Key 36: Faculty of Arts [i] 1903; 1876; 1884; 1886; 1938


For the first fifty years the Professorial Board regulated the details of Arts and Science courses, while separate faculties consisting of teaching staff and some councillors regulated the professional faculties of Law, Medicine and Engineering. The latter format was applied to Arts and Science in 1903.

Prof Thomas G. Tucker
Prof Thomas G. Tucker, first Dean of Arts
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1116]

'The foundation professors had been appointed to teach up to four fields each, not solely for economy but because the concept of separate academic disciplines and of an individual's professional specialisation within one was not widely established until the twentieth century.' Disciplines and departments grew together. Wherever the budget allowed, growth in student numbers and specialisation was recognised by the creation of a foundation chair. Until well into the twentieth century, this mostly represented a partitioning of the territory of the original professor.

When Hearn was appointed dean of the Faculty of Law he was replaced in the Arts Faculty in 1876 by J.S. Elkington as professor of History and Political Economy.

Prof John S. Elkington, 1896
Prof John S. Elkington, 1896
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1204]

One of the five new professors appointed in 1882 was E.E. Morris. He took up the foundation chair of English, French and German Languages and Literature in 1884. Previously these subjects had formed part of the work of the Professor of Classics.

Edward E. Morris, 1896
Edward E. Morris, seated at desk, 1896
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1274]

Henry Laurie had been lecturing since 1881 when he was appointed foundation professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and fourth professor in Arts in 1886.

Professor Henry Laurie, 1897
Professor Henry Laurie, 1897
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1241]

When Elkington was replaced by Professor Ernest Scott as Professor of History in 1913 political economy was no longer among his responsibilities, but inability to resolve differences with the government delayed the creation of chairs in Economics and Politics for many years. Modern Languages other than English were finally accorded the status of a chair in 1938 with the appointment of A.R. Chisholm as foundation professor of French and fifth professor in the Arts Faculty.

Prof Alan R. Chisholm
Prof Alan R. Chisholm
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1666]