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Stanford University School of Medicine and the Predecessor Schools: An Historical Perspective
Part V. The Stanford Era 1909-

Chapter 32: Trustees Defend the Medical Department, 1912-1914

During the crucial period from 1912 through 1914 the rapid advance and promising outlook of the Department of Medicine so impressed the Trustees that one of them remarked to President Pritchett (who continued to advocate union with the University of California) that "the medical school was the only thing that had put any life into the University." The Department had so completely won its way into the affections of the Trustees that the plans announced by the Board at the May 1913 meeting included the following support for the medical program: [1]

In recognition of the leading position and progress of the Medical Department, and in order to at least partially provide for the increased expansion to the teaching as well as to the hospital facilities, it is intended to entirely renovate the present large hospital building, to add a substantial wing for private patients, and to start the erection of a new woman's hospital.

Lane Medical Library

As an earlier evidence of their favorable disposition toward the Medical Department, the Trustees moved promptly to honor their commitment in the articles of consolidation to erect and maintain a library to be named for Dr. Levi Cooper Lane and located on land already purchased.

Before their deaths, as previously noted, Dr. and Mrs. Lane had architectural drawings prepared for a truly monumental library building to be known as the "Hall of Aesculapius." However, Dr. Ellinwood's appropriation of two thirds of the Lane endowment for his personal use so reduced the funds available for a library that construction of the "Hall" was no longer feasible. Instead the Stanford Trustees advanced funds to the amount of $80,000 against the real property in that portion of the Lane estate deeded to Stanford in the consolidation agreement. With the addition of the $20,000 contributed by the Cooper Directors, the Board of Trustees under the presidency of Trustee Timothy Hopkins constructed a spacious library building on the corner of Sacramento and Webster Streets across from the original buildings of Cooper Medical College.

On November 3, 1912, this substantial edifice intended to house the Lane Medical Library of Leland Stanford Jr. University was formally dedicated at San Francisco. Addresses were given on that occasion by Dr. Emmet Rixford, Professor of Surgery; Mr. Timothy Hopkins, President of the Board of Trustees; and David Starr Jordan, President of the University. [2]

The first address was delivered by Professor Rixford who was from the beginning the driving force behind the founding and development of the Library of Cooper Medical College. From before his formal appointment as Librarian in 1895 to this Dedication of the Lane Medical Library in 1912, Dr. Rixford gave as much of his time to library affairs as he could spare from his busy surgical practice. His address was a tribute to the careers and contributions of Cooper and Lane, and included the history of Lane library which he referred to as his "most beloved hobby."

He spoke of Dr. Adolph Barkan, Professor of Ophthalmology, Laryngology and Otology as the "angel of the library" and told how Dr. Barkan, when he retired from practice, gave his entire library in the specialties to form the nucleus of a library on ophthalmology, laryngology and otology. Earlier Dr. Barkan had given Cooper College $5000 to create a so-called Teacher's Fund designed to assist teachers in the school to travel for study and instruction. When the College properties had been given to Stanford there was no longer need for the Teacher's Fund. The $5000 was therefore turned into an endowment for the Barkan Library of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology within the Lane Library. To this endowment Dr. Barkan contributed another $5000. Later he gave $10,000 as the beginning of an endowment fund for a library on the History of Medicine. Today, the generosity of Dr. Barkan is still gratefully acknowledged by the designation in 1996 of a spacious room in the Department of Ophthalmology as: The Barkan Library in memory of Drs. Adolph and Hans Barkan for their contribution to the advancement of ophthalmologic teaching, research and treatment.

Dr. Rixford traced the growth of the Cooper College Library which, after the death of Dr. Lane in 1902, inherited Dr. Lane's personal library of 2000 volumes. Also included was much valuable historical material as well as many important monographs and bound periodicals.

By 1905 the College Library had grown to 10,000 volumes. At about this time Cooper College purchased the New York Hospital Library from the New York Academy of Medicine as we have already mentioned. This acquisition increased the College Library to some 40,000 volumes. In addition Dr. Rixford, by assiduous cultivation of other sources, acquired numerous and sundry gifts of books and periodicals. It now became clear that Cooper College had a great library - certainly the greatest in the West and among the best nationally.

Small wonder then that President Jordan, when negotiating the consolidation of Cooper Medical College with Stanford University, made it a sine qua non that the Cooper College Library (to be known as the Levi Cooper Lane Library of Medicine and Surgery) should go into Stanford's possession along with the other properties of the College. To this the Directors of the College readily agreed but stipulated that the Library remain in San Francisco and with the other properties be used for "Medical Education in the sense of teaching young men and young women to be practitioners of Medicine." The Directors would not agree to Dr. Jordan's suggestion at the time that the College properties be used merely as a research institution. [3]

Trustee Hopkins's remarks at the Dedication were, as behooved a man of wealth and business interests, concerned with the broader community implications of the Lane Library which he viewed as a capacious reservoir of learning destined to enhance the cultural life of San Francisco: [4]

We meet to dedicate this handsome library building to the cause of education and to humanity, and in behalf of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, I welcome you.

It is no severe strain upon the imagination to believe that, as time rolls on, the three great metropolitan cities of the United States will be Chicago, in its center, and New York and San Francisco upon its two seaboards. A city becomes a metropolis, in the broad acceptance of the term, at that stage in its development when, the commercial and financial resources being firmly established, it can turn attention to the Arts and Sciences and adorn itself with libraries, museums, art galleries, opera houses, and other evidences of the cultural side of life.

Today, in opening this Medical Library to the public, our city by the Golden Gate has met one more requirement for entrance into the metropolitan sisterhood, she is one step nearer the brilliant destiny awaiting her.

The cities of the Unites States in which special buildings are devoted to medical libraries are few in number, and this building, in addition to marking an epoch in our metropolitan progress, has the distinction of being the first structure of a strictly non-utilitarian character (other than churches) to be completed in the rebuilding of our municipality. The collection of books it contains may also well be a subject of civic pride, since it ranks among the greatest in size and importance of the medical libraries in America.

President Jordan's lengthy and wide-ranging closing address called attention to the role of the private university in the challenging years ahead: [5]

We have met today to mark a milestone in the history of Stanford University on the one hand, and in the history of medical education on the other. It is a milestone that we mark, not an epoch, for epoch-making events do not often appear more than once in a life time. But a milestone marks progress even though after it is set up all shall go on as before.

Stanford University is now twenty-one years old. Its days were opened on a hopeful morning of October in California, where all days are hopeful, just twenty-one years ago. It has come of age. It is old enough to be doing the work of a grown university.

And there is no work of the University more worthy or more needed than medical instruction and medical research, the training of men who shall help their fellows in all their bodily ills, on the basis of the best and fullest knowledge, while themselves adding day by day to the world's stock of wisdom. In these days medical research stands on the firing line of the advance of science. There is no branch of knowledge which is moving more rapidly and there is none which contributes equally to the aggregate of human welfare.

We dedicate today the home of the Lane Medical Library of Stanford University to medical practice and medical research. It is the gift of the will of Mrs. Levi Cooper Lane. It begins its existence with a handsome building adequate for its needs for years to come. When it must be extended we hope that the grateful people of San Francisco will be here to see that all its needs are met.

It has already on this initial day a library of nearly forty-thousand volumes, all relating to medical practice and medical research, a good number of books as you will see when you compare it with other libraries devoted elsewhere to the same subject.

