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page 1 CHAPTER 3 ALEXANDER I AND THE REFORM OF MOSCOW UNIVERSITY In 1801 Alexander I became Emperor of Russia. Because of the enlightened upbringing that he had received under the direct supervision of his grandmother Catherine the Great, hope of reform circulated in the country. In line with the Enlightenment belief that education was the sole "criterion by which a country should be judged," the tsar intended to address the country's educational problems and build a new and lasting school system.1Alexander IIn June 1801 four of the tsar's close friends formed an Unofficial Committee: Pavel Stroganov, Adam Czartoryski, Viktor Kochubei, and Nikolai Novosil'tsev.2 They eventually devised the ministerial reorganization of 1802 in which the Ministerstvo narodnago prosveshcheniia (Ministry of National Enlightenment, or Ministry of Education) replaced 1Whittaker, Origins of Modern Russian Education, 57-58, citing Sergei Uvarov; Hans, History of Russian Educational Policy, 35; and Simkhovitch, "History of the School," 506. 2Count Pavel Stroganov, 1744-1817, was assistant minister of internal affairs and curator of the St. Petersburg Educational District. Prince Adam Czartoryski, 1770-1861, was a prominent Polish statesman, minister of foreign affairs, and curator of Vilna. Prince Viktor Kochubei, 1768-1834, was minister of internal affairs, and Nikolai Novosil'tsev, 1761-1832, served as a diplomat.page 2 Catherine's Commission for the Establishment of Public Schools. The fact that the tsar's close friends were all members of the Main School Board of the new Ministry clearly illustrated the importance of educational matters to him.3 The Unofficial Committee also composed a series of regulations that reformed the educational structure of the country: the Establishment of Educational Districts and the Provisional Rules of National Enlightenment (1803), the Statute of the Imperial Moscow, Kharkov, and Kazan Universities and the Statute of the Educational Establishments under the Jurisdiction of the Universities (1804).4The new regulations divided the country into six educational districts, each headed by a university: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kharkov, Vilna, and Dorpat. Each district consisted of a four-tier "democratic ladder" of schools: a one-year primary school in every parish, a two-year district school in every town, and a four-year 3Rozhdestvenskii, Istoricheskii obzor, 32-33, 37-41, 39, 49-50; Flynn, University Reform of Tsar Alexander I, 14-15. 4"Ob uchrezhdenii uchebnykh okrugov," "Predvaritel'nyia pravila narodnago prosveshcheniia," "Ustavy Imperatorskikh Moskovskago, Kharkovskago i Kazanskago universitetov" and "Ustav uchebnykh zavedenii podvedomnykh universitetam," Sbornik postanovlenii, 1: 13-22, 261-301, 301-39. For a general review, see, Hans, History of Russian Educational Policy, 45-49; Flynn, University Reform of Tsar Alexander I, 14-21. Most scholars, e.g., James Flynn, "The Universities, the Gentry, and the Russian Imperial Services, 1801-1825," Canadian Slavic Studies, 2 (Winter 1968): 492, insist that the new statutes were "deliberate copies of the best German universities."page 3gymnasium in every guberniia capital. There was supposed to be no discrimination for admission on a social, national, or religious basis, and advancement was theoretically on the basis of talent alone. Each school functioned both to prepare students for the next level and as an end in itself.5A popechitel' (curator), personally appointed by the tsar and "answering for the welfare of all schools," headed each district. These curators resided in St. Petersburg so that they did not "impede local academic activity" and acted as intermediaries between the districts and the central administration. They received notice of university decisions, read the monthly reports, and passed on the information to the minister. Each curator was also a member of his district's Schools Committee and shared management of the district with the university rector; however, since the curators resided in the capital, some had only minimal contact with their districts.6 Real power lay with the university councils which enjoyed "absolute jurisdiction" over all school affairs. A 5"Ustav uchebnykh zavedenii"; Alston, Education and the State, 24; Hans, History of Russian Educational Policy, 46-51; and Darlington, Education in Russia, 42. 6Russia, Ministerstvo narodnago prosveshcheniia, Sbornik materialov dlia istorii prosveshcheniia v Rossii, 2 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1893-98), 2: 139-47, 142; Galskoy, "Ministry of Education," 219; and Borozdin, "Universitety v Rossii," 352.page 4council consisted of all the ordinary (full) and extraordinary (assistant) professors and met at least once a month. Subject to the approval of the minister, the council chose professors, honorary members of the university, gymnasium teachers, and an inspector to supervise state-supported students at the university.7 The executive committee of the council was the pravlenie (board), which comprised the rector, four deans, and the sindik, a full professor appointed by the curator to serve as a legal advisor. The board met twice a week to oversee general economic and administrative matters and to examine the credentials of applicants for admission.8The rector, who held rank 5 on the Table of Ranks, was the true head of the university. He was a full professor, elected by the council and confirmed by the tsar, who chaired university meetings and supervised all district affairs.9 As confirmation of its autonomy, each university possessed a three-level court system (rector, board, and council) and exercised complete civil and partial criminal 7Steinger, "Government Policy," 23-24; Galskoy, "Ministry of Education," 216-17; and Shevyrev, Istoriia, 317. 8Steinger, "Government Policy," 24-25; Galskoy, "Ministry of Education," 217; and Borozdin, "Universitety v Rossii," 354. 9"Ob izbranii rektora v Moskovskom universitete na tri godi," Sbornik postanovlenii, 1: 522-24; Steinger, "Government Policy," 22-23; and Galskoy, "Ministry of Education," 217.page 5 jurisdiction over all individuals associated with the school. In rough terms, the rector functioned as judge and the executive board as a tribunal, while the council heard appeals.10Each university contained four departments: Literary Sciences (Letters), Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics), Moral and Political Sciences (Law), and


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