May 22, 1954
Pres. John G. Barry of the College of Mines, in explaining his resignation today, said that college athletes have been treated so well that he feared criticism from the rest of the students.
Mr. Barry's insistence on high scholastic standards has driven away Mines athletes who could not pass the courses, according to some El Pasoans who sought Mr. Barry's removal.
Mr. Barry said that as a result of the college's athletic practices, other teams have shied off from playing with Mines so that it is now hard for Mines to get games.
President Barry issued the following statement to the press explaining the reason for his resignation in ore detail:
"Up until ow the College of Mines had offered courses and been governed by standards in accordance with those ruling at the university and recommended by the state board of education. It is difficult to believe that the board of regents will wish to conduct a college of any lower standard.
"The college is actually in a critical condition in that it is the only one supported by the state which is ineligible for membership in the Texas Assn. and the Southern Assn. of Colleges. At present, the most formidable bar to membership seems to me to be the necessity of being a member of an athletic conference, which is likely to be some years in the future.
"I believe that other important colleges will not trust the College of Mines for some time to come. During the past few years it has been possible to improve greatly the standing of the college with respect to other requirements such as number of full professors, and number of volumes in the library.
"One may only guess the attitude of the next legislature toward appropriating money for support of a sub-standard college.
"The matter of athletics is an amusing one because it seems to be destroying itself. The conduct in the past has been such that more and more, neighbors have tended to shy off from playing with Mines so that now it is difficult to get games.
Athletes Treated Well
"Athletes have been treated so well that I have feared criticism from the balance of the student body because of the partiality shown. (Dr. Barry referred tot he fact that a dormitory is provided some athletes and some in the past have been given public jobs in spare time, jobs where their chief duty was to call for their pay checks at the court house.)
"Only a few engineering students have participated. The bulk of the players have elected the easiest academic courses available. Computations made on those in trouble have often shown that it would take them 10 or more years to earn a degree.
"The college offers an abundance of courses leading to the B.A. degrees as provided at the university. They should be amply sufficient for the bulk of school teacher aspirants.
"The college admits all students on the same basis as the University of Texas.
"The college was ranked ahead of all teachers' colleges by the legislative committee. The attitude of the college toward teacher training was possibly in advance of the times as understood locally.
"Many teachers in El Paso have made good use of the college. It would be unfair to penalize them now by granting special favors to those who have been quiescent and obdurate for many years during which they have made no academic advance whatsoever.
"The College of Mines is principally a local school, its only basis for state support being its special function related to mining. It is important that a new head for it should have a close time and understanding of that business..
"It may seem fruitless and undesirable to formulate an estimate of outlook for the college, but the thinking people of the city should be alive to it. Two general things might happen to the special function of mining: One, the consolidation of the mining school with the other engineering schools of the university; two, the decision of the legislature that it no longer wishes to spend state money on those subjects.
Sees Junior College
"If either should happen, the physical plant might be turned over to a local junior college district for its operation and support in accordance with existing laws. This has already been strongly recommended to the legislature by the state board of education. Because of changing economic conditions, the next legislature may consider it even more seriously
"A possible cure for the foregoing is the insistence upon the maintenance of a mining school of such highs standing that it cannot be questioned, and that it will be so outstanding as to draw earnest students from far and wide. The college is ideally situated to accomplish this if there is unremitting striving for this aim.
"In conclusion I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to those thinking people of the city who have given their understating support to a proper upbuilding of the college. I sincerely hope that they will continue such support in the future, but will be even more alive to the dangers connected with the highly vocal small minorities obsessed by special view points and fanaticism. Keep in mind that a college is judged by the quality of its graduates."
:Very Sincerely Yours,
"Jon G. Barry."