The importance to San Francisco of such a collection of medical books kept up-to-date by a steady inflow of the best journals and monographs is obvious. The library is the natural center for creative effort hence for all research, since there is no loss of energy so needless as in the doing again that which has been well done before. All new work must be based upon knowledge that has gone before. The breath of life of all research is the joy of seeking for the unknown. Chance discoveries of great moment in medicine are no longer to be made at random. Piece by piece must new truths be found and correlated. Each investigator must rest his work upon that of others. He must stand on the shoulders of the past if he is to look into the future. . . .

Dean Ray Lyman Wilbur, who was deeply involved in the planning of the library building, was not one of the speakers at the Dedication Ceremony but was invited to contribute the following appendix to the published proceedings. He used this opportunity to describe the library facilities and to make a progress report on the academic development of the Medical Department: [6]

The new Lane Medical Library Building, in which the volumes of the University's Department of Medicine are now shelved and at the service of the students of the Department and of the medical profession, is not only thoroughly modern and convenient, but beautiful as well. Constructed on a steel frame, the exterior is of smooth Colusa sandstone of a soft gray color, while the interior gives an impression of spacious substantiality and quiet. [7] [8]

The general reading room, with its open shelves of reference volumes, its broad reading tables and its quiet green walls, is particularly fortunate . . . The forty-thousand volumes which at present constitute the library and make it the largest of any of the university medical libraries in America, are easily accommodated on the shelves, which can hold half as many more, without further addition. [9] [10]

The dedication of the Lane Medical Library Building marks the completion of the first stage in the development of the Stanford University Medical Department. In fact its possession is a great asset in the development of proper medical teaching and makes the new Medical Department unique in this country.

Lane Medical Library, San Francisco

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A photo of Lane Medical Library in San Francisco, a large five-story, corner building

The high standard that Stanford set in medical education, requiring three years of University work for admission into medicine, placed the Medical Department at once in the front rank of such institutions. The requirements are equal to those of Cornell and Western Reserve University and not unlike those of Harvard, Columbia and Pennsylvania. Johns Hopkins requires an A. B. degree for admission; Harvard admits upon an A. B. degree but permits students who have covered certain special subjects to enter after two years of University work.

It has been a source of gratification that, in spite of these high requirements, forty-six students have registered in Medicine even before a single class has been graduated. The class of five, sent up to San Francisco in January, 1910, has now been increased to ten, two students having joined it from the University of California last year, and one each from Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago and Cooper Medical College this year. It is anticipated that there will be a slow but steady growth in the number of students but that the number admitted will always be small.

The space made available in the Clinical and Laboratory Building by the removal of the Library, together with a portion of the former auditorium, is being remodeled and within a month the Medical Department will have the best equipped outpatient clinics west of Chicago. On 1 July 1912, the control of Lane Hospital passed into the hands of the Clinical Committee of the Medical Department so that the University Hospital is now under the direct supervision of the instructing staff, a most important advantage in proper medical teaching and one possessed by but few American medical schools. Furthermore, arrangements have been made by the Board of Trustees to facilitate the business management of the Hospital and Medical Department in San Francisco and to improve the service for the private rooms. It is of sentimental interest that the home formerly occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Lane, which is in the block opposite the hospital, is now being used as a temporary nurses' home.

As at present organized - with the Lane Medical Library, Lane Hospital; the outpatient clinics and the laboratories in San Francisco; the excellent services at the San Francisco Hospital; and with the laboratories of Chemistry, Physiology, Anatomy, Bacteriology, Pharmacology, Physics, Zoology and Botany on the campus - there is no better Medical Department for a limited number of students in this country.

Like all growing things, the Medical Department has many pressing needs. Among them are the construction of a new nurses' home and women's clinic, for which land is likewise available, and the construction of a new children's hospital. The further endowment of Lane Hospital and the endowment of certain professorships is very much needed in order that the institution may grow in the best way. A number of alumni and others have contributed books and money to the Library and money to the Hospital, both for the upkeep of beds and for special expenses. . .

In general, it can be said that for the short time that Stanford has been engaged in medical education, she has made a good record. Future development has been planned for in such a way that advantage can be taken of any help, great or small, that comes to the Medical Department.

The advent of Stanford into San Francisco is of much significance. The number of people concerned is alone worthy of mention. Besides the Faculty and students, there is a metropolitan hospital with an average of 150 patients, changing from day to day, a Training School of 80 nurses, and employees of like number and from 50,000 to 60,000 visits per year in the out-patient clinical departments.

Medical Department entitled School of Medicine and Executive Head, the Dean

As chairman of President Jordan's Committee of Three on Organization of the Department of Medicine, Professor John M. Stillman wrote the following letter to Dr. Emmet Rixford, Secretary of Cooper Medical College: [11]

20 November 1908:

Dear Dr. Rixford:
It has been suggested that the designation of the medical organization as "Department" or "School" may have some influence on the prestige of the school or department in the future development, and the members of the Medical Committee might consider that question.

I enclose for reference a list of the official titles of the medical organizations of a number of the prominent universities of this country.

If there occur to you any reasons for believing that there would be a gain in adopting the designation of "School" instead of the name "Department" which is at present the only unit recognized in the University, I should be pleased to hear from you. Also I should be pleased to hear your individual preference as to the name which would be most advantageous and dignified.

Very truly yours,
J. M. Stillman

Professor Stillman listed 15 universities of which only three (Harvard, Columbia and Indiana) used the title "medical school." The remaining 12 universities (including Johns Hopkins, Yale, Pennsylvania, Cornell, Chicago, California, etc.,) used the title "department" or "college."

Stanford retained the titles "Stanford University Department of Medicine" and "Executive Head of the Department of Medicine" until the Board of Trustees adopted the following resolutions at its meeting in May 1913: [12]

Resolved, That the recommendation of the President of the University that the use of the term "Medical School" be authorized to designate the professional work within the Department, the relation of the Department of Medicine and its students to the University at large to be in no wise changed by the use of this phrase, be approved;

And, That the title of Executive Head of the Department shall be "Dean."

President Jordan appointed Chancellor

When Herbert Hoover became a member of the Board of Trustees in the fall of 1912 he took part in its activities with such characteristic energy, enthusiasm, and idealistic vision that the president of the Board, Timothy Hopkins, said: "we have got more ideas from Hoover in a week than we have had before in a year." It was at Hoover's suggestion that the Board honored President Jordan with appointment to the newly created position of Chancellor, effective Commencement Day, 23 May 1913. This appointment freed Dr. Jordan from the burdens of University administration so that in the coming three years (up to 1916 when he would reach the retirement age of 65) he might divide his time as he saw fit between work for the cause of international peace and educational studies outside or inside the University itself.

Professor John Casper Branner appointed President

It was again at Hoover's instance that the Board appointed Dr. John Casper Branner to succeed Dr. Jordan as President of the University, also effective 23 May 1913. Dr. Branner, Professor of Geology since the founding of the University in 1891, had been Vice President of the University since 1898, and Dr. John Maxson Stillman succeeded him in the vice presidency. Dr. Branner specified that he would serve as President for a period of only two years (that is until he reached the retirement age of 65), and Hoover proposed to the Trustees that Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur should be Branner's successor as President of the University. [13] [14]

Herbert Hoover and Professor Branner were no strangers. During Hoover's student days they had developed a close and lasting relationship. The young Hoover entered Stanford with the first class of students in 1891, majoring in Geology under Professor Branner who held him in high regard and employed him as his office assistant. The Professor was much impressed with the young student's ability and never forgot how Hoover, when assigned a task, accomplished it quickly and efficiently. Initiative and dependability were qualities the Professor greatly admired.

