EA Ross — The Coolie cannot outdo the American, but can underlive him

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The Head of the Department of Economics Leaves the University at the Demand of Mrs. Stanford.

Dr. Edward A. Ross, head of the Department of Economics and Sociology, and one of the most able men in the faculty, has tendered his resignation, which was accepted yesterday by Dr. Jordan. The announcement in the morning papers came as a great surprise to the students, for Dr. Ross has always been very popular and his worth as a scientist and a teacher has been recognized everywhere. He is without itn equal in his line of social science and theoretical sociology. Dr. Ross’s resignation comes as the result of statements which he has made at various times, which have brought upon him the condemnation of powerful influences in San Francisco. These influences were brought to bear upon Mrs. Stanford, and she insisted that he sever bis connection with the University. Dr. Ross made a statement in which he told of the events leading up to his resignation yesterday. A resume of the statement is as follows:

Dr. Ross delivered an address last May in San Francisco, in which be tried to show that owing to its high birth-rate the Orient is the land of ”cheap men,” and that the coolie, though he cannot outdo the American, can underlive him. He argued that the high standard of living in America will be imperiled if Orientals are allowed in this country before they have raised their standard of living, and that as the Pacific is the natural frontier of the East ‘and West, California might easily experience the same famines as India and China if it had the same kind of men. This scientific coordinating of the birth-rate with the intensity of the struggle for existence was a new note in discussion of Oriental immigration, and made a great impression. Dr. Jordan heard from Mrs. Stanford just after this address, and she announced herself as greatly displeased with Dr. Ross, and refused to reappoint him. Through the earnest efforts of Dr. Jordan, however, Mrs. Stanford was prevailed upon to give her consent to retaining Dr. Ross at the head of his department, and he was reappointed June 2d for the year 1900-01. The outlook was such, however, that he presented his resignation to Dr. Jordan, but this was not acted upon at once, as both Dr. Jordan and S. F. Leib, president <>112 the Board of Trustees, were doing everything in their power to prevail upon Mrs. Stanford to alter her decision. This proved unavailing, and on November 12th, Dr. Jordan accepted the resignation. In accepting the resignation, Dr. Jordan said that he had hoped circumstances would arise which would lead Dr. Ross to a reconsideration, but as such was not the case, lie accepted the resignation with great reluctance.

In April last year Dr. Ross lectured in Oakland on “The Twentieth Century City” and dealt with questions of city government and city health. The address was general in character and took no stand on local questions, but the lecture was objected to. On two other occasions objections were made to his utterances. Concluding his statement Dr. Ross said* “It is plain, therefore, that this is no place for me. I cannot with self-respect decline to speak on topics to which I have given years of investigation. It is my duty as an economist to impart, on occasion, to sober people, and in a scientific spirit, my conclusions on subjects with which I am expert, and if I speak I cannot but take positions which are justified by statistics of the Old World, such as the municipal ownership of water works or the monopoly profits of street car companies; or by standard economic science, such as the relation of the standard of life to the density of population.  I have long been aware that my every appearance in public drew upon me the hostile attention of certain powerful persons and interests in San Francisco, and they redoubled their efforts to be rid of me. But I had no choice but to go straight ahead. The scientist’s business is to know some things clear to the bottom, and if he hides what he knows he loses his virtue. “I am sorry to go, for I have put too much of my life into this University not to love it. My chief regret in leaving is that I must break the ties that bind me to my colleagues of seven years and must part from my great chief, Dr. Jordan.” Dr. Ross has no plans as to his future work. He will not leave the University until the end of this semester.

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