02/13/1911

  

UCCSN Board of Regents' Meeting Minutes
February 13-14, 1911
 



02-13-1911
Volume OD - Pages 243-249

                         Reno, Nevada
                      February 13, 1911

A meeting of the Board of Regents was held in the Office of the
President, at 10:45 A.M. February 13, 1911, Chairman Codd pre-
siding.  Those present were Regents Williams, O'Brien, Codd and
Reid.

The reading of the minutes of the last regular and call meetings
were dispensed with, as matters of importance pertaining to the
appropriations for the University needs were to be taken up and
acted on as quickly as possible, in order that Regent Williams
might take the afternoon train for Carson, in the interests of
the same.

President Stubbs appeared before the Board, bringing several
matters of interest to their attention.  He read a letter from
himself and Regent Henderson which was written in New York to the
Governor on the occasion of his inauguration.

President Stubbs submitted the following report, only fragments
of which were read:

To the Honorable
The Board of Regents of the
    University of Nevada

Gentlemen:

According to the action of the Board of Regents this meeting was
called to consider two important questions:

First:  To confer together respecting the passage of the bills
recommended in your report to the Governor; to consider further
the resources of the State that will enable the Legislature to
grant all that the University has asked to be appropriated at
this Biennial Session.

I reported to you at your meeting on Friday evening the 10th of
February the very cheerful outlook for obtaining the gifts of
$250,000 for the Library and Administration building; the prepa-
ration of plans for beautifying the grounds, to be made without
expense by a landscape gardener from New York.

Before going East, I had gone over what the University required
and what the Regents of the University recommended to the Gover-
nor for legislation, and I trust that you will be able to show
that a good deal depends upon the action of the Legislature with
regard to your recommendations.  I hope that the Legislature will
give you for the University everything that you have asked, con-
sistently with the financial ability of the State.

Second:  With regard to the Nevada Historical Society.  Unfortu-
nately Mr. C. B. Henderson and myself had to leave early in the
evening of January 2nd, and Tuesday morning, January 3rd, we
were in San Francisco.  I submit the following letter to Mr.
Henderson, written from the Hotel St. Francis on the morning of
January 3rd, which will give a history of what was done in the
matter:

    Honorable Charles B. Henderson
    Fairmont Hotel
    San Francisco, California

    My Dear Mr. Henderson:

    I telegraphed Mr. Codd this morning asking him to wire me
    for Mr. Henderson and myself what decision the Regents had
    made at their last evening session.  I have just received
    the following reply:

                                 Reno, Nevada, January 3, 1911

        J. E. Stubbs
        St. Francis Hotel
        San Francisco

        Williams leaves tonight on 23.  Will bring full copy of
        meeting, which unless approved by you and Henderson, it
        is not to be binding.  They agreed to two Regents on
        Council to lease ground but they own building.  Williams
        will come direct to hotel on arrival.  Wait for him.

                             A. A. Codd

    In reply to this message of Mr. Codd's, I am sending him the
    following by Postal:

        A. A. Codd
        Board of Regents
        Gazette Building
        Reno, Nevada

        Have Williams go direct from train to Fairmont Hotel and
        put up there.  Mr. Henderson will meet him perhaps in
        time for breakfast at 8:30 or 9 o'clock.

                             J. E. Stubbs

    I will have to leave you to settle this matter as all my ar-
    rangements are made to leave on No. 10 at four o'clock this
    afternoon for New Orleans.  I beg leave to suggest to you the
    following, inasmuch as I can't be present:

    1st.  Insist that the Regents ought not, cannot, and will not
          alienate a foot of land on the Campus which they al-
          ready own, either by selling the land or by leasing it,
          or in any other manner where the control of the land
          will pass out of the hands of the Board of Regents.
          Ten years ago the Regents leased the land on the Campus
          on which my house stands, but they leased it condition-
          al that I should only use the house as an official res-
          idence.  The lease forbids me to dispose of the house,
          or to rent it, or in any way use it except as the of-
          ficial residence for the President.  Now, you can see
          that this lease of land does not in any way parallel
          the question of leasing land to any other organization
          or corporation which is not controlled by the Board of
          Regents.  It is clearly an unwise policy to allow a
          foot of the land to pass to other ownership even if it
          is not unconstitutional for the Legislature and Regents
          to make such a lease.

