institution we’re always thinking of
ways to drive down costs, even as we are a really
complex institution. Let me just push a
little on Nancy on that– but on the broader thing of
connecting the university to the externalities
of the university, the broader contribution
it makes to the state and the community– either through
quantifying it in some way or having it be a
source of civic pride. I wonder if you have any
thoughts on how to move things in that direction, or whether
you think that’s actually a worthy goal or not. I actually do think
it’s a worthy goal. And in fact, I do
think that it’s useful. The Cooperative
Extension in particular, but a lot of our colleges
and units at the University have their independent metrics
of how many volunteer hours they’ve put out there, how many
businesses they’ve impacted, how many youth. You would be astounded at the
number of faculty students here who give back to K through
12 education, for example, or who do things. I would bet– in fact, I’m
willing to bet, maybe even bet my retirement pension on this. I would bet that if we
were to tally this all up it would be over a quarter
of a million hours a year that people give
back to the state. And in fact, one of
the things I want to do is to in fact do that. I want to take a
look at all that we– to sum it up in total– so that we can have a
number that is defensible that we can give back. Now where I came
from, we did that. And the reason why I
could do a ballpark figure is where I came from and
New Hampshire are not that different in size. And we were astounded to learn
that we gave at least that much back and more. My guess is in New Hampshire
we do that or more. And so I think we can. And I think it would
behoove us to do that, so that we had a way to show it. And so we do it in some ways. Cooperative Extension
has a great blurb. Some of our colleges
have great blurbs. But what we need to
do is aggregate it up so we can tell the
aggregate story about our land-grant
institution. Yeah. And I think quantifying–
something I don’t do– quantifying is important. I think also just– you
know, we had a major flood in West Virginia that
really hurt a large part of our southern counties. Extension was there. Engineers were there. Researchers and water
quality were there. Out in Flint, Michigan when
they were having a water crisis, Michigan State
researchers were there. Sometimes we just don’t
tell our story very well. And we don’t inspire ourselves
enough to remind each other that we’re doing these things. And just as a– and you did not suggest it. I’m just simply saying that
Extension is very important. The problem with
Extension is sometimes we think, oh,
Extension does that. Extension does service. Right? My service load is serving
on the promotion and tenure committee. I do that 10%. But continuing to
find ways to get faculty to engage with
the state, to reward it, to include it into promotion
and tenure decisions or in reward structures. Because it can’t just be
something that an axillary unit does. If you’re really going
to live and breathe the land-grant mission,
you have to find a way to include it in the work
of all faculty and staff. And one of the
things that I would like to say to that
is that since arriving at the University of
New Hampshire, I do think it’s through the core
fabric of this institution. And I don’t think it’s
just in Extension. I do know that
Extension partners with units across
the institution. But it’s not just through
those partnerships. It’s in engineering. And it’s in someone
who is partnering with teachers and
businesses in Manchester to bring computer and robotics
education into the classroom. That’s not through
Extension at all. It’s just because
they believe in that and they want to do that. So I think it’s through the
fabric of this institution. And I’ve been really impressed. Since you’re paying for my
bill, I did not suggest that it wasn’t. [LAUGHTER] Well, I just wanted– I’m such a strong supporter
of everything UNH! [LAUGHTER] I’m just defending our audience. That seems like a good
moment to open it up for questions from the audience. So Ken La Valley I’m the
dean of Cooperative Extension here at UNH. I did not pay them for this. One thing that when
you were talking, you were saying that
Grange mentality, that from the core of the people. I’ll tell you, Cooperative
Extension nationally– we’re undergoing a little
bit of an identity moment. Who are we? Who do we need to be? And I will say the foundation of
Cooperative Extension at least at UNH is relationships. And it’s meeting
people where they are. And that has allowed
UNH Extension to evolve to meet the needs of
a changing populace, a changing demographic at UNH. And to be honest, about 25%
of our programs are ag now. We’re much different. And I think every Extension
organization in this country is going through
the same change. So I think what we are at UNH– and I’ve got to tell you,
we are unique at UNH. And I would say that
Cooperative Extension has it pretty good at UNH, in
terms of the collegiality, the willingness to partner
in new and different ways. It’s really not seen across
all of the Extension programs. So I would say we
definitely are a fabric. Certainly Cooperative Extension,
the land-grant mission, is part of who we are at UNH. We’ve never had doors closed
on Cooperative Extension. And really our whole role
is to be UNH out there. So I would say, we talk about
funding and the difficulties with funding that we’re
having at the state level. But I think it’s important
to remind people that we have 10 counties in New Hampshire. And each one of
those 10 counties is continuing to support UNH. And they support UNH
