Responding to a report in The New York Times for November 13, President James Monroe Taylor objected to the "misleading" statement that the Vassar board of trustees had voted to establish a chair in political science, because Vassar alumnae had begun to endorse the woman suffrage movement. Meeting in New York City the previous day, the trustees had accepted Trustee Mrs. Frederick Thompson’s offer of $75,000 to fund the new chair.  The Times stated that the “establishment of a Chair of Political Science had long been contemplated, all that was required was the necessary endowment…. Agitation for a new department was started a few years ago when Vassar graduates began to take active interest in the suffragist movement.  Among the well-known graduates who have recently furthered the course of woman suffrage [is] Miss Inez Milholland…and it is said that her influence was used to raise the…endowment fund.”

The object of the new chair, Taylor said in his repost, was “to ground women in the principles of Government, in its history, and in a study of comparative institutions.  Its object would be to face principles rather than problems—education, in short, in political philosophy…. Suffrage is incidental, it need hardly be stated, in such a study. Our thought is indeed training for citizenship, whatever the outcome of the current discussion.”  

President Taylor had resisted discussion on woman suffrage at Vassar, but a rising number of students, faculty and alumnae had objected to his fierce defense of “education” against those he saw as “for the most part not teachers, but agitators, not expounders but advocates.”  A principle irritant to the president's position was Inez Milholland '09, who had organized a suffrage rally at reunion time in her junior year in the cemetary adjoining the campus at which nationally known woman suffrage advocates had spoken and subsequent events on campus, including a forum on the subject in which students and, for the first time, faculty spoke out in favor of votes for women. By spring, the president allowed a suffrage parade in Commencement activities.     The New York Times, The Vassar Miscellany