    2nd.  It seems to me in accepting two Regents on the Council,
          the members thereof are short-sighted in not putting
          the three Regents on and making them members of the
          Council ex officio; for the reason that then the Coun-
          cil would have a majority of the Board of Regents upon
          it, and any action with regard to the Historical Soci-
          ety would have at the back of it the three Regents - a
          majority of the Board.  Does not that safeguard the
          interest of the Historical Society as well as that of
          the Board of Regents?

    3rd.  I think that the terms that I suggested in my letter
          should be about the terms accepted:

              (a)  The Regents will allow them to erect a build-
                   ing upon the land in the rear of Stewart Hall
                   but will not lease the land to the Historical
                   Society, but reserve it in their own hands.

              (b)  The Regents will enter into a contract for 10
                   years, subject to successive renewals, that
                   their building shall belong to them and never
                   be disturbed at the end of each successive 10
                   years unless the Regents deem that it become
                   necessary, and then only upon the terms that
                   the Regents will pay them for the building
                   which they have erected with the State's money
                   procured by them.

              (c)  The plan of the building shall be by Univer-
                   sity architect and approved by the Board of
                   Regents and the Council.  This is only to
                   ensure a building that will harmonize with
                   the other buildings that are contemplated
                   around the quadrangle.

    These, I take it, are in the main your views, and I think
    it is easy to maintain them.  I wish the Historical Society
    well, and want to promote their interests, but there is a
    broad difference between the University and its future and
    the little organization which the Historical Society will
    ever be.  Furthermore, the arrangements that I suggest to
    you are in their very essence cooperative and breathe the
    spirit of friendly affiliation.  But the proposition from
    the Historical Society savors of the "Stand and Deliver"
    policy, which, if they want to pursue, then we don't want
    to have anything to do with them.

    Remember me very kindly to Mrs. Henderson, the boys, and Mr.
    Smith, and believe me,

                             Very sincerely yours,

                             J. E. Stubbs

Mr. Williams arrived at the Fairmont on Wednesday morning, the
4th of January, and talked over the matter with Mr. Henderson,
submitting the following report of the action of the Board of
Regents:

    The Regents of the University of Nevada met at Room 9,
    Gazette Publishing Company building, at 8 o'clock P.M.
    January 2, 1911.  Present:  Regents Codd, Reid, Williams
    and O'Brien.  Absent:  Regent Henderson and President
    Stubbs.

    Representing the Nevada Historical Society were Miss Jeanne
    E. Wier, Dr. Hershiser and Senator A. W. Holmes.

    The object of the meeting was for the purpose of discussing
    the Nevada Historical Society, its building and management.
    After a lengthy discussion, Regent Williams offered the
    following resolution, which was seconded by Regent Reid and
    carried, all members present voting yes.

        RESOLVED,

        (1)  That we, the Board of Regents of the University of
             Nevada, recommend that a piece of ground between
             Stewart Hall and the Chemistry building, of suf-
             ficient size for a Historical Society building, be
             leased for a period of ten years, with an assurance
             of successive renewals, to the Nevada Historical
             Society.

        (2)  That any building erected thereon shall be the prop-
             erty of the said Nevada Historical Society.

        (3)  That two members of the Board of Regents, through
             virtue of their election as such, become ex officio
             members of the Executive Council of the Nevada
             Historical Society.

        (4)  That, as a condition to successive renewals of the
             above mentioned lease, the building shall be used
             exclusively for Nevada Historical Society purposes,
             and that no changes be made at any future time on
             the exterior of said building without the consent
             of the Regents at an authorized meeting of the Board
             of Regents; and further, that a specified portion of
             the building be reserved for the use of the Univer-
             sity for Library purposes until such time when a new
             Library building be provided for the University
             Library.

Mr. Henderson read carefully the action of the Board of Regents,
which Mr. Williams delivered to him, but he did not sign it or
signify his approval of it.  The following is Mr. Henderson's
letter to Mr. George H. Taylor, dated at San Francisco, Janu-
ary 4th:

    My Dear Mr. Taylor:

    I enclose herein the minutes of a meeting of the Regents,
    held in Reno on January 2nd, given to me by Regent Williams
    this morning.  Upon first reading I have the following sug-
    gestions to make relative to this matter:

    First, in justice not only to the Historical Society, but
    also to the Regents and University, I feel that the question
    as to whether or not the Regents have the power to make such
    a lease as is contemplated in these minutes with the Histor-
    ical Society should be carefully looked into and the question
    properly decided before any lease is executed.  While it
    would be all right with the present Board, if such a lease
    was executed, still if the Regents had no authority under the
    law to execute the lease, a future Board might cause the
    Society some trouble.  I spoke to Mr. Lewers the evening I
    was leaving Reno and he questioned the right of the Board of
    Regents to make such a lease, and I think we should know in
    advance whether or not we have such power.