through supporting Cooperative Extension. That means they
see value in UNH. Extension is not this thing that
the University of New Hampshire has. It is part of UNH. We are UNH when we’re
out in the field. And people hear that. And they get it. So you know, I could
go on and on and on. But I– and I
probably would, Jan. [LAUGHTER] But you know, I would
say a lot of what you said really struck me. Because the history you gave– you know, move the
clock a hundred years. That same history is happening. We’ve had people
stand up and say, we want a practical education. We want to know that at
the end of this tunnel we can do something. We also have lifelong learners– a huge population that they
already have their degrees, but now they want
to change gears. And they use the
university through a number of sources, not just
Extension, to meet those needs. So I think it’s
really interesting, the story you gave. Because I think we’re
kind of repeating history in a number of ways right now. Anyone want to
rebut any of that? Cameron? [INAUDIBLE] I’m Ken Johnson from
the Carsey School and also from the
Department of Sociology. I think another thing
that you haven’t mentioned that is important about what
the land-grant schools do is to document and research
the history and the conditions in rural areas, whether
economically, socially, demographically,
or environmentally. They’ve done that
for a long time. And in a society that often
forgets about rural America, they’ve done a lot to document
what rural America is. My partner’s a rural
sociologist at WVU. So I agree with your point. So Cameron Wake from EOS and
the Sustainability Institute. I want to build on something
that Ken mentioned, but maybe pose it as a question. I was really taken
by your history of the influence of the Grange. And so I’m wondering, where
are those Grange voices today? Who are those external
voices that are really driving and asking for change
in the land-grant institutions? So the history of
populism is really tricky. Because some people see them as
a progressive force of change. And some people see
them as conservatives that want to keep things
the way they are always. Are there elements of the Grange
that the Tea Party reminded me of sometimes? Yes. Was the Bernie Sanders
movement sometimes kind of had Grange elements? Yes. You know, the Grange, to
me, and especially when we look at New
England, we didn’t see some of the nationalistic
kind of populism that we saw in
some other places. I think when you’re talking
just about higher education, I think there’s voices out there
that sometimes look at higher education institutions,
land-grant institutions– I don’t know if that’s
working anymore– that look at
land-grant institutions and see it as an alien entity. Right? The same type of cultural
kind of critiques– anti-intellectualism or
they’re in their ivory tower. You know, there’s a distance. You look at the voting
in the last election– quite a bit of difference
between folks with a higher education and those with not. We’re accepting that there’s
some of that distance. So I think there’s
a voice in there that we probably haven’t
done enough to connect with rural places. That’s what that kind
of suggests to me. But there’s also
progressive elements out there too, that are
saying these places need to be more accessible. These places need
to connect more. Because I need to
have a job when I’m done with this because I’m
putting a lot of money into it. So that’s a real jumbled
answer and gave you everything. But it’s really complex. I mean, some days I really
am with the Grange and some of the things that they did. And some of the times they
did some really nasty things in Rhode Island to get the
president thrown out that was really cultural, that was
really kind of just a power grab that we see
with populism too. So, mixed bag. But I think there’s good
and some not good lessons to derive from that history. [INAUDIBLE] So in the history, how do
you frame community colleges? So for example in
the last eight years, people aren’t talking
about supporting four-year public
land-grant universities. They’re talking about supporting
community colleges and access. Yeah. So you know, one
thing we didn’t talk at all about in the history
when we look at 20th century land-grant development– what
happened when America went to college in a
massification environment was the first places
that students filled were land institutions. These had the top faculty,
or state universities. Then they went to the
regional colleges. So that means land-grants
became more selective. Right? And then we still had demand. And community
colleges– when I think about the real
democracy’s colleges, you think of community colleges. So I’m not saying that
community colleges just serve that mission. They do a lot of
other things too. But the access mission– reconciling the access
mission with the selectivity of land-grant institutions
or universities has always been a little
bit of a challenge. So when America really
went to college, community colleges were
there to bring them in. So I think they’re
important partners. I think land-grant institutions
reaching out to community colleges, creating
transfer pathways, making sure that you
can start there and come to our institution– but no. That land-grant mission,
the industrial classes– since these were founded
in the 1950s and 1960s community college has
been carrying the burden of the most difficult access. And sometimes they
get punished for it. Because they don’t
have the best outcomes and get performance
funding for that. But they’re doing
the heaviest lifting of the industrial classes today. There was someone here. As a 13-year president
