Page images

that the education opportunities afforded by this bill would seriously injure the armed services in that this 45 percent of the enlistees leaving to take advantage of the educational benefits would of necessity need to be retrained by the military, although he did admit there was an ample reservoir of replacement material available of equal caliber.

Could you comment on these remarks by the Department of Defense?

Mr. BERNREUTER. I believe that points out exactly what I am talking about. The veteran who is interested in education is a very fine person. The Army would like to keep him; the universities would like to have him. This is a two-way compliment to the veteran. I do not know the troubles that they have in keeping their man. I myself have had nearly 4 years of active military duty.

I do know that they are in a position to control to a very considerable extent the time at which they release a boy for educational privileges. If it is interfering with their program it would be perfectly all right for the universities to have released from military a young man, who wants to go to college, delayed until he has completely fulfilled all of his military obligations. We would like him to come to college, if he is intellectually able to profit, when he has completed his military obligation.

Mr. Flynn. Do you believe a boy who has filled his complete military obligations, who is then confronted with the possibility of reenlisting or attending college and securing an education, should, if he desires to go to college, have that opportunity.

Mr. BERNREUTER. Yes, sir. I believe every young man should be trained to develop his talents to the fullest, either within or outside the military. I cannot believe that a college-trained man who is serving his country outside the military is of less value to the Nation than an untrained boy who is serving in the military.

Mr. FLYNN. And do you believe that that boy, if he is given the opportunity to attend a college, will become for the most part a superior student in comparison with the boy who is not put in military service?

Mr. BERNREUTER. I believe he will, sir. We have a great deal of evidence that a boy will do better after his military service, in college, than he would have done had he gone directly into college from high school.

Mr. FLYNN. And therefore upon graduation will probably have more to contribute to society as a whole.

Mr. BERNREUTER. I believe this very firmly, sir.

Mr. FLYNN. Do you have any trouble with the boy who gets his first degree, and wants to go on to one of the professional schools, but has reached the age where he must enlist, 22 or 23 years of age;


you have any trouble with these boys putting in their stint in service and then getting out with family obligations and finding it impossible to go on to become the engineer or the dentist or the doctor or lawyer that they might otherwise have become without the GI bill?

Mr. BERNREUTER. No, sir, I don't see that that has presented any serious problem. If a boy is able to graduate from college and wants to do advanced graduate work, but has to take time out for his military service, almost always he can find that the university will find a job for him to help him support himself when he eventually gets out of the military and gets back to the university.

The universities are seeking graduates who wish to go on for advanced degrees, and are able to support a very large proportion of them.

Mr. Flynn. Is that true even if they have family obligations with children?

Mr. BERNREUTER. Yes, sir. We have several hundred graduate students now who are doing exactly this at our institution.

Mr. Flynn. In telling us about the superior quality of the student with military service, you are doing this after having spent a number of years as special assistant for student affairs and as dean of admissions at Pennsylvania State Universary!

Mr. BERNRETTER. That is right, sir.

Mr. Flyxx. You have been in a position to observe and notice this at first hand ?

Mr. BERNREUTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Flynn. Thank you very much.
Mr. HALEY. Mr. Fino?
Mr. Fino. No questions.
Mr. HALEY. Mr. George?

Mr. GEORGE. I enjoyed your statement very much, Mr. Bernreuter. I am wondering if the military is consistent.

The gentlemen from Wisconsin, Mr. Flynn, mentioned that we have had quite a bit of testimony from the Pentagon and other sources from within the administration opposing this bill. So often they will leave the impression or make the statement that it interferes with the regular training in the Army.

Wouldn't you think that if it is necessary to keep a man in service for say 4 years or longer that they would ask Congress to pass such a law? Mr. BERNREUTER. It would seem reasonable to me, sir, for them to do

I again state, we have no interest in shortening the military service of any young man. We would simply like to arrange it for him to find it possible to come to the university when his military service is completed.

Mr. GEORGE. You find that the best students are those who have in the past been GI's and then have the opportunity to go to school?

Mr. BERNREUTER. That is right, sir.
Mr. GEORGE. Thank you.
Mr. HALEY. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Halpern.
Mr. HALPERN. No questions.
Mr. HALEY. Mr. Slack?
Mr. SLACK. No questions.
Mr. Haley. Let me address a question to you.

In citing this particular case on page 2 of your testimony, when you say "originally he had done very poor work in nonscientific courses” and then you state that during his military career he became interested in electronics, does that indicate to you that probably we need a little more guidance for these youngsters, to help them find a proper place, a proper study in which they should engage?

Mr. BERNREUTER. Yes, sir, it shows that very clearly. I can elaborate upon that a bit, sir.


Our university has in the last half dozen years put a great deal of emphasis upon this, so that we give very complete guidance now to all students after they have been admitted as freshmen, but before they attend their first class. As a consequence of this guidance, one-third of them change their programs before they actually start their year's work.

Mr. Haley. Pennsylvania State Universary is a land-grant college, is it not?

Mr. BERNREUTER. It is, sir.
Mr. Haley. Supported by the State of Pennsylvania?
Mr. BERNREUTER. That is right, sir.

Mr. Haley. I was going to ask you about this depressed industrial area you talked about, but I won't put you on the spot.

Mr. BERNREUTER. We have them in Pennsylvania, unfortunately,
Mr. Haley. I think we have them all over.
I think that is all.
Mr. George?

Mr. GEORGE. With respect to change in programs, which the gentleman from Florida just mentioned, the law permits now only one change, as I understand it. Isn't it possible that a youngster, even after he is out of the service, may desire to enter and think he is going to, and change his mind more than once and come out with say a good engineering degree after two tries in other programs?

