Little, Clarence C. (Clarence Cook), 1888-1971Alternative names
President of University of Michigan, 1925-1929.
From the description of Clarence Cook Little papers, 1924-1929. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34423334
C.C. Little was President of the University of Maine from 1922-25, President of the University of Michigan 1925-29, graduated from Harvard in 1910. Was director of Jackson Memorial Laboratory 1929-1971, and a researcher in the fields of cancer, genetics, and tobacco.
From the description of Papers 1910-1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 778701364
Clarence C. Little, biologist, genetics and cancer researcher, was President of the University of Michigan, 1925-1929. Born Oct. 6, 1888 in Brookline, Massachusetts, Little was a graduate of Harvard (A.B. 1910; S.M. Graduate School of Applied Science 1912; Sc.D. 1914) where he served as secretary of the Harvard Corporation while completing graduate work in biology and genetics. He held several research positions at Harvard 1911-1918. He continued his research work at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, and in 1921 became Assistant Director of the Station for Experimental Evaluation, Carnegie Institute. A year later he was appointed president of the University of Maine. Following is tenure at Michigan, Little served as director of the Jackson Memorial Laboratory, 1929-1956 (emeritus director 1956-1971). Little died December 22, 1971.
Following President Burton's death in February 1925, Dean Alfred Lloyd was appointed Acting President, while a committee consisting of three Regents -- William Clements, Junius Beal, and Walter Sawyer -- and three faculty members -- G. C. Huber, Jesse Reeves, and Herbert Sadler -- undertook the selection of a president. After a thorough search, the Board of Regents chose Clarence Cook Little, then the President of the University of Maine. He accepted the appointment and took office in September 1925. When Little came to the University of Michigan, the regents agreed to let him bring two assistants and continue his laboratory research on the inheritance of cancer here. He was a excellent scholar and outspoken regarding his progressive educational views.
In his inaugural address, President Little made a number of specific proposals and set forth his innovative ideas on which they were based. These included the belief that only those students deemed able to make the best use of education should be admitted to universities, that students should be taught to think for themselves, and that more attention should be paid to the individual student and his needs. He also believed that the resources, equipment and staff of the university should be available to the whole state.
The major project undertaken during his administration was the University College, based on his belief that the first two years of basic general studies should be separated from the last two years of specialization. At the request of the regents, the University Senate created the Committee on Undergraduate Studies in January 1927. (Records of this committee can be found in record group: University of Michigan. University College.) Although their plan, when it was completed, met with general approval, the faculties of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Engineering College both raised objections. Nevertheless, the regents authorized the appointment of an executive committee to prepare for the establishment of the new college to be opened in September 1929. Planning was suspended after President Little submitted his resignation in January 1929, and the program was never implemented.
In spite of the controversial nature of many of his proposals, President Little's administration was marked by several major accomplishments. These included Freshman Week, a period just before the fall term when incoming students were introduced to university life, and the Alumni University, designed to make the university an ongoing part of alumni life. Although it did not survive in its original form, it led to the establishment of the Bureau of Alumni Relations and the strengthening of ties between the university and its graduates. He also initiated the plan to house all students in university dormitories.
Although President Little's ideas had initially met with a favorable response, his forthright approach and a lack of skill in personal relations resulted in increased friction within the university. In addition, his outspoken views on birth control and eugenics alienated sectors of the public. Thus, when his letter of resignation was presented to the regents, it did not come as a complete surprise, and it was accepted to become effective September l, 1929.
From the guide to the Clarence Cook Little papers, 1924-1929, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)
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