On 29 May 1895 Hoover received his A. B. degree in Geology from Stanford University. Early in his senior year, a freshman named Lou Henry enrolled in the geology program at Stanford. She was a fellow native of Iowa which at once gave them some common ground and the more they were together in the classroom, on field trips and at social gatherings, the closer their friendship. Three years later, on 25 May 1898, Lou Henry also graduated from Stanford with an A. B. degree in Geology. She and Bert had by then a tacit agreement that after her graduation and his establishment as an engineer they would be married.

On 11 February 1899, in the living room of her family home in Monterey, Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover were married by Father Mestres the local parish priest with whom Lou had collaborated in community programs. Father Mestres at first demurred at performing the ceremony explaining that, since the couple were not Catholics, he could not do so without a special dispensation from the bishop of the diocese - who graciously gave his consent in response to the earnest appeal of Bert and Lou. [15] [16]

Hoover and Lou Henry regarded Professor Branner as their mentor and enjoyed a cordial relationship with him. Under the circumstances Hoover probably expected President Branner to be cooperative and support such policies as he and the other Trustees might adopt.

Such was decidedly not the case. The issue over which President Branner and the Trustees promptly clashed was the funding of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Branner had not favored acquiring Cooper Medical College and said that only one member of the faculty besides Dr. Jordan had supported the consolidation. When Dr. Jordan asked for Branner's opinion on the subject he said, "Let it alone; it is nothing but a lot of junk." Branner's appointment as President of the University did not change his negative view of the Medical Department, and it increased his concern for the welfare of the other departments.

At the time of the merger with Cooper Medical College, the trustees agreed that the new Medical Department should be assured of no more than $25,000 a year (such expenditure not to begin until after the end of five years) and that, beyond this amount, the already established departments of the University should have priority on funds. Dr. Jordan soon recognized that this restriction on funding the Medical Department was going to cause trouble but he was determined to get a strong academic program firmly established in the Department as soon as possible. To achieve this goal Dr. Jordan obtained approval from the Trustees, who were generally supportive of his aims, to allocate the statutory $25,000 to that portion of the work of the Department carried out in San Francisco, and to charge the salaries in anatomy, bacteriology and pharmacology (which were located on campus) to the University budget. In this and various other creative ways Dr. Jordan was able during his presidency, with the tacit approval of a compliant Board of Trustees, to obtain extra funds for the Medical Faculty whose stellar performance in San Francisco convinced the Trustees that their support was justified.

At the same time, however, the Trustees considered the University budget to be badly strained and, although President Jordan suggested various means of increasing income such as charging higher tuition and various special fees to the students, the Trustees decided that programmatic retrenchment was essential to balancing the budget. Hoover was in England at the time and the Board did not seek his advice but proceeded in his absence to adopt the following Resolution on 29 August 1913. [17]

Resolved, that in the opinion of this Board, the University funds and income will be insufficient to adequately extend and develop all departments of the University, and that it will therefore be necessary to select such courses of education as may be so developed to the highest point, abandoning or reducing other courses; and that the President is requested to submit to the University Committee of this Board his recommendations relative to such action by the Board.

The policy announced in this Resolution was not new. From the time when they took over the administration of the University from Mrs. Stanford in 1903 the Trustees had been seeking an opportunity to review the University Departments and reform or eliminate those considered weak or irrelevant. In the past, efforts by the Trustees along these lines had been successfully frustrated, sometimes by the President but more often by the Academic Council. Now the requirements of the new Medical Department had precipitated a financial crisis including a review of all Departments as a result of which the Medical Department would probably survive while some established Departments would be reduced or eliminated.

Incoming President Branner was confronted with the Trustees' unexpected and alarming resolution of August 29th. Furthermore, when he examined the books, he discovered that the Medical Department was already absorbing far more than the $ 25,000 annually agreed upon in the consolidation contract, and that its requirements were steadily growing. His immediate reaction was to attribute the critical state of the University's financial affairs to the Medical Department. He informed Hoover, upon the latter's return from England, that the University was rapidly approaching a collapse as a university, and that the Medical Department must either be endowed or its enormous and spiraling cost would swamp the institution. [18]

Before responding to the Board regarding the resolution of August 29th, Dr. Branner made the following appeal for advice to President Pritchett of the Carnegie Foundation to whom he wrote on November 17 and December 6, 1913: [19]

The Trustees, realizing that our funds are not equal to the task that the medical school imposes, are looking for a way out of the dilemma. They think it possible for me to so overhaul things here at the University that a lot of what they regard as purely ornamental departments can be done away with and that this will release funds enough to keep the medical school going. It is unnecessary to tell you that it cannot be done. Only very small economies are possible in the University. The medical school wants at least $100,000 a year, in addition to hospitals and equipment in an expensive city. . . Can you not give some encouragement to abandon this medical school? How can it be done? I'm ready enough to do anything that human effort can do. It will make an awful row, I know, but if I can save the University I don't mind either the row or the personal roasting I shall get. Some of the Trustees will stand by me, others will fight me to the finish, as will all the members of the medical faculty and their friends. I fancy that most of the faculty outside of the medical school will support me, but I am not sure about it at all.

Dr. Jordan looks on the medical school as the child of his old age, and the finest one in the family, but I am at liberty to disregard his personal views.

On 20 December 1913 President Branner finally replied formally to the University Committee of the Board of Trustees in response to the economy resolution of 29 August 1913. He insisted that no considerable economies were possible through departmental reforms such as proposed in the resolution. Most of the departments, he said, are "half-starved," with the exception of the Department of Medicine, and therein lies the problem. Not only is the Medical Department the most expensive but it is also the newest and the least essential. He then made the following recommendations: [20]

That the Medical Department, including anatomy and bacteriology, receive no further financial support from Stanford University after July 31, 1914.

That the entire equipment (of the Medical Department) be turned over to the University of California upon such terms as the Trustees may be able to arrange with the Regents of the University of California through a committee of experts suggested below. Or, if for any reason, such a disposal is impossible, that some such disposition be made of the Department and its appurtenances as will entirely relieve Stanford University from all expense in connection with it.

That a committee of three disinterested men, whose knowledge of medical education and administration will entitle their views to the highest respect and consideration, and who are not likely to be influenced by local interests, be appointed to settle the conditions of the transfer upon terms honorable and satisfactory to both units.

President Branner's blunt and uncompromising response to the Board's resolution of August 29th was unsettling to the Trustees. And they were further disconcerted by the action of the Advisory Board of the Academic Council whose members met on 26 December 1913 and promptly let it be known that they "approved unreservedly" of President Branner's report to the Board of 20 December 1913 and of the "recommendations contained therein for readjustment of the Medical Department."

In an effort to persuade Dr. Branner to moderate his position, the Trustees took steps to dispel the impression that cuts in departmental budgets were imminent. As President, Dr. Branner had requested an increase of about $ 62,000 in the budget for 1914-15 to meet the immediate needs of the University. After some deliberation, and swayed by the insistence of Trustee Hoover that the finances of the University were in much better condition than alleged in the Board's resolution of 29 August 1913, the Board met on 30 January 1914 and voted that the President's request for an increase of $ 62,000 could be granted.