of a community college and 20 years at UNH, and now
a member of the New Hampshire House Education
Committee, I can tell you that the reason that community
colleges are successful is they have a pitch. You’ve heard of making
America great again? A single message– I don’t
particularly agree with it. But I don’t have an answer. And Representative Smith’s
on House Appropriations. Senator Watters is here. Getting a clear identity
for the university of today, and making it
resonate with people who may not understand a
research mission, for example, is difficult. The other question
I wanted to ask you, though, is when I studied the
history of these institutions at my doctoral
program in Vanderbilt, they talked about the fact
that the reason the Morrill Act passed was that
we had lost thousands of officers in the Civil War. And one reason why
it played so well is that the land-grant
universities were to recreate the officer
corps that had been depleted during the Civil War. And as a politician I’m
always interested in what actually happened. Did you pick up any of that? Because I believe every
land-grant university was required to have an officer
corps, to my understanding. Yeah. So military tactics was,
yes, part of the legislation. The support of that
was really mixed at different institutions. I think the place
that that plays out most accurately
is in the South– places like Texas A&M,
what becomes Virginia Tech. In the failed Confederacy,
many of those institutions were less agricultural
at the beginning. They had barracks. They had a lot of– I call it reconstructing
the Confederate manhood in the South through these
kind of military activities. But there were people
in the North, no doubt, that saw the land-grants as a
way, along with all the other– building the infrastructure
of the federal government, rebuilding and
modernizing the military, actually bringing the
states back together. All these things were ideas
that were batted around within the Civil War contacts. But– I’m not downplaying
the military part. And there’s many
land-grant institutions that send a lot of boys
to die in a lot of wars. But as a driving
principle, the places I’m aware of that mostly
being front and center were places like Texas
A&M and Virginia. Over Here Yes. I’m Bill Berndtson. I’m a faculty member here in
the College of Life Science and Agriculture. One of the things
that I’ve noticed over the course of
my career is that it seemed that when I was younger
most of the faculty researchers pursued things that were of
interest to them personally or things that they felt would
benefit their constituents, their stakeholders and so on. Now we hear a lot about– and we talked earlier, because
of the budget constraints– linking more with the
private sector and so on. We talk a lot about
commercialization and so on. And I’m just wondering
how you think those forces may
reshape the university, and the positive and
negative aspects of that. I’m just kind of
curious about that. Well, so I can just give
you my opinion on this. So I see it as a continuum. I don’t see it as an either/or. I see us as a
university committed to basic understanding. And some of that’s
basic scholarship. I also see us committed
to applied work. And everyone is not committed
to every aspect of that. But as a community, we’re
committed to supporting that. And I think that today’s applied
innovations are the basic work that was done previously. Right? So I see things moving
along a continuum. And so the basic work is an
underpinning for the future. And what we have in some
of the applied work today is what we’re helping to
innovate and translate out now. And we can translate
that out better when we’re partnering with
the people who are using it and who can help us to change it
and improve it and work forward with it. So that’s why I think partnering
with the private sector, partnering with public
sector, is important. But I think it’s
always been important for a land-grant institution. I think of all the advisory
boards that we have. Let’s go back to
the early days– and today– in the Ag
Experiment Station, COLSA, with
Cooperative Extension, with the advisory
boards that we have that bring the practitioners,
the public sector in. And they’re giving us– we’re telling them, we’re
showing them some things, and they’re saying, no. You should be doing this. We need this over here. And so it’s a partnership. It’s a feedback loop. And that’s always been true. And I think that now
we’ve just expanded. It continues to be true in
the agricultural sector. Food systems are still
really important. But we’ve also expanded
and broadened that. And that’s to Ken’s
point that 25% of what they do in Cooperative
Extension now is agriculture. The rest is other kinds
of things that enhance. And so I guess that’s
what I would say. And I would just say,
you know, it doesn’t have to be an either/or. You know, University of
California’s research that connects innovation and
commercial application built Silicon Valley, got
the internet going, and employed a lot of people. And they’re doing really well. Right? And we see that with state
partnerships and innovation zones and regional
development clusters. The issue is that
when you counter– you know, if that pursuit– if you’re only rewarding
commercial application, if you’re only giving
internal grants for seed money for commercial
applications, the history’s
department’s like– you know? I mean, that’s a simple
kind of dichotomy. But we have to recognize
that basic research and maintaining the
culture and history and arts aren’t lost
in our need to have to pursue that commercial
application to balance our budgets. Hi. I’m Joel Seligman,
