The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 203
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William Carey Crane and the University of Texas
he would sponsor any plan if he thought it merely meant Bay-
lor's becoming an object of the public charity.
On the other hand, his proposals came at a most inauspicious
time. Good state government, a "must" if the plan were to suc-
ceed, had received a severe setback because of war and its after-
math. Futhermore, the plan was of Northern origin, a handicap
sufficiently great to doom it regardless of its virtues.
Crane's failure to follow consistently the original New York
Plan further handicapped his efforts in the cause of state aid.
Had he stuck rigidly to the plan of a university consisting only
of a board of regents to distribute state aid to existing institu-
tions, he might have received more universal support. To have
planned the university as a graduate school with a brief series
of lectures and a slipshod system of certification was expecting
too much, even of graduate students.
Perhaps the most obvious criticism of his plan was its church
and state implications. Crane did not believe that the acceptance
of state aid was a compromise of Baptist principles. The explana-
tion for this apparent contradiction may only be found in his
philosophy of education. In that philosophy, man was eternally
the student and all society the teacher. It followed, then, that
church and state should cooperate to discipline, train, and in-
struct man. In this sense, church and state constituted but one
part of the comprehensive, universal institution, combining fam-
ily, church, state, and school into a functioning educational
organization. In the operation of this ideal system, the school
was supported by the state, but its aim, methods, curriculum,
standards, and teachers were controlled by the church, and ulti-
mately, then, by the family. In this particular instance, his views
were consistent with his general philosophy. If Crane were guilty
of anything on this score, it was of too much idealism rather
than of deliberate betrayal of time-honored principles.
It is true that his plan had little or no effect upon the univer-
sity as it was finally established. His efforts, nevertheless, were
instrumental in keeping the university project before the think-
ing people of Texas for more than a decade, prompting a serious
and thoughtful consideration of the many problems involved
before the university became a reality. For this service, Crane
is deserving of a full measure of credit.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/263/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.