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Dickinson College's twentieth-century journey has been marked primarily, though not entirely, by gains: increases in numbers of students and faculty, advances in the quality of the program offered, and a general broadening of opportunities for those enrolled in this program. Specific advances have been identified with particular presidential administrations, and have been gracefully limned by Charles Coleman Sellers's general history of the college.

For those interested in the academic policies of Dickinson College in this century, one administration stands out for the potential it embodied, but did not realize: the administration, in the early thirties, of Karl Tinsley Waugh. Waugh's brief tenure at Dickinson offers a case study in the kinds of tensions and frustrations which can spring from any effort to orchestrate change, and it is presented here as a vignette of Dickinson history. Because of its brevity, Waugh's administration was not a landmark in Dickinson history. But it might have been, and deserves on that account to be better known. To understand President Karl Tinsley Waugh and his travails, however, it is essential first to introduce his immediate predecessor and ultimately his nemesis, James Henry Morgan, and to place each of their presidencies, as well as their personalities, in the context of the other. [excerpt]