1899 – 1977
Who was Robert Hutchins?
Robert Maynard Hutchins, was an educational philosopher, dean of Yale Law School, and president and chancellor of the University of Chicago. He was the husband of novelist Maude Hutchins. Although his father and grandfather were both Presbyterian ministers, Hutchins became one of the most influential members of the school of secular perennialism.
While he was president of the University of Chicago, Hutchins implemented wide-ranging and controversial reforms of the University, including the elimination of varsity football. The most far-reaching reforms involved the undergraduate College of the University of Chicago, which was retooled into a novel pedagogical system built on Great Books, Socratic dialogue, comprehensive examinations and early entrance to college. Although the substance of this Hutchins Plan was abandoned by the University shortly after Hutchins resigned in 1951, an adapted version of the program survives at Shimer College in Chicago.
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