However discomfited they may have been, the Trustees at their meeting on 30 January 1914 also acceded promptly to some of Dr. Branner's other wishes by taking the following actions: [21] [22]

1. Appointed a special committee of the Board consisting of Trustees Eels, Hopkins and Hoover to confer with a similar committee of the Regents of the University of California. (Of the three members of this committee one, in Dr. Branner's opinion, was amenable to reason (Eels); one was strongly in favor of Stanford's keeping its Medical Department (Hopkins);the third was Hoover, a close friend of Dean Wilbur, and therefore also likely to favor retaining the Department.)

2. Approved an attempt of the two medical deans to arrive at a possible basis of union.

3. Acquiesced in Dr. Branner's proposal to bring President Pritchett of the Carnegie Foundation and Dr. Welch of the Johns Hopkins Medical School to the Coast for a survey of the situation and conference with the Trustees and Regents.

There ensued over the next six month a confusing flurry of communications and consultations. Trustee Hoover was now taking an increasingly active role in defense of the Medical Department, and in settling the conflict provoked by the Board's resolution of August 29th. In a confidential letter to Branner on 16 February 1914, Hoover urged him to reconsider his position on the grounds of his having reacted under a "misapprehension" that the University budget was in a precarious state - an impression which should have been dispelled by the Board's granting of Branner's request for a budget increase of $62,000. In consideration of this latter action by the Board, Hoover strongly urged Brannan to withdraw his recommendations of 20 December 1913 so that the matter could be reconsidered at a later date under less difficult conditions.

In spite of Hoover's appeal, President Branner was adamant. On 19 February 1914 he informed Hoover that he would not withdraw his recommendations of 20 December 1913 which he had made in response to the explicit statement in the Trustees' resolution of 29 August 1913 that the University budget was overdrawn and that departmental retrenchments were required. He resented Hoover's suggestion that he had misinterpreted the Trustees' resolution and on that account should now back down. "If the problem was not properly stated by the Board,' Branner asserted, "then it lies with the Board , and not with me, to set the matter right."

If President Branner was in no mood either to withdraw or modify his recommendations of December 20th for termination and disposal of the Medical Department, Hoover was equally unyielding in his determination to fend off Branner's assault on the Department. In a lengthy letter to fellow-Trustee and friend Timothy Hopkins on 23 February 1914, just four days after the uncompromising letter from Brannan, Hoover declared that the situation was an "emergency" and listed a number of arguments for retaining the medical school. Among other things, Hoover insisted that "our institution can meet all present outlays out of its income."

Just four days later, on 27 February 1914 at their monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees adopted the following sharply worded resolution, prepared by Hoover, specifically rejecting Branner's recommendations of 20 December 1913 and essentially retracting the Board's ill-conceived economy resolution of 29 August 1913: [23] [24] [25]

Whereas, the President of the University, evidently acting under a misapprehension of the University's resources arising from the terms of the Trustees' resolution of August 29th, 1913, submitted on December 20, 1913 to the Board of Trustees recommendations that the Medical School of Stanford University, including the Departments of Anatomy and Bacteriology, receive no further financial support from the University after July 31, 1914; and that its entire equipment be turned over to the University of California upon such terms as the Trustees may be able to arrange with the Regents; and that, for that purpose, a committee of three disinterested men be appointed to settle the conditions of the transfer upon terms honorable and satisfactory to both universities.

And Whereas, the University Committee has considered these recommendations and is unable to agree that such course is now necessary

Now Resolved: That the University Committee reports to the Board of Trustees:

1. That in its opinion the financial condition of Stanford University does not now require, and may never require, such drastic action as the abandonment of medical education; and that for the abandonment of any important department the dignity and reputation of the University demand much longer preparation and notice than one semester.

2. That the University Committee is prepared to recommend some system of joint action with the University of California in the conduct of the two medical schools, if such a system can be suitably formulated and agreed upon; but that it does not approve turning over the entire equipment of the medical school to the University of California; and that, if the Medical School is ever to be abandoned, the only course open to the Trustees, in the opinion of this Committee, is to return the School and its property to the Cooper Medical College, from which we obtained it under pledge that we could carry it on.

Early in March 1914 Hoover returned to England, but the medical school controversy was far from over. Branner considered the Trustees' favorable action on his request for a budget increase of $62,000 to be merely temporizing. With respect to the Board's resolution of 27 February 1914, he wrote: [26]

The claim is made . . . .that we have money enough to care for all departments, medicine included. I am unable to speak confidently on the subject for it has been the policy of the Board hitherto not to allow the President to know about these financial details. . . One unfortunate feature of the situation is that the Medical Department is in San Francisco, thirty miles away from the University, that it is not in vital touch with the University, that it has the ear of the Trustees and that they agree about new buildings, and about equipment and construction and other matters concerning which the President is not consulted. The result is that large sums of our general funds are spent without the President knowing about it until after it is done, and even then by accident or courtesy.. . . .

(Later, on 12 March 1914, he wrote:) Now that the budget has been increased by $62,000 the Trustees seem to think I am silenced. But at least $10,000 of that increase is for the Medical Department, and it also has backdoor access to the treasury. It will cost next year $110,000 to $150,000.

During the spring of 1914 efforts to resolve the future status of the Medical School were proceeding along several lines. In response to the urging of Dr. Branner, President Pritchett came to California as a consultant to the Trustees on the future status of the Medical Department..

When President Pritchett arrived in March and met with the Trustee's Committee of Three, minus Hoover, he found that the Trustees had in their resolution of 27 February 1914 firmly decided to retain the Medical Department, and that they were not amenable to Pritchett's now-familiar advice to merge the clinical program of the Department with the University of California.

Pritchett's effort to influence the Trustees having failed, Dr. Branner suggested calling an outside expert on medical education to advise not merely upon the question of union with the University of California, but also upon the question of Stanford carrying on a separate medical school in case the union did not take place.

At the meeting of the Board of Trustees on 27 March 1914, President Branner was authorized to invite Dr. William Welch, first Dean and Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins, to come to San Francisco and make recommendations to Stanford University as to the best plan for it to pursue in regard to Union of the two Medical Schools.

Dr. Welch was called but, after some delay and upon talking with Drs. Rixford and Stillman in New York, decided there was nothing he could do, and declined the invitation.

Next to be invited to visit Stanford as a consultant to President Branner and the Trustees was Victor C. Vaughan, Dean of the Medical School of the University of Michigan. Dr. Vaughan accepted the invitation but was not able to reach California until 29 May 1914.

Meanwhile, Dean Wilbur made the following lengthy and perceptive Report to the Trustees, and engaged in Critical Correspondence with Dean Moffitt of the UC Medical School and President Timothy Hopkins of the Stanford Board of Trustees.

Dean Wilbur's Report to the Trustees on Union with UC [27]

In 1910 there was considerable discussion between the authorities of the two universities as to a possible union of the Medical Departments. A conference was held between the Trustees, the Regents and the University Presidents at which the problem was discussed. Following this conference, a tentative proposition was presented by Stanford to the University of California for consideration. It apparently did not meet favorable reception on the part of the University of California and nothing further was heard of it officially until recently.