Mr. BERNREUTER. It is awfully important to the young men that they consider carefully and have the very best guidance, because even after a period of military service some of them are uncertain. When they try a very specific program at first and find it is unsuited to them, they make one change, it has to be the right change or they lose their benefits.

Mr. GEORGE. Isn't it possible that one more change might make a much more successful student in some exceptional cases?

Mr. BERNREUTER. I do not think this is a very serious problem, sir, because most of the universities are now providing reasonably good guidance and I think a very small proportion of boys are actually in need of the second change. It would help a few of them.

I find very little tendency on the part of any of these young men to change frivolously. They make mistakes in changing. So maybe a second chance, rather a third chance, would be helpful to


but it would not help a great many,

Mr. GEORGE. You can see no harm in it?
Mr. BERNREUTER. No harm at all, sir.
Mr. Haley. Thank you very much, Mr. Bernreuter.

The next witness is Mary M. Condon, assistant secretary of the Department of Rural Education, NEA.

I might say that from the point of beauty we have improved the situation from anything we have had here in the committee the last several days.

We are very happy to have you with the committee this morning. You may proceed with your testimony.

Do you have a written statement ?




Miss Condon. Yes, sir, I have. I think the committee should know that Mr. Haley is a good friend of mine because of some strong Montana connections.

I am Mary M. Condon, assistant secretary of the Department of Rural Education of the National Education Association. It might be of interest to the committee that I am a former State superintendent of public instruction of the great and sovereign State of Montana and, oddly enough, spent a small tour of duty in a college in Montana as the dean of men.

Mr. FINO. Dean of what?
Miss CONDON. Of men.

Mr. HALEY. I notice that my colleague from New York is surprised. I think she would make an excellent dean.

Mr. Fino. No question about it. I only wish I had had one when I went to college.

Miss Condon. This unusual circumstance came about because, following 2 years of service with the American Red Cross in India, I was employed at Eastern Montana College in Billings, a school that was largely at that time given over to the education of teachers and was largely composed of women in the student body. With the advent of the GI bill of rights in World War II the college was flooded with a great number of young men. They had never planned on having a dean of men because they had a rather low enrollment of that particular category of student. So the president just extended my activities as dean of women to also being dean of men. It didn't last very long.

The department of rural education, NEA, supports passage of S. 1138, popularly known as the cold war veterans GI bill.

Since one of the motivating forces behind the original GI education bill was Howard A. Dawson, then serving as legislative director of the National Education Association, and now executive secretary of the department of rural education, NEA, we have consistently had a strong interest in this legislation.

We are well aware that educational opportunities are less available to young people from the rural and small town communities we represent. At the same time, enlistments in the Armed Forces by rural nonfarm youth are high. This may be in part due to lack of job opportunity in the hometown as well as to lack of educational opportunity within the financial ability of the rapidly decreasing economic status of rural people. We believe, however, that it also reflects the traditional patriotism of rural America in times of national stress such as that engendered by the present cold war atmosphere. We therefore are particularly interested in enactment of S. 1138 because we feel it is one way of providing the expanded opportunity which rural and small community youth need to equip themselves for a meaningful life in a rapidly changing world. In addition, we support S. 1138 for the following reasons:

1. We believe that economically, just in terms of dollars and cents, the experience gained under the previous programs for World War

II and Korean veterans demonstrates that this investment in the education of our young men and women yields back, in additional taxes on higher incomes earned by the recipients, more revenue to the Government than was initially expended.

2. We believe that the higher standards for acceptance into the armed services, in this increasingly highly technical and scientific age, make it imperative that our best young minds be eagerly available for our country's service. These are found not alone in families financially able to finance a student through college, but in all walks of life. At present those young men whose parents can finance their higher education may, by continuing through college graduate programs, defer the responsibility of military service until qualified for officer's status, engaged in essential industry, married with children or physically disabled; thus, increasing appreciably their chance of avoiding military service. Those others, often physically and mentally superior, but economically disadvantaged, serve either through enlistment or the draft, in the Armed Forces for from 2 to 4 years. Upon discharge they find a narrowed job market for men of their age because of a military training experience not marketable in a commercial field, a considerably and prohibitively higher cost for college attendance, and frequently a feeling of frustration and discontent at what seems to be less than fairness on the part of the Nation they served. We believe the morale and thus the efficiency of our troops would be greatly improved by enactment of S. 1138.

3. The effect of the veterans on our institutions of higher learning and on our technical vocational programs has been documented time and again. Our department is particularly aware of the beneficial effects of the on-the-farm training programs, and the leadership role those once enrolled are now playing in our rural farm communities and organizations. Higher standards, better teaching, the stimulation of new research on the part of college faculties, a new sense of purpose in the student bodies of our colleges—they have all been indirect but badly needed results of the previous GI bills. The continued presence of veterans on any campus is highly desirable for these reasons alone,

4. While we wholeheartedly have supported, and will continue to work for, scholarships for all who are qualified to attend institutions of higher learning we feel this Nation has a special responsibility to those who serve in the Armed Forces. We believe that these young men and women, by the very fact that the times are as they are, stand more than any other group constantly in the shadow of personal disaster. At any time, day or night, they must be prepared, without a moment's hesitation, to risk their lives in the defense of this Nation. Many are engaged daily in activities which make the dangers of combat in previous wars mild by comparison. Personnel who work with explosives, missiles, supersonic planes, experimental endurance tests and the like are risking their lives every moment to a considerably higher degree than many veterans of World War II who received the benefits of the previous GI bills-as we believe was, and is, proper. For very few, if any, military personnel have any control over the jobs to which they are assigned and, therefore, should not be penalized for situations over which they have no control.

5. Finally, we believe that this Nation is founded on the basic philosophy of the importance of the individual, and that the worth

« PreviousContinue »