MEMOEIAL OF THE ACTING COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD
To tlie (xeneral Assembly of the State of OMo :
The annual message of the Governor delivered at the opening of the present session of your honorable body recommends that the Miami and Ohio Universities should be converted into normal or preparatory schools. Against this suggestion, so far as it relates to the Ohio University, we desire, with due respect, to enter a firm and earnest protest.
The suggestion is based upon the assertion that, if left to itself, the University must soon suspend. We assure you, however, that among those to whom the immediate care of the institution has been committed there is no expectation of such a catastrophe. It must be admitted that, like most other American colleges, we feel the need of a much more lib¬ eral endowment than we tiow possess. Still we are far from looking for¬ ward to suspension. A considerable sum has recently been expended in making repairs on the buildings, and it is intended to make other impor¬ tant improvements within a short time.
But, however great the poverty of the University may be, and how¬ ever great the disadvantages which its poverty may have imposed, the State has no legal right to change its character. She is but a trustee, the lands of the University having been given by the national Govern¬ ment expressly and perpetually "for the purposes of an university." She cannot, therefore, lawfully divert the lands, or the income from them, to any other use.
The restrictions on the power of trustees are stated with great distinct¬ ness : " Where, by the terms of the trust, the particular charitable pur¬ poses are clearly defined in respect to such purposes, the trustee has no discretion; hence a deviation from those purposes would be deemed a breach of the trust.'^*
No one will affirm that a normal school is at all likely to become a university, or that its organization contemplates such an end. Certainly the object in the present instance is far different. We may reasonably assume that it is exactly the reverse.
In its present use the trust is fulfilling its purpose as nearly as circum¬ stances allow. The plan of the institution corresponds to the original design. What now exists is the natural germ ot a university, and, so far
* Tiffany and Bullardj Law of Trusts and Trustees, 276.