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Barringer, Paul B.


Biographical Note

The Board of Visitors elected Barringer as the sixth president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute on 17 May 1907. Accomplishments of his administration included: entrance requirements raised from four to fourteen units; a Farmer's Winter Course established; summer school expanded. Barringer's tenure as president was not a smooth one, hampered by several investigations. From the start, he was determined to develop the agricultural facet of the College until it was at least equal to the engineering component, which caused some dissatisfaction among certain alumni and faculty. In 1909, the Chairman of the Alumni Association Welfare Committee, Lawrence Priddy, attempted to have the Board of Visitors oust Barringer. The Board ordered an investigation and a public hearing was held 25 March 1910, at which Priddy's charges were dismissed as "unwarranted" and "inaccurate." However, this was not the end of Barringer's problems. In the fall of 1911, the Board again called for an investigation when a former Commandant of Cadets accused Barringer of "countenancing immorality" on campus. The investigation concluded that the charges were "without foundation." Having survived those investigations, Barringer next ran afoul of Governor Mann, who wanted the College to become involved in agriculture extension work. Barringer did not agree, so Mann said he would appoint a Board of Visitors antagonistic to Barringer if he did not resign. On 10 June 1912, Barringer resigned, but the Board asked him to remain in office another year until a new president was selected.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the Office of the President, Paul B. Barringer

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-02-06
Scope and Content This collection contains mainly incoming and outgoing correspondence (1907-1913) concerning college activities and issues of Barringer's administration. Topics include academic standards; hazing; Hog Cholera outbreak (1908); fires; prohibition; water/sewage system; refrigeration plant; and advantages and dangers of football. A few letters from Barringer are to United States presidents: Theodore Roosevelt; William Howard Taft; and Woodrow Wilson. Also included with the collection are the...
Dates: 1900 - 1914