University of New Hampshire. This is a fascinating
conversation. Curious about your observations
about the role or the influence of the land-grant
movement on advancement of coeducation and integration
of higher education. Yes. So now for the second session– yeah. Yeah. And thank you for
asking it that way. It also could have been, hey,
where were all the women in any of your talks? So thank you for
framing it that way. [LAUGHTER] Yeah. So you know, the first
female student connected to a Dartmouth program was
through the UNH program. And it would be
another hundred years before there was another
one at Dartmouth. Coeducation and land-grant
institutions go hand in hand from very early on. The problem is that the
discourse around the Land-Grant Act, also from very early on,
was this practicality thing. A lot of people put
that front and center. These were institutions
that were uniquely situated to prepare you for a job. And why would women
come here unless they are troublemakers or what? Why? So pioneering women
got a lot of pushback. And then as my students
ask, well, why did they go? And I say, they went
for a lot of reasons. They were the best students
in their academy class. They were the best students
in their district school, and they loved learning and
they wanted to keep doing it. So you know, you have
all these examples of early land-grant
women who are both pioneers in the fields that
were originally close to them in the 1800s. We have women at
land-grant institutions that would go up to Seneca
Falls and lay the groundwork for women to vote. So outside the private
sector of where women were going at places
like Mount Holyoke or the Seven Sisters early on,
land-grant institutions are really a big
part of that story. And it’s not a story
that’s been told very well. But women did have it
difficult both at the beginning because of the practicality part
and then at land-grants like Cornell– my friend here who
went to Cornell. Once Cornell wanted to be
more like an institution like Eastern institutions– Cornell would have been the
only Ivy that had women. It was tough for
women early on because of that in that state
college movement. They made them less
of a college somehow. So women faced it
from both sides, as land-sides were both on
the practical and other. But they persevered. And you can trace many of
the great political advances in early women’s rights,
first-wave feminism, to land-grant participation. [INAUDIBLE] I’ll throw in a footnote,
more on the Grange. The Grange from its
organization in 1867 had women as full equals. And women in the Grange
movement can hold any office in the order starting in 1867. And I would submit that that had
a very profound impact on many of the public policy positions
that the Grange movement would take down through history– here in New Hampshire
most notably in the area of education, and in fixing
child labor laws and things like that. So give a shout-out
for the Grangers and their treatment of women. And it was in– absolutely. And it was in Extension. It was those home
economics demonstration agents that were going
out boiling diapers like we talked about. But it was also
on campuses, too. There’s been a tendency to look
at home economics departments on land-grant campuses in
those late 1800s as a place that women went that were
domestic kind of courses, that weren’t rigorous. That might have been true
early on in the 1850s and 1860s with some of the early domestic
courses out in the Midwest. But these women were
doing real science that other people weren’t doing. They were the only ones
looking at questions of sanitary science, questions
of issues in urban environments related to water and sewers. These were questions
they were asking that no other scientists were. We see women that came
to UNH to study science and would go on to MIT. So there’s a rich history, and
they were doing important work. I would just echo that. Persistent women. So by the way, do the– are these students who ask you
why they went to college male students or female students? Yeah. That was probably– it
sounds like a male question. Yeah. That’s what I thought. I was just asking. I think women just got that. Yeah. Over here? Hey. I’m not really sure
how to put what I’m thinking in a question. But I am Denis Ward, president
of New Hampshire Farm Bureau. So I sort of see the other
side of things a little bit. Your discussion has been
extremely fascinating here. One of the things that– it might’ve been Steve
that talked about it. The Grange was a
little irritated because the schools were
trying to educate kids more than they wanted. They wanted farm
boys coming back. But as I travel
around the state I get to see more and more farms
and different types of farms. And I am just astounded
at the– the young people on these farms I believe
are better educated than a lot of the scientists
and whatever in this country. I went to a sugaring
operation and the young kid talked about his vacuum
system and his reverse osmosis systems. And he talked in
scientific terms. It’s like, I don’t understand
what you’re talking about. I’ve been to vegetable farms and
these guys understand every day what causes their plant
to grow and exactly what they need to do– the
nutrients, the light, the heat, everything. Somewhere they got
this education. And I’m not sure they all came
from the University of New Hampshire. But there is a change. Extension is a big part. I think they grew up with
New Hampshire Farm Bureau, as a matter of fact. But they are a big part in the
education in rural America. But it isn’t just
the other people that need this land-grant. I’m saying the farm
