the Kimball plan, calling for two and one-half years of Mechanical and
one year of Electrical Engineering. It became one of the regular
four-year courses in 1893.
Another course that was the subject of extended debate was that known
as General Science. A report favoring such a course was presented to
the faculty in 1889. Professor Alden vigorously opposed it on the
grounds that it was a move toward making the Institute a scientific
college, to the detriment of established engineering courses. He was
overruled, for the trustees voted to introduce a course in Physical
and Political Science beginning in 1891. The name "General Scientific"
was adopted in 1893.
At various stages of the Institute's history, plans for cooperation or
amalgamation with Clark University have been proposed. The first of
these was in 1891, when Dr. G. Stanley Hall, president of the sister
institution, proposed an interchange of instruction. This plan was
carried out successfully during the following year, but discontinued
Along with development in curricula came changes in the marking
system. Students and alumni were vigorous in denouncing the "personal"
mark, which was combined with the examination mark to determine final
grades, but the faculty clung to it tenaciously. The "personal" mark
was fully defined in rules adopted in 1884. When marking was reduced
to a letter basis in 1887, the faculty vetoed a reference to
abolishing "personal" marks contained in the committee report. Two
years later a letter and percentage basis was adopted, and the
"personal" was definitely abandoned. Faculty meetings were long
sessions, for in addition to discussion of policy, they had many
student petitions to refuse, and much discipline for minor offences to
inflict. For a number of years it was customary to call the roll of
students at each meeting, for comments on each student's
progress. "Johnnie" Sinclair frequently picked up his hat and asked to
be excused just before the roll reached the list of those who were "on
the edge" in his classes.