The Carnegie Foundation and others interested in Medical Education have urged, at various times, the apparent desirability of the two Universities combining their Medical Schools into one. In October, 1913, the wisdom of such a plan was orally suggested by the Dean of the University of California to the Dean of the Stanford Medical School. Following this conversation, a proposition was presented by me for discussion and consideration. No answer was made to these suggestions until March, 1914. The President of Stanford University had urged in December that an effort be made to bring the Medical Schools together. Committees were appointed by the Board of Trustees and by the Regents of the University of California These committees have the general principles of the subject still under discussion. The points, which are up for decision at present, can best be indicated by quoting from a letter written to the Dean of the University of California Medical School on March 11 1914 as follows: (Emphasis added.)

It would, I think, facilitate definite action of some sort in regard to the possible union of the Medical Schools of our two Universities to ask for prompt consideration by the authorities of both institutions of the following points:

1. Is it desirable that the Universities should unite their resources in Medicine into one large Medical School under common management rather than continue the support and development of two good schools?

2. If the first is settled in the affirmative, would the following be an acceptable plan for the management and control of the one School?

A.. -- The administration to be in the hands of a Board of Managers of nine members constituted as follows:

  • Two regents
  • Two trustees
  • The Presidents of the two Universities
  • Three members chosen by the above

B. -- A Dean, the best available man regardless of locality, to be selected by the Board of Managers.

C. -- A Faculty administration committee to be selected by the Board of Managers.

The Universities to continue their present financial support until endowments make the School independent financially.

All funds to be administered by the Board of Managers.

3. Is it desirable, if one school is decided upon, that all departments of this school be gotten together and that the courses given in Palo Alto and Berkeley which form part of the curriculum of Medicine be concentrated in San Francisco.

It would be more feasible at the present time for both Universities to give instruction leading to the degree of A. B. and covering the first year in Medicine, but an ultimate plan could include the combination of all work together in San Francisco.

If the University authorities agree to the above premises, then I think that the detailed plan submitted by me to you at a previous time should be at once carefully considered. Until the above principles are decided upon, the less time spent upon details, the better. I do not agree with you that it is necessary to call in an outside man or men to settle upon a plan provided the Universities decide that it is desirable to unite their forces in Medicine. Certainly we should not call in anyone until we have exhausted all reasonable means of bringing about a mutually satisfactory arrangement.

I will send a copy of this letter to the President of the University and to the Committee of the Trustees in the hope that it will bring about prompt and conclusive action as far as the above enumerated items are concerned.

The position taken by Stanford has been to thoroughly analyze the question of a union and to favor it, should it prove to be the proper solution financially and educationally of the Medical situation in San Francisco. The following extracts from letters written to the President, I think, illustrate the point of view of the Medical Faculty: (Emphasis added.)

The ambition of the Medical Faculty has been to develop a small medical school of high quality to do the character of work done previously by the Johns Hopkins Medical School without falling into their error of overcrowding their facilities by large classes.

Convinced that the small teaching unit is the best particularly under the Stanford scheme and of the desirability of "setting standards" so often insisted upon by Chancellor Jordan when the buildings of Cooper Medical College were remodeled, provision was made for classes of only twenty-five students each. We assume that since the State University has begun medical education that it will continue to develop it, but that it can never limit the numbers or be independent of certain political and community influences that will necessarily hamper the real progress of medical education.

It is striking in this connection that the Rockefeller Foundation, in its efforts to set certain medical standards that seem to it desirable, has recently made gifts to the medical schools of two private institutions, Johns Hopkins of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington University of St. Louis, Missouri, instead of to the State Universities of the State in which these schools are located or the more prominent State Universities elsewhere.

I think that I express the feeling of the Medical Faculty in regard to the proposed union with the University of California in the following:

We have been willing and have proposed an association provided it would maintain our present standards and permit of growth enough to handle the necessarily enlarged classes. This would in no way reduce the responsibilities or present expenses of Stanford and would, we feel, not really advance medical education unless someone came promptly forward with four or five million dollars to endow the new medical school founded on the resources of the two now in existence. To merely crowd in more students, introduce politics and divide management would be no real advance. We wish to be convinced that we will do a real service to Medical education by giving up our present strong position and ideals. It would be far better for us to handle small classes in true Stanford fashion than to be immersed into a large institution struggling to care for large numbers of students with a meager budget.

If, with increasing endowment and hospital facilities, it becomes feasible and desirable to educate larger classes, arrangements for such purpose can readily be made without handicapping existing work or crowding existing buildings and hospitals. Stanford is at present in good position for growth, first into a complete unit for small classes and then later into additional units of like strength and size. The day of large medical classes taught for the most part by lectures is gone, and with its disappearance there has been an abrupt increase in the expense of medical education.

If the plan limiting the upper classes of Medicine to twenty-five students each is continued, Stanford can estimate about what the expenses are to be including the number of hospital beds required.

In case of a union, there are three possible plans.

1. The present Stanford site to be chosen and made the basis for the new and greatly enlarged school.

2. The Parnassus Avenue site of the University of California to serve as the nucleus.

3. Both present sites to be abandoned and land to be purchased near the new San Francisco Hospital and a complete plant to be erected there.

Plan No. 1 is the most economical as far as new construction is concerned and the best one also for the care of all classes of patients. Assuming then its selection as the site for the combined schools and that only the strictly clinical years are to be taught there, the problem is about as follows:

Stanford now has 18 students in the Sophomore class in Medicine and the University of California has 45 students. In 1914-15, the Junior class of the combined school would probably total at least 65 students. Our present facilities could be made to do double work and be used for two sections of 25 each. We would have to expect classes of 75 within a very few years. Naturally while there might be some saving of expense from the larger classes, Stanford would inevitably have to pay the half of the education of all students so that its expense would be greater than with its own classes of 25 each. No limit could readily be set to the number of medical students by the University of California while Stanford could do as Johns Hopkins has done and refuse admission beyond a certain maximum. In other words, there would be no saving to Stanford in a union but only increased responsibility and increased expense. The question then should be, is one large medical unit so desirable that Stanford should increase its responsibility and its expense along medical lines to bring it about? As indicated previously, unless a gift of $3,000,000, or more is given to the combined school it would, to maintain Stanford standards, be placed in a precarious financial position.

The principal objection to a union from the standpoint of Stanford University is based upon the financial side of the question. It is not necessary to discuss the details of the expense required for additional buildings, for the duplication of work, the increase in hospital facilities and the increase in the Instructing Staff to take care of the teaching of numerous small sections, to show that without considerable endowment, a union of the Medical Schools would be a larger burden upon Stanford University. If Stanford desired only to put in a limited amount of money, it could not demand equal representation in the management. If it did not care to go beyond a certain amount and had equal representation, it might interfere greatly with the combined Medical School.

Both Universities are so established that they could not make the sacrifice of their present sites and facilities and disturb the work given at Berkeley and on the Stanford campus without having independent funds bringing in at least $ 100,.000 to $150,000 per year available for the united schools. It is unfortunate that while the Hooper endowment may be of great service to Medicine on this Coast eventually, at present the speculative features of the endowment make it more of a liability than an asset in making financial plans for a united school.

That there would be some advantages in uniting the schools provided funds were available is apparent. Without such funds, there is certainly great advantage to Stanford remaining in its present independent position. It is probable that this question will soon be permanently settled and that some recognized expert will be asked by the University authorities to review the situation and give Stanford an opinion as to the wisest and most economical course to pursue.

