Uncertainty in the Archives
One could almost picture Daniel Coit Gilman leaning over the blue, personal journal, dipping his pen in ink and writing slowly and deliberately:
"Draft of a Plan for Organization of Johns Hopkins University."
It was 1875, and Gilman was supposed to help structure a new academic institution funded by half the $7 million bequest from Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins, who had died two years before.
Hopkins, who left intricate instructions for creating a hospital, had said little about the university. He left that to 12 trustees, who hired Gilman as their first president.
Gilman's handwritten pages briefly outline the college administration. His words are written in an elegant hand and scratched out, perhaps revealing a minor struggle over the balance of power.
One passage refers to faculty input on the selection of a dean. A phrase that first determined that "faculty shall appoint" such a leader was changed later to read: "faculty shall nominate to the trustees." --JC
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