    I also believe that the Board of Regents should have some
    say as to the plans and specifications and kind of building,
    particularly with reference to the exterior, the Society
    expects to build.  While I feel that they would erect a
    building in keeping with the other buildings on the Campus,
    and also in keeping with such buildings as we hope to be able
    to erect, still I feel that the Regents should not allow a
    building to be erected on the Campus without some say as to
    the kind of building to be erected.  In view of the fact
    that we expect, in time, to have the quadrangle surrounded
    by University buildings, I think that the Regents should
    always hold and retain the right to say what kind of build-
    ings should enclose it, so that we can work to a definite
    end and have buildings erected there in harmony with one
    another.

    This letter is for use at the next meeting of the Board of
    Regents, as I will not be there when they meet again to
    discuss this matter.

    I told Mr. Williams that I would return the enclosed minutes
    to you.

    With kind regards, I am

                             Very cordially yours,

                             Charles B. Henderson

On Tuesday, January 18th, I met Mr. Henderson in New York and
he said to me the more he thought about this proposition made
to the Board of Regents the less he favored it, and his views
in part are contained in the letter of January 18th which he
wrote to Mr. Charles R. Lewers:

                                        January 18, 1911

    Mr. Charles R. Lewers
    Gazette Building
    Reno, Nevada

    Dear Charlie:

    You will recall my speaking to you about the Regents leasing
    a small tract of land on the Campus to the Historical Society
    and you questioned our right to lease any part of the Campus.
    I was talking to Dr. Stubbs about the matter today and I
    feel that before anything is done at the next meeting, which
    is set for the 14th of February, this point should be looked
    up and I suggested to him that the Regents at this meeting
    call on you for an opinion as to whether or not they can
    lease any part of the Campus.  I wish you would try to find
    time to look the matter up and be ready to advise them
    definitely whether they can make such a lease.  The Doctor
    says that he would also like to know.  He will be in Reno
    about the 10th of February.

    I received the letter you sent me and the more I think of the
    proposition, the less I favor it, for even if we have the
    power there is always a chance of complications arising when
    another corporation is on the Campus.

                             Yours cordially,

                             Charles B. Henderson

You will observe that Mr. Henderson doubts whether the Regents
have the power to make any lease or contract to any other body
or corporation or society, and suggested that before the matter
is finally decided by the Regents that you should invite Mr.
Charles R. Lewers before the Board and hear his views regarding
the constitutionality of the proposed act allowing the Historical
Society, as a State organization entirely separate from the Uni-
versity, to place a building upon any portion of the grounds of
the University.

It is to be carefully noted by the Board that there is no rela-
tion between any State University and any State Historical Soci-
ety.  The State Historical Societies in all cases, whether they
are incorporated by the State, or are private organizations, or
whether they receive State aid, or are supported by private
benefactors, have absolutely no connection between their work
and organizations and the work and organizations of State Uni-
versities.

Mention has been made of the so-called "Wisconsin Plan", leaving
the impression that the State Historical Society of Wisconsin
was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin and had its
building upon the University Campus.  This is entirely a mistake.
Wisconsin has a beautiful Historical building upon State land
and it is supported entirely by the State, and has no connection
with the University whatever.  In a letter from R. G. Thwaites,
Secretary and Superintendent of the State Historical Society,
he said, "It (the State Historical Society of Wisconsin) has a
building of its own on State land (not University land) opposite
the Campus of the State University.  It has no connection what-
ever with the State University.  It is an independent State in-
stitution.  The State Historical Society is incorporated by the
State, but it is the Trustee of the State and holds all of its
property for the State.  The Legislature makes annual appropri-
ations for the conduct of its affairs, and the payment of the
salaried staff, the purchases of books, etc."