Critical Correspondence in Regard to Union of the Medical Schools of Stanford University and University of California [28]

On 19 April 1914, the Dean of the University of California Medical School, Dr. Herbert Moffitt, asked your Dean (Dr. R. L. Wilbur) for a prompt answer upon certain phases of the proposed union of the Schools and the following correspondence ensued:

20 April 1914

Dear Dr. Moffitt:
Following your verbal request of today, I presented to the Special Committee on Medicine the proposition outlined by you. The Committee did not feel that it could give a definite answer by ten o'clock tomorrow morning, since a meeting of the Trustees had been called for Friday of this week and they would have to wait until that meeting to come to a decision. I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter written to Mr. Hopkins, President of the Trustees, in which I am presenting your statement. If this does not meet with your approval in any particular, please communicate with me at once as I wish to have it authoritatively brought before the Trustees at this coming meeting.

Very truly Yours,
(Signed) R. L. Wilbur

20 April 1914
Mr. Timothy Hopkins, President
Board of Trustees, Stanford University
510 Nevada Bank Bldg. San Francisco

Dear Sir:
The Dean of the University of California Medical Department, Dr. Herbert C. Moffitt, asked me this morning to obtain if possible from the Medical Committee or the Special Committee of the Stanford Board of Trustees, a definite answer on the union of the Medical Schools before ten o'clock Tuesday morning, 21 April 1914. Dr. Moffitt wished to make at that time a report to the Committee of the Regents of the University of California. He wished to obtain a statement as to the attitude of the authorities of Stanford University on certain propositions concerning medical education which have been up for discussion. This was in order to bring about prompt and final action through a joint meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Regents should it seem likely that a union of the Medical Schools could be brought about.

When I informed him that Stanford was waiting until Professor Welch of Johns Hopkins could come west before making a decision, he stated that he did not see how they could keep their building and other plans in abeyance so long nor did he see how Professor Welch could contribute materially to the decision on the essential points upon which decision must be reached.

The proposition advanced, as I understand it, by the Regents through Dr. Moffitt is as follows: They consider it desirable for the two Universities to unite their interests in Medicine either upon the Parnassus Avenue site - the present site of the University of California Medical School - or in the Mission near the new San Francisco Hospital on the adjoining land now owned by the Catholic Church. This land the Archbishop is willing to sell at a reasonable figure, considerably less than $ 200,000. It is part of the plan of the University of California to construct a private pavilion, since they see the opportunity in this way of producing income for the care of teaching patients. The present site of the Stanford University Medical School will not be an acceptable site for a joint school.

If Stanford goes into a union, it will not be asked to contribute more than the amount now being spent for medical education including Physiology, Anatomy, Embryology, etc. The Regents of the University of California realize that there will have to be an increasing amount put into medical education with an increasing number of medical students, but will not ask Stanford to share it with them. The Board of Managers is to be constituted of five regents and three Trustees or upon some similar basis. Future representation will depend upon the amounts actually put in by the two institutions. With the majority of Regents upon the Board, it apparently will not be necessary to have a constitutional amendment in order to permit joint control of funds by the Regents and the Stanford Trustees. The University of California states that its present budget for Medicine is about $200,000. This includes apparently the hospital expenses and the Hooper Foundation.

I trust that you will be able to get a definite answer to this proposition at the earliest possible date. I judge though that it cannot come up before the meeting of the Board of Trustees on Friday. If I can give you any further information, please command me.

Very truly yours,
(Signed) R. L. Wilbur

San Francisco, 24 April 1914
Doctor R. L. Wilbur, Dean
Stanford Medical School
Sacramento & Webster Streets
San Francisco

Dear Doctor Wilbur:
Following your suggestion in your note of April 20th, it has seemed to me wise to amplify certain paragraphs of your communication to Mr. Hopkins. It is the earnest wish of the Committee of the Regents to bring about a union of the medical departments of the two Universities. Members of the Committee feel that such a concentration of forces would be of tremendous importance to the cause of medical education on the entire Pacific Coast and they stand willing to make all reasonable concessions to effect it. They would not wish to seem hasty and to urge an immediate decision on the ground of the necessity of developing at once the plans of the University Hospital. They would be perfectly willing to await the arrival of Doctor Welch provided certain fundamental propositions can be accepted.

The Committee feels that the authority of the State is invested in the Board of Regents and cannot be transferred to others and that the State will be called upon in future to put more money into Medicine and that the majority control of the Board of Management of the united school must rest with the Board of Regents. As you say in your note "The Board of Managers is to be constituted of five Regents and three Trustees or upon some similar plan."

The availability of different sites seems of secondary importance and will be discussed later. The Committee feels, however, that the present site of Lane Hospital does not admit of suitable future expansion. Certain minor corrections of your note may here be in order. It is part of the future plan of the University of California to build a private pavilion in connection with the (County) Hospital, but the chief aim of this private department will not be to provide funds for the maintenance of the teaching hospital. The budget for the support of medicine this coming year is $ 157,000. This does not include the hospital earnings or the income of the Hooper foundation.

Trusting that this note may be transmitted with your communication to Mr. Hopkins and to the Trustees of Stanford University, I remain,

Very truly yours,
Herbert C. Moffitt, Dean
Medical School , University of California

24 April 1914
Dr. R. L. Wilbur, Dean
Stanford Medical School
Sacramento & Webster Streets
San Francisco

Dear Sir:
The Board of Trustees has considered the correspondence which has recently passed between yourself and Dr. Herbert C. Moffitt, Dean of the University of California Medical School, relative to a proposed consolidation of the medical schools of the respective universities.

The Board has requested me as President to transmit to you the following resolution so as to enable you to reply to Dr. Moffitt's letter:

Resolved: that in the opinion of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University the trusts which they are administering do not permit their turning over either property or income to be managed and disbursed by any institution in which they do not have at least an equal voice, and that they consider it impossible to formulate any plan for the union of the medical schools of the two universities on any other basis.

Yours truly,
(Signed) Timothy Hopkins

P. S. The letters referred to above are those of yourself of the 20th to me as President and Dean Moffitt's letter to you of April 24th.

25 April 1914
Dr. Herbert C. Moffitt, Dean
Medical Department, University of California
2d & Parnassus Avenues, San Francisco

Dear Dr. Moffitt:
Please find enclosed copy of a letter received this day from Mr. Timothy Hopkins, President of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, in reference to the proposed union of the Medical Schools of the two Universities. You will note by it that the Board does not see its way clear to enter into a union upon the basis which you have stated in your letter of April 24th is considered by the University of California authorities as fundamental. I refer to the majority control of the Board of Management of a united school resting with the Board of Regents of the University of California.

I judge therefore that this permanently settles the question of uniting the two Medical Schools. The trusts of the two institutions apparently do not permit a satisfactory arrangement to be made. I wish to express my appreciation of the spirit in which you personally have considered this whole question and to congratulate you upon the forward steps which you have made in medical education. I trust that there will be no difficulty in securing close cooperation of the two Medical Schools in the advancement of higher medical standards upon the Pacific Coast and wish to assure you of my willingness to assist you in all efforts along those lines.

Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) R. L. Wilbur

On 12 May 1914 the California Regents addressed the following conciliatory response to the Stanford Trustees: [29]

After careful consideration of all that has hitherto transpired (the California Regents) voted to express officially to the Stanford Trustees their deep desire that an amalgamation be consummated of the work in medicine of the two schools. They are convinced that the welfare of medical education will be so much advanced by such a merger that the opportunity of united effort in this field by the two universities ought not to be lost. The Regents, therefore, in earnest hope of the realization of a plan of so much moment to the community, would request your Board to suggest a basis on which in your opinion such a merger in medical education may be brought about.

This proposal by the Regents, so consistent with the Pritchett stratagem which called for making every effort to absorb the Stanford school within the State system, forced the Stanford Trustees to at last put to rest the persistent notion of a truncated and subordinate medical school for Stanford. At their regular meeting held on 29 May 1914 the Trustees were firm and final in their decision: [30]

Resolved, that this Board of Trustees, after full deliberation, is reluctantly convinced that no basis of merger of the said two medical schools can be formulated, or exists, which is compatible with the legal powers and duties of either university; and further that, if such merger could be formed, it would cause no material saving in expense to either university, and that the interests of each university and of the public will be best served by the maintenance of the two separate schools, each pursuing its own methods and standards and so far as possible supplementing each other.

This resolution signaled the end of the medical school controversy - and by this action the Trustees preserved a full program of medical education as an integral part of Stanford University.

The Vaughan Report

The definitive Board Resolution of 29 May 1914 was adopted on the very day that President Branner's chosen expert, Dean Victor C. Vaughan of University of Michigan School of Medicine, reached California. The resolution had eliminated the purpose of his visit before he could begin his investigation. Nevertheless the Michigan Dean stayed on for a few days and studied the Medical Department while Branner and the Trustees anxiously stood by, each hoping to be vindicated by the consultant's report. Since the question of union with UC had been settled before Dr. Vaughan reached Stanford, the following report became one of advice upon the maintenance and development by Stanford University of a separate and complete medical school: [31]

Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 9, 1914
President J. C. Branner
Leland Stanford Junior University,
Palo Alto, California.

Dear Doctor:
In compliance with your telegraphic request I have visited Palo Alto and San Francisco and inspected the libraries, laboratories and hospitals of Stanford University. The laboratories of chemistry (general, physical, inorganic, organic and physiological), biology, histology, neurology and physiology are well housed, adequately equipped and exceptionally well manned. In all these, high grade work is being done. The laboratories of bacteriology and anatomy need better housing and I understand that this is to be provided in the near future. But in the buildings now occupied, most excellent work is being done. In fact, each of the scientific departments at Stanford is under the direction of an eminent man supplied with able and enthusiastic assistants and with necessary equipment. There is abundant evidence even in a hasty inspection that the appropriations have been economically and wisely expended and that good work is being done both in instruction and in research. I wish to compliment the trustees and president upon the evident wisdom which they have displayed in the development of these departments of the university.

What I have said of the scientific branches is equally true of the other departments of Stanford University. Although one of the youngest of the higher institutions of learning in this country, Stanford ranks as one of the best in all departments, both scientific and humanistic. In all branches it represents the highest aims and ideals. While I am not fitted to express anything more than a general opinion as to other than scientific education, I wish to emphasize the fact that all learning is one and the same spirit should pervade the whole. This I believe to be true at Stanford. It furnishes a wholesome atmosphere in which the student can grow whatever special line of training he may follow later. The greatest need of our country is the man whose fundamental knowledge is broad and comprehensive and whose special training is exact. No man can have useful knowledge of a part unless he has general knowledge of the whole. The working of the part must be in harmony with the movements of the whole, otherwise disaster is the result. While I am especially interested in medical education, I recognize the fact that it is futile to try to develop a good medical man out of one whose fundamental training has not been sound. The young man who has learned to work with the right spirit whether it be in Greek or biology, in philosophy or chemistry, will enter medicine, law or any profession in the right frame of mind and will be likely to prove an honor in his chosen profession.

In his preliminary college training the prospective medical student should not be confined to the physical or biological sciences. It is desirable that he know the classics, history and philosophy and it is most desirable that the training that he gets along these lines should be of the highest grade. I believe that Stanford University furnishes suitable conditions for the development of the young man who is going into medicine. Therefore, I hope that the medical work done at Palo Alto may continue. If the medical school should be closed, this would relieve Stanford of only one of the laboratories at Palo Alto. Physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, histology, embryology, neurology and bacteriology must be taught and research work in these branches must be done in a university of the high rank Stanford holds. Closing the medical school would give only trifling financial relief to the university. I therefore recommend that the premedical and medical work now done at Palo Alto be not only continued but be developed as fast as the finances of the university permit.

I make this recommendation not only for the good of the medical school, but, as I believe, in the interest of the university as a whole. If the medical department should be discontinued, anatomy is the only subject which could be dropped at Palo Alto and even then this should not be done. Anatomy is one of the great and fundamental biological sciences and even human anatomy should be taught in a great scientific university. Anatomy is no longer taught as a mere foundation for medicine and surgery. It includes the development of structure from the lowest to the highest forms of life.

I went to San Francisco and made an inspection of the library, hospital and laboratories of the medical school.

The Lane Library is one of the best medical libraries in the country. It is supplied with practically all the best medical journals so arranged as to be most available to members of the faculty and students. Its location in regard to the hospital and laboratories is quite ideal. It is worth much to both the clinical and the research man to have at his hand the best contributions of the world. When a problem comes up for solution the first thing to learn is to ascertain what has already been done along this line. A medical school without a library is like a boat without a pilot, and much time is likely to be lost in drifting. The medical department of Stanford is fortunate in the possession of its library.

While the present hospital building is somewhat out of date it is, so far as I can see, admirably managed both in caring for the sick and in the instruction of students. The out-patient department, systematized as it is, is both a great, broad and needful charity and at the same time a source of varied and comprehensive instruction to students. The addition soon to be made to the hospital will modernize the institution. It will bring more pay patients to the institution and thus furnish funds with which the less fortunate can be cared for. I was greatly pleased with the management of the hospital. The laboratories in the hospital are ably conducted and fairly well equipped. Some of them will probably have enlarged and improved quarters when the addition is made to the hospital.

As I understand, the total cost of the medical department is now about one hundred thousand dollars per year. This cost will slowly increase. Notwithstanding this fact, I strongly urge that the medical school be not only continued but be developed. In its development the quality of its work should be constantly held in mind. The number of medical students should be kept small. Quality and not quantity should be the aim.

I believe that in the near future the medical department will be a source of strength to the university in many ways. First, in the importance of the research done and the benefits that such research will confer on the race. Within the past thirty years the average human life has been increased nearly fifteen years and the whole of life has been made more comfortable. This is a work to which a great university should contribute. The opening of the Panama Canal will bring to the Pacific Coast many health problems which can be best solved in such a school of instruction and research as I believe Stanford will develop. Second, I am firm in the belief that the medical school will attract large donations, both for research and the clinical work. Philanthropists will see that the best service they can render lies in the direction of improved health conditions. Third, medicine is now attracting to its ranks many of the best of our young men and this will be a source of strength to the university.

Lastly, I come to the matter on account of which I was called to visit you. The time may come when it may be wise to consolidate the two university medical schools in San Francisco, but I do not believe that this would be wise at present. Stanford, from what I can learn, can afford to develop its medical school without material hindrance in the growth of other branches and I believe that this is the wise thing to do.

