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Rittenhouse, James G. Scrugham, Stephen E. Slocum, and Edgar J. Townsend. The gross increase in membership for 1906 was therefore 29. So far as known, death has twice entered our ranks during the year. Dr. George W. Atherton, President of the Pennsylvania State College, died on July 24, 1906. His obituary is published on page 292 of Volume XIV of our Proceedings. Major James R. Willett died May 9, 1907. The name of Dr. Lyman Hall, President of the Georgia School of Technology, has also been removed from our roll by his death in 1905. The name of Chas. H. Wheeler of the Drexel Institute has been dropped. His present address is unknown to his friends, his alma mater and his ex-colleagues. Five members have resigned. The number of members enrolled at the beginning of this meeting is 415.
A number of other members should have been dropped for non-payment of dues, but in the absence of records of due notice having been sent to them, it was thought best by your secretary not to administer the constitution too severely and rigidly. If any member has not received his 1906 Volume of the Proceedings, it may be because it has been sent to his last-known address, rather than to his present address, or because he is in arrears for dues more than one year. He should read Section 6 of the Constitution, and interview the treasurer before he forces upon the secretary the ungracious but lawful act of dropping him. Due notice having been sent to each member in arrears more than one year, the enforcement of the law of the Society must be hereafter expected. It would seem that to allow a member to be in arrears for three full years, or for $9.00 before he can be dropped from the roll, is not crowding him. It demands of the treasurer and secretary extra labor and expense to save him the trouble of drawing a check, or of promptly paying up his back dues and resigning, or of asking to be dropped. Is not the Society too lax in this rule?
The secretary will appreciate it if the members will please remember that he is not endowed with omniscience, and if they will promptly notify him of changes in their address and title. In one case, an error was not discovered for three years, or until it had been printed and presented to the member no less than nine times. While the secretary probably makes his share of mistakes, he is not responsible for all that have been made. Twenty-three changes in title or address have been received in the last three weeks, and since Volume XIV was printed. Some changes necessitate a dozen changes in the List of Members and the Summaries.
It may be of interest to note that we still have no members residing in the states of Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming, and in Arizona, New Mexico and the Indian Territories. We have but one member in each of the seven states, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, and Utah.
At the meeting of the council, held at Ithaca after the adjournment of the last annual meeting, the secretary was requested to make a thorough canvas of the engineering colleges, schools and practitioners, for new members. The subject was discussed by correspondence by the members of the executive committee. It was decided to send a personal letter with a copy of the List of Members of the Society and the Constitution, a membership application blank and a stamped addressed envelope to those teachers of engineering subjects who were not members of the Society, and to a carefully selected list of practitioners. This was done, and some 1500 letters sent to the teachers, and over 1000 to practising engineers. The replies have been most cordial and complimentary on the work of the Society. The Society has been quite thoroughly advertised. A "follow-up" system should now be instituted.
The reasons for declining to apply for membership are numerous, but may be grouped into the following classes :
1. One practitioner says that he “honestly cannot see any reason for this Society. Your University is doing exactly this work. . .. I see no inclination among my fellowstatesmen to back up the Society.” The reply to the first statement is simple. The moral to be drawn from the second statement is that if the engineering educators of one of our eastern states are not sufficiently interested in the promotion of engineering education to become members of this Society, we must not expect the citizen-practitioners to take the lead.
2. Inability to attend meetings on account of present location.
3. Financial inability. This is especially true of the younger instructors. It raises the question if annual dues of $2.00, for teachers of the rank of assistant, or instructor, and for those who have not yet reached the title of Assistant Professor, would not be advisable.,
4. The temporary employment of so many of our younger men in the trade of teaching until they can get into the active practice of the profession in the line desired.
5. Competition due to the prevalence of the “joining habit,” and which is fostered by the present mania for forming new societies.
6. Lack of interest in engineering and technical education. This is both surprising and appalling. We doubt if the writers appreciated how their words would look when in cold type. Have outside and professional interests been allowed to so usurp the first place in the life of the professional educator, that he should be willing to write that he is "more deeply interested in other subjects," or that he does not feel the need of a Society" having for its sole purpose the promotion of engineering education ?
Your secretary has held that we have no desire to add to our list of members the names of either “dead timber” or “silent partners." It is a fact that only from 10 to 25 per cent. of the membership of any society ever attends any one meeting. All we ask of a member is that he will attend the meetings as often as possible and whenever convenient, that he will prepare and present papers whenever the spirit moves him to give to the Society the benefit of his experience, observations, judgment and suggestions, that he will take part in the discussions either in writing or orally whenever he can add to their value, and finally, that he will show his interest in engineering education by remaining a member of the Society. Even in the case of the presidents of institutions having prominent engineering colleges, it is not much to ask of them that they shall show their interest in engineering education, and the work of a large number of their faculty, by becoming and remaining members of this Society. They would be benefited by attending our meetings, and we might be benefited by the discussions they would present. It is to be assumed that the chief business of most engineering professors is the work of engineering education, and that membership in our Society should appeal to them and have as high a claim on their support as membership in the national society of their special branch of the profession.
The work of the office of the secretary can be best pointed out by the statement that four letter files have been filled this year. Card catalogs have been begun of the engineering teachers of each of the engineering and technical schools, and also of those engineering practitioners who are thought to be most favorably inclined to consider membership. This first list has been reclassified by the subjects taught. It is thought that lists of the teachers of civil engineering, drawing, chemistry, etc., in the engineering schools with their present titles may be of value to some of our members. The secretary is fully aware that unfortunately the lists are badly in error, being no more correct than the catalogs which were available last winter and from which the information was drawn. However, the card catalog and lists have been started, and it is only a question of competent labor to keep them fairly correct and up-to-date.
It has also been suggested that it might be well to send to the members in April or May a list of engineering positions vacant, or desired, for the next college year, or immediately in practice. An employment exchange might be of service to many, and especially to the younger members.
By such helps as these, membership in the Society can be made of still greater value.
Unless one has dug into the treasure mine of the Society's membership, one is not likely to appreciate the value of the precious metals and jewels hidden below the surface of a title. It may be necessary to use a transit to get the bearings, and to turn on the juice to electrify it into action, and then to see that all parts are efficiently lubricated. It may be even necessary to borrow the “jolly” of our ceramic engineering friends to keep things running smoothly; but the result will be a largely increased output of high grade ore. Notwithstanding the length of the program of this meeting, it is a real pleasure to state that the present secretary is able to turn over to his successor promises of quite a number of papers for the next meeting, and a still larger number of possibilities.
WM. T. MAGRUDER,
Secretary. June 29, 1907.
The report of the Treasurer, Anson Marston, was read and referred by the President to an Auditing Committee consisting of Professors A. J. Wood, Joseph A. Thaler and George R. Chatburn.
TREASURER'S REPORT, 1906–7. To the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education:
The treasurer would respectfully report to the Society the condition of its finances as follows:
SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS.
Cash on hand July, 1906....
1054.65 210.00 56.88 71.50