Ninth Report of the Board of Regents


Ninth Report of the Board of Regents


In this passage, the Regents call attention to the original language used in both the Morrill Act and the Nebraska State Constitution. It would seem the Regents felt their role in the economics of the university was being superseded by the state government. State senators must have taken notice of this argument, as the Regents fail to make mention of this issue in subsequent publications.

Brief accounting numbers are also delivered. From these numbers it is evident that the university's income was increasing from the endowed land.


Board of Regents


Ninth Report of the Board of Regents, 1888


State Journal Company




University of Nebraska, Special Collections & Archives

Original Format

Official Regents' Publication



            The act of Congress of 1862 granting lands to the several states for the endowment of Colleges of Agriculture, contained several conditions, which were necessarily assented to in accepting the grant, and among which is:

            “That the capital of the fund (arising from sales of land) shall remain forever undiminished; and the annual interest shall be regularly applied without diminution to the purposes mentioned in the forth section of this act” (viz., the support and maintenance of at least one college teaching those branches of learning related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, and military tactics, and not excluding other classical and scientific studies).

            Section 10 of the Enabling Act, granting seventy-two sections of land for a University, is clear in declaring that they “shall be set apart and reserved for the use and support of a State University, and for no other purpose.”

            Considered in the light of the true intent and purpose of the fundamental law and the Constitution of the State, there is no good reason why the Legislature should not continue in the precedent of two years ago, appropriating from time to time all of the temporary fund of the University to its enlargement, support, and maintenance, that portion derived from taxation as well as interest on the permanent fund and proceeds of lands. This course becomes all the more necessary when it is borne in mind that the land grant of 1862, specially inhibits the use any money whatever arising from the lands, for the purchase, erection, preservation, or repair of any building or buildings.

            The Constitution of the state makes it the duty of the Legislature to “encourage schools and the means of instruction;” it also vests the “general government” of the University in the hands of the Regents.

            Without an opportunity to direct the expenditure of the funds to which the University is entitled, the government of the Regents is partial only, not general; an institution thus hampered cannot be expected to keep pace the demands of a growing state.

            The Regents submit that the record of the past two years, if no more; the growing strength and popularity of the University; the fidelity of its business and financial administration; the possibility of shaping a policy which may be carried to a successful issue,-all of its best interests,- argue that the action of the last Legislature in appropriating the funds of the University to its use, under the direction of the officers charged with its control and management, was right and wise.

            Attached to this reports is a detailed statement, furnished by the Secretary and Steward, of all expenditures on behalf of the University for the past two years.

            The following statement and estimated of income are also submitted:



Receipts and Expenditures for two years, Nov. 30, 1886 to Nov. 30, 1888.

*Balance in Treasury, Dec. 1, 1866…                                    $173,438.94

Red. state taxes…                                                110,179.74

Recd. interest on bonds…                                    2,670.00

Recd. interest on U. lands sold…                        9,392.38

Recd. rental on U. lands leased…                        12,260.60

Recd. interest on Ind. College lands sold…            14,231.91

Recd. rental on Ind. College lands leased…            23,419.02


Total…                                                            $342,592.59

* This large balance in the treasury (and the subsequent transfer of $135,500 from the University fund to the general fund of the state was the result of a clerical error in the enrollment of the general appropriation bill of 1885, by which the amount appropriated for the current expenses of the University for the fiscal years, 1885-6, was made payable out of the general fund instead of the University fund.


Estimated revenue for two years from Nov. 30, 1888.

Bal on hand Nov. 30…                                                                                    $50,129.65

State tax on Grand Assessment for 1888 ($176,012,280)…            66,000

State tax on Grand Assessment for 1889 ($190,000,000)…            71,250


Rentals and interest on University lands leased and sold…            20,000

Rentals and interest on Ind. College lands leased and sold…            40,000


Delinquent interest and rentals…                                                                        5,000.00

Interest on bonds held by permanent fund…                                                3,000.00

Matriculation and Dip. Fees on hand Nov. 30…                                                1,385.00

Matriculation and Diploma fees collected in two years…                                    1,200.00

                                                            Total…                                                            $257,964.65

Probably loss in collections…                                                            10,000.00

Bal. payable on account Industrial College building…                        24,478.79


Total estimated available revenue…                                                            $223,485.86



            In the report of the Secretary, hereto appended, will be found a summary of the income received during the past two years from the proceeds of the lands sold and leased from the 90,000 acres granted to the state to support the College for instruction in such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, and of the amounts that have been expended from these funds and from the general University funds for the purposes set forth in the conditions of the grant.

            C.H. Gere,

            Leavitt Burnham,

            M.J. Hull,

                        Executive Committee




Board of Regents, “Ninth Report of the Board of Regents ,” Nebraska U, accessed July 5, 2022,

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