Agency History #327


The Educational Survey Committee (1939-1940) was created by the Twenty-Third Legislature as a fact finding body to make a study of education in Utah through legislation passed March 9, 1939 (House bill no. 276, Laws of Utah, 1939, chapter 82). Governor Henry H. Blood appointed the fifteen member Committee and called their first meeting to be held on June 19, 1939.

Two significant challenges then facing the state educational system led to the legislation which created the Committee. One was the soaring cost of education caused by increasing enrollment and expanding programs. The other was an increasing number of requests for the organization of junior colleges throughout the State. The Committee terminated activity upon completion of their official report in July 1940.


The Committee was assigned "to make a complete study and report of 1) the scholastic and vocational objectives of all the branches of the system of public schools as defined by article ten of the constitution, including junior colleges and the state training school; 2) the purposes for which money allotted to the various branches thereof is used; 3) the degree to which the existing educational objectives are adapted to the needs and the welfare of the state and its people; 4) the ability of the state to maintain the system as now established; 5) desirable changes, if any; and 6) means of stabilizing support to all the units of the system" (Ibid.).

The Committee worked with local and national educators to find answers to these questions. The law required the Committee "to render its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the Governor...on or before July 1, 1940" (Ibid.).


An Executive Board was elected by secret ballot at the Committee's second meeting, on July 1, 1939 to facilitate Committee action. Stanley N. Child was designated as the Chairman, Maude B. Jacob as the Vice-Chairman, and George A. Critchlow as the Secretary. At the subsequent Committee meeting held on July 22, 1939 two new members were named to the Executive Board by the Chairman. The new members were Mrs. Frank B. Muir and George R. Hill, Jr.


The fifteen Committee members served on a voluntary basis without pay. One Sub-Committee was formed from within their ranks to direct a finance study. Five individuals were appointed to serve in this capacity: E.G. Bennett as Chairman, and George A. Critchlow, Paul H. Hunt, S.M. Jorgensen and George D. Preston as supporting members.

The Committee utilized the professional skills of a number of consultants and researchers in gathering information. However, "from the beginning of the survey to its end, the Committee insisted upon making its own decisions about the meanings of assembled facts and about policy that should be recommended." Two individuals were employed full time by the Committee, Dr. Calvin S. Smith as the Director of Research and Madeleine Keough as the executive secretary. Leading educators from local and national institutions provided their expertise. The American Council on Education made a notable contribution with their report on the State's system of higher education.

E.G. Bennett
Heber Bennion, Jr.
Clark T. Callister
Stanley N. Child (Chairman)
George A. Critchlow (Secretary)
Conrad Frischknecht
George R. Hill, Jr.
Paul H. Hunt
Mrs. Maude B. Jacob (Vice-Chairman)
S.M. Jorgensen
Mrs. Frank B. Muir
George D. Preston
Elred M. Royle
L.L. Taylor
Mrs. James H. Wolfe

COMPILED BY: Anissa Taylor, June 2001


Child, Stanley N. "Legislation Creating the Educational Survey Committee" The Utah Educational Review 33, no. 3 (December 1939): 110-112, (Series 1217).

Educational Survey Committee. Minutes, (Series 23749).

Educational Survey Committee. Public Education in Utah: A Report of the Fact Finding Body. Salt Lake City: 1 July 1940, (Series 23746).

Legislature. Laws of Utah, Chapter 82, 1939, (Series 83155).

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.