I am aware of the fact that a hasty visit, such as I have made, may give erroneous impressions and I would not have you attach any great importance to this report, but I have tried to look at matters from a broad viewpoint, and to hold constantly in mind the good of Stanford University as a whole. I have considered it unnecessary to go into financial or other details with which you are much more familiar than I am.

In conclusion I wish to thank you, . . . .and Dr. Wilbur and other members of your faculty for the many courtesies shown me and to express the hope that the growth of Stanford University during the past quarter of a century, phenomenal as it has been, may be surpassed in its future developments.

With great respect, I am,
Yours most respectfully,
V. C. Vaughan.

The Board of Trustees considered Dean Vaughan's complimentary report to be supportive of their decision to maintain and develop the Medical School in its current form. Under the strong and partisan presidency of Timothy Hopkins, and the persuasive advocacy of Herbert Hoover, the Board had rescued the School from major internal and external threats to its survival.

President Branner conceded that "Vaughan's report has some good things in it, and some that time alone can characterize. The trustees naturally feel that they have won out, feeling so they were the more ready to follow my recommendations (on other matters). . . The medical skeleton is now put away in its closet, and in my day it is not likely to be seen again.. . .In view of Dr. Vaughan's report and the difficulties standing in the way of a union of the two schools it only remains for us to go forward with the medical school as it is." [32] [33]

Regarding the propriety of San Francisco as the site of two competing medical schools, Dean Vaughan and the Stanford Board of Trustees were better prophets than President Pritchett and Abraham Flexner. Also notable is the contrast between Flexner's harsh assessment of the Cooper/Stanford medical program in 1909.and the Vaughan report of 1914. Because of their doctrinaire mind-set, Flexner and Pritchett failed to appreciate the significance of the transition already clearly in progress from proprietary medical college to university medical school at Stanford - the most academically promising university in the West.

In his Memoirs, Dr. Wilbur had this to say on the subject: [34]

If President Pritchett were alive today he would be surprised to see how far off was his estimate on the medical needs of the Pacific Coast. No one could foresee the great expansion in population and in medical practice. It now seems clear that the medical profession of any community of a half million or so inhabitants can best serve that community by developing a medical institution of some sort where students are accepted either for the medical course or for training in their postgraduate work.


  1. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), p.547.Lane Library Catalog Record
  2. "Addresses of Timothy Hopkins, Emmet Rixford and David Starr Jordan," Dedication of the Lane Medical Library, San Francisco, November 3, 1912 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1912), pp.6-17.Lane Library Catalog Record
  3. Emmet Rixford , "Intimate History of the Lane Medical Library," Bulletin of the San Francisco County Medical Society 4, no. 11 (Nov 1931): 20-22.Lane Library Catalog Record
  4. "Addresses of Timothy Hopkins, Emmet Rixford and David Starr Jordan," Dedication of the Lane Medical Library, San Francisco, November 3, 1912 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1912), p.6.Lane Library Catalog Record
  5. "Addresses of Timothy Hopkins, Emmet Rixford and David Starr Jordan," Dedication of the Lane Medical Library, San Francisco, November 3, 1912 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1912), pp.19-28.Lane Library Catalog Record
  6. "Addresses of Timothy Hopkins, Emmet Rixford and David Starr Jordan," Dedication of the Lane Medical Library, San Francisco, November 3, 1912 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1912), pp.29-31.Lane Library Catalog Record
  7. Christina Man-wei Li , "The History of the Lane Medical Library, 1912 - 1967" (Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Librarianship, San Jose College in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts), Fig. 2, Lane Medical Library, San Francisco. Photograph of the building, p. 39.Lane Library Catalog Record
  8. Christina Man-wei Li , "The History of the Lane Medical Library, 1912 - 1967" (Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Librarianship, San Jose College in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts), p. 39, Fig. 2, Lane Medical Library, San Francisco. Photograph of library.Lane Library Catalog Record
  9. Christina Man-wei Li , "The History of Lane Medical Library, 1912 - 1967" (Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Librarianship, San Jose College in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts), p. 44, Fig. 3, General Reading Room of Lane Medical Library, San Francisco. Photograph.Lane Library Catalog Record
  10. Christina Man-wei Li , "The History of Lane Medical Library, 1912 - 1967" (Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Librarianship, San Jose College in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts), p. 44, Fig. 3, General Reading Room of Lane Medical Library, San Francisco. Photograph.Lane Library Catalog Record
  11. Letter, John M. Stillman to Emmet Rixford re change of name of Stanford University Department of Medicine, 20 November 1908, Emmet Rixford Papers - Mss 8, Box 5.1, Lane Medical Archives, Stanford.Lane Library Catalog Record
  12. Minutes of the Medical Faculty, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1908-1914, Vol. 1, p. 236. Lane Medical Library. Lane Medical Archives. S1CC Box 1.
  13. Herbert Hoover , The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: Years of Adventure, 1874-1920 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1951), p.119.
  14. David Starr Jordan , The Days of a Man, vol. 2, 1900-1921 (Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York" World Book Company, 1922), pp.455-456.Lane Library Catalog Record
  15. George H. Nash , The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer, 1874-1914 (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1983). pp.36-41, 86-87.
  16. Herbert Hoover , The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: Years of Adventure, 1874-1920 (New York: Macmillan Company, 1951), pp.16-24.
  17. George H. Nash , Herbert Hoover and Stanford University (Stanford CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1988), pp.40-41.
  18. George H. Nash , Herbert Hoover and Stanford University (Stanford CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1988), p.41.
  19. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1937). p.549.Lane Library Catalog Record
  20. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), pp.549-550.Lane Library Catalog Record
  21. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), p.551.Lane Library Catalog Record
  22. Minutes of the Medical Faculty, 1908-1914. Vol. 1, p. 261 Lane Medical Library. Lane Medical Archives. S1CC, Box 1.
  23. George H. Nash , Herbert Hoover and Stanford University (Stanford CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1988), pp.41-43.
  24. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), pp.551-552.Lane Library Catalog Record
  25. Minutes of the Medical Faculty, 1908-1914. Vol. 1, p. 259 Lane Medical Library. Lane Medical Archives. S1CC, Box 1.
  26. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), pp.552-553.Lane Library Catalog Record
  27. Minutes of the Medical Faculty, 1908-1914. Vol. 1, pp. 262-266 Lane Medical Library. Lane Medical Archives. S1CC, Box 1.
  28. Minutes of the Medical Faculty, 1908-1914. Vol. 1, pp. 268-274 Lane Medical Library. Lane Medical Archives. S1CC, Box 1.
  29. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), pp.553-554.Lane Library Catalog Record
  30. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), p.554.Lane Library Catalog Record
  31. John C. Branner , Annual Report of the President of the University for the Twenty-third Academic Year ending July 31, 1914 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1914), pp. 17-20.
  32. Orrin L. Elliott , Stanford University: The First Twenty-five Years (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1937), p.555.Lane Library Catalog Record
  33. John C. Branner , Annual Report of the President of the University for the Twenty-third Academic Year ending July 31, 1914 (Stanford University, California: Published by the University, 1914), p. 20.
  34. Ray L. Wilbur , The Memoirs of Ray Lyman Wilbur, ed. Edgar E. Robinson and Paul C. Edwards (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1960), p.173.Lane Library Catalog Record