The faculty adopted a new curriculum. “Harvard had set the example of a very free elective course….  At is regular meetings and at special evening meetings the faculty debated the issues…and prepared a course of study which emphasized the need of continuity of studies, opened electives in a small degree in the latter half of the sophomore year, and made the last two years almost wholly elective.  A course in history was planned with hope for a new chair the following year…. 

“At the end of the first year of his work the president’s report urged two special recommendations of great consequence and suggested that ‘we must strike boldly, or lose our lead.’  One was the immediate foundation of a chair in history.  Of even greater importance was the recommendation that the preparatory department be abolished.”     James Monroe Taylor & Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, Vassar