Now the Nevada State Historical Society is modeled somewhat
after the plan of the organization of the Historical Society
of Wisconsin.  It is a State institution, and, being such, it
has properly applied to the State to make biennial appropriations
for its support.

In its efforts to build up the Society its objects are:  first,
to establish a museum for its relics; second, to establish a
library of books and manuscripts; and, third, to gather in from
all parts of the State such material, that if the Society did
not preserve it, would be lost or destroyed beyond recall.  The
worthy purpose of preserving forever the historical relics and
books of the State is dear to the hearts of every right minded
person who takes a deep interest in the welfare of the State.
But we should bear constantly in mind in this discussion that it
is, like every other historical society, public or private, an
independent organization.

The safest way and the best way for the University would be to
assist the Society in getting a location on a desirable lot
opposite the University grounds; for example - the home of Miss
Wier, the building adjoining it and the one on the corner would
make an admirable site, and would allow for a fine building to
be placed upon it.

But, on account of the poverty of the State, it may be desirable
to make an arrangement that shall place the building of the
Nevada Historical Society upon the grounds and, if upon the
grounds, then it should be in a good location.  But if we do
that, then we should amend the Resolution adopted tentatively
by the Board of Regents in substance as follows:

    That the Board of Regents will set aside a plot of ground
    for the erection of a Historical building, providing the
    Historical Society gets an appropriation from the State for
    it.  The Regents will not lease the ground, and will have
    the right to pass upon the plans for the exterior of the
    building, so that the building shall harmonize with the
    other buildings upon the grounds.  The Historical Society
    of course shall own the building and shall maintain it, but
    if at any time the Regents of the University find that they
    need the room or the building, upon the payment of the amount
    which the Legislature has appropriated, and which the His-
    torical Society has put into the building, by the Regents,
    the building shall belong to the University.

The Regents may, according to the Resolution, agree to make a
contract for the use of the ground for 10 years, subject to
successive renewals for 10 years each, provided the Regents of
the University do not, at some time in the future, need the
building.  This safeguards, I think, the rights of the Regents
in this matter, and leaves the property subject to their control.

Another suggestion.  In putting up the new Library and Adminis-
tration building, I think it could be so arranged as to provide
in an excellent way for housing the library, museum and adminis-
trative offices of the Historical Society.  It was mentioned on
one or two occasions that this might be desirable by the members
of the Society.  The Council of the Historical Society may have
full control of the internal affairs of the Society, but, if
they come upon the grounds, whether they have a building of their
own, or are given a part of this new Library and Administration
building, they are subject entirely to the action of the Board
of Regents.  This, I think, is not only the legal way, but it is
the future.  There can be no divided authority; the Regents must
have absolute control at all times.

Now I want, as do the members of this Board, to do everything
that we can do for the Nevada State Historical Society.  It has
done a valuable work in the collection of historical relics and
old books and manuscripts.  For myself, I have contributed of
my slender means to its support by paying my dues and, during
the last two years, a small amount that I could spare toward
giving it additional support in its time of need.  I advised Mr.
Mackay that money given to this Society at this time would be
money well spent.  This interview was had when he was present
in October, 1909.  I want to see the Society prosper, but I want,
also, no possible chance for any complications to arise in the
future by reason of the Society having a habitat upon the grounds
unless the Regents of the University have the control.

                             Very truly yours,

                             J. E. Stubbs, President

The President stated that the Speaker of the House and President
of the Senate had promised to arrange a joint meeting of the two
Houses, before whom he and the Board would appear on Wednesday
afternoon, and it was the unanimous sense of the Board that
they go to Carson on Wednesday morning to avail themselves of
the opportunity to present the University requirements.

A communication from State Senator Dix Smith was read, wherein
he stated that ex-President Theodore Roosevelt would be in Reno
on April 3rd next, and expressed the hope that the University
would arrange to have the President meet the students.

On motion of Regent O'Brien it was resolved to send a communica-
tion to Mr. Roosevelt inviting him to address the students,
faculty, and Board of Regents of the University at any hour
which might best suit his convenience.

After a statement by Regent Williams relative to the probable
income of the State for the coming two years, and what the Board
might reasonably expect therefrom to meet the University's needs.

No further business appearing, the Board adjourned, subject to
the call of the Chair.

                             A. A. Codd
                             Chairman

Geo. H. Taylor
Secretary