boys and the farm– and the women, that issue. In New Hampshire I’m not
sure of the exact percentage, but it is a huge
number of women that own the farms, that have these
vegetable farms these dairy farms or whatever. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that. And just to be
clear, I was talking about that in an earlier era. But I agree with you totally. I mean, we know the problems. We know that we
have to figure out how to feed an additional
billion people by 2050 on this globe. And we need really smart
scientists to help us do that. And as the kicker, we also
can’t use a whole bunch of fossil fuels because we don’t
want to overwarm the planet. I mean, we have
intractable issues in agricultural sustainability. And I think there are a
lot of really bright people that are getting
involved in this. And yes, definitely I don’t want
to see land-grant institutions go away from that core mission. Because once again
I think the world is going to look to
these institutions for new agricultural
modernization to feed the population
and save the planet. [INAUDIBLE] was there
a hand over here? I think I saw it. Yeah. I think we have time
for one more, so. Lindsey Williams. I’m a PhD candidate in
natural resources here at UNH. And I appreciate
the panel tonight. I actually grew up near
the Morrill homestead. So I remember
being dragged there and not really understanding
why I was being taken there. But I have since learned. My question is actually,
as we look to the future– in part, also, on
the intersection of land-grant
institutions and the model programs that came after–
so Space Grant, Sea Grant– and how that sort of
intersection comes together, and what that means
for our future, both for the institutions
and for the communities and the industries that
rely on this whole suite of these programs that
have come out sort of modeled after Land-Grant. So I think that– so your
question is about how all of the– so it is clear. I mean, Sea Grant and
Space Grant are all modeled on the land-grant
scaffolding, if you will. And they partner a lot and
use a lot of the Extension– the three-legged stool. The idea that you’re doing
the education, the research, and the Extension, and
that it’s a feedback loop with your constituency,
with the people that are in the field. And I think that it is– if we can think of it
as a force multiplier, that it’s just taken the
land-grant piece and now extended it into the
ocean and into space. And I think that’s a
terrific model to use. Yeah and we all know that
some of these programs have an uncertain future. You know, all I would
say is the Morrill Act, Space Grant, Sea Grant– there was a time. It’s hard to remember. These were bipartisan programs. You know, some of
the answers just come from if we can move beyond how
polarized some of our politics has become. These are winning ideas
for rural America, for urban America. These are winners. These are winning ideas
for the socially mobile and the people that
are doing well, people who want to start
businesses and people who want to start farms. Investing in science is
just a win for everybody. But that’s just me speaking. I think we have a responsibility
as public intellectuals, as citizens, to know
about this, to speak that these type of programs–
investment in science is not just something
faculty members do and it’s something that
they’re playing with. These have downstream benefits
for economic development improving communities. And there’s not a space
for that right now. But I hold out hope that we can
return to a little more sanity in that regard. So having just been on New
Hampshire Public Radio talking about the President’s budget,
I will just interject this. I actually think
what we are going to discover is that these
things are in fact still– to varying degrees,
but still are in fact– do enjoy bipartisan support. And just because the
president of one party proposes something and
makes a recommendation doesn’t mean that speaks for
his entire political party. And I think we’re going to
see that in the process that goes forward from here. Can you– there’s one more. OK. We can do one more. Yeah. Do we have a mic? Down here, up front? OK. Thank you. I’m Lorraine Merrill. I’m an alumni of the University
of New Hampshire, a farmer who has a family farm eight
miles down the road. My family has had an incredibly
long and rich history with both Extension
and the university. And I’ve had the
honor of succeeding Mr. Taylor as Commissioner
of Agriculture for the state for
nearly 10 years now. I just want to say our
Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food,
every single division, relies on people at the
University of New Hampshire both in Extension and
especially COLSA but throughout. And I know from
my colleagues that is true of many, many
departments of state government. And I think I have seen
in my adult lifetime here a real cycling
back to rediscovering the land-grant mission and
roots of this university, really recommitting to it. I think we see it in the ocean
work, the climate work, COLSA and the Ag Experiment Station– really coming back
to those roots and realizing that those fields
and those studies and research really have a very
broad reach, too. And it’s of interest
nationally and globally. And to just finish up, hosting
here, the Carsey School– what the Carsey School
has brought here in terms of the focus on rural
communities and rural issues is huge, both for the state
of New Hampshire and beyond. So thank you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Well since we’re
applauding anyway, why don’t we continue that
and applaud Nathan, Nancy, and Steve for this discussion. [APPLAUSE]