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A Lever Long EnoughA History of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science Since 1864$
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Robert McCaughey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166881

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166881.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Great Depression and the Good War 1930–1945

The Great Depression and the Good War 1930–1945

(p.91) 4 The Great Depression and the Good War 1930–1945
A Lever Long Enough

Robert McCaughey

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses developments at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) during the years 1930–1945, a period marked by two momentous global events: the Great Depression and World War II. In terms of higher education, it was a period of general retrenchment in the face of financial stringencies, stagnant enrollments, and wartime dislocations. For the engineering profession, the hallmarks were uncertain job prospects and a shift in the sponsorship of large projects from the private corporate sector to the federal government. For Columbia, these years necessitated shelving plans based on assumed continued prosperity. To the School of Engineering fell a leadership vacuum, curricular stasis, and the disruptions of war. The chapter considers the relationship between science and engineering at Columbia before turning to Joseph W. Barker's tenure as dean of engineering. It also looks at the engineering faculty and students of the interwar period, along with Columbia's mobilization for World War II.

Keywords:   engineering, Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Great Depression, World War II, science, Joseph W. Barker, faculty, engineering students

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