on Politics and Higher Education"
Robert Spear (Moderator), Ellen Schrecker, Jack Peltason, David Littlejohn, David Gardner
ROBERT SPEAR: My name is Bob Spear, and I'm the current Chair of the Senate, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. And, of course, it came as a stunning shock to me in the last two days to learn that the Academic Senate has not always been well reasoned, and comprehensive, and understanding, correct in their views, as mostly, of course, we are these days. But I think it has been, certainly for me, even though I have been at Berkeley for 30 years, been something of an education, to have reinforced in my own mind, many of the sort of gut feelings and intuitions of why this place is what it is, and what has made it what it is. There were remarks not very long ago, I think in the last session, which suggested that the Loyalty Oath event may have been one, as are many others of the contentious and perhaps politically charged events in our history that have a good part of making us what we are in a very positive sense.
So our task now is to bring some closure in the next hour-and-a-half, or a bit more, before we go and have a look at the Margaret Peterson Exhibit, which I must say, my appetite has certainly been whetted to see. And I should say that there is a missing place up here, David Littlejohn, unfortunately, won't be with us. He apparently fell and broke his leg last week, but he's doing okay. But not well enough to be here. So we have a vacancy at our table, which we very much missed. And David said that he was particularly annoyed because he had been really working on preparing some remarks from some of this historical record which he had gained access to. So at some later date, we may find out what he had in mind. In any case, we certainly will miss him.
So I think we will begin by basically hearing the reflections of the three panelists here that are with us, Professor Jack Peltason, and I think the only one you haven't heard from before. And then what I would like to do, as we sort of open for question and comment, to try and sort of bridge, to take indeed some of the themes of what other people have echoed throughout the last two days about what can we learn not only from the Loyalty Oath events, but from issues in the history of the University, and the political turmoil that Clark Kerr has been referring to that inform us and guide us into the next period, which is going to be very different.
I think I'll just confine my remarks to say that on Wednesday of this week, we had an Academic Council meeting here in Berkeley, and Vice President Larry Hershman, who is in charge of the budget, many of you who may have been around the University in recent times, certainly know Larry or know of him. And he made a comment about our relations with the Legislature, which we've heard very little about in the last two days. They were, I gather, not major players, except in the background, of the Loyalty Oath controversy. But, of course, what's happened in recent years is term limits have come to Sacramento, and we no longer have the older, more stable committee chairs--stable, not necessarily mentally, but in terms of longevity--committee chairs in the Legislature, and are either traditional friends or enemies which we need to navigate around or with. But it's a new world there in terms of our relations with the Legislature, and, indeed, the expectations that they place upon us. And so I at least for one would hope that we can think as we end this session about what in the past is going to inform our navigation through what will be stressful times in the next 10 or 15 years of the University's existence, but I suspect not very much more stressful than those in the past, except for those of us who are confronting them immediately.
So with that, I think, Ellen, would you like to begin? As before, the small bios for each of the speakers are in your program.
ELLEN SCHRECKER: I recognize, in part, because, clearly, there's a certain measure of tokenism to my presence here, that may be the reason why I was asked to wrap up--I'm the token outsider, as well as the only person of my gender. And certainly for an outsider, I'm really stunned by the Berkeley mystique. I have to confess that I have never encountered quite so much institutional back-patting in my academic career. And I come, I was educated at an institution that no doubt people at Berkeley consider the Berkeley of the east, but those of us who put in our time in Cambridge, you would not have encountered something like this. I mean, where I went to school the sense of superiority was so overwhelming that it wasn't even mentioned.
Nonetheless, I mean, certainly, there is something very magical about Berkeley, there's no question of it. It comes maybe from the sort of sense of status, the sense of prestige, the beauty of the place--Harvard was really not very pretty. And I think one of the things that comes through is the sense of security that people at Berkeley have about themselves, have about their institution, have about the faculty. And it's, I think, responsible in part for this notion of Berkeley as a kind of beacon for the academic community as a result of the Loyalty Oath. And I'm afraid I'm sort of coming down on the side of David Gardner's final paragraph there, that it was not, I think, as important or as successful a struggle as people might have hoped at the time, and probably would like to think it was now.
To begin with it clearly excluded people who were not of Senate rank. In other words, there was this exclusion of--I don't know what they're called here, at Harvard they would have been called non-corporation appointees--people who were below faculty rank, T.A.'s. There's also clearly a sense... I mean, one of the things that did strike me about Berkeley was how many junior faculty were 'non-signers,' you know, not just Berkeley, of course, there's UCLA as well. And that struck me as rather remarkable because clearly if something like this had occurred today, I can't imagine anybody allowing, you know, among senior faculty, allowing junior people to take that position. You know, to a certain extent maybe the 50's had a stronger sense of security than would have existed today. I simply can't imagine junior faculty members at any school going out on that kind of a political limb. So in a sense, I think that is rather extraordinary.
In a sense, California was betrayed by the rest of the academic community, rather than serving as a beacon. Although clearly it was recognized and the letters that Gordon Griffiths read to us from Columbia faculty members, Princeton, and other places, there was a recognition within the academic community that this was a crucial fight. Nonetheless, it wasn't followed up on. And here one has to fault the organization for which I work part-time, the AAUP, which immediately was asked to rule on whether the Loyalty Oath was a violation of academic freedom. And what happened was that the AAUP did not act. This was as much a dereliction of duty as what David Saxon considered President Sproul's failure to defend the faculty. The AAUP simply didn't act. The reasons for that are rather unusual. It turns out the man who was the General Secretary who was in charge of shepherding the whole process through, was an alcoholic and was basically not functioning. Nonetheless, you know, five years. Presumably, the leaders of this organization should have acted and gotten rid of the man. They finally did, and Committee A on Academic Freedom did finally censor the University. But it was too late, you know the momentum had been lost, and the rest of the academic community confronted with later violations of academic freedom in the case of people being fired for taking the Fifth Amendment and other such things, simply didn't have a kind of institutional backing from that organization which was traditionally the keeper of the academic freedom franchise, as it were, had fallen down. And so, you know, it's kind of hard to keep reinventing the wheel, and this is what the academic community had to do during this period.
And I think what I'd like to also make a connection to, one of the things that I pointed out in my talk earlier was that at Berkeley, the issue here was not people who were communists--the people who didn't take the Oath were not communists, were not accused of being communists. And there was a real separation here within the academic community, within the rest of the nation, between the 'good liberals' and the communists, and communists were not protected. However, good liberals supposedly were, except for the fact that they really weren't. When they were attacked, they too suffered. And the case that comes to mind that's most similar politically to the Loyalty Oath controversy is that of Owen Lattimore, a Sinologist at Johns Hopkins, who was sort of hauled through a number of Congressional investigations, and accused of being sympathetic with communism, and sort of part of a long chain of connections that somehow ended up selling China to the communists. It was a rather heavy load for one academic to carry, but nonetheless this was a man who was not a communist, who was picked on for political reasons, there was another agenda going on. And Lattimore was prosecuted. He won his case; he was not fired. But he was punished nonetheless, in the sense that he was marginalized within the academic community. Johns Hopkins did not fire him, but they kept him on, they got rid of the institute that he was the head of, and his career was essentially ruined. He couldn't go and speak on campuses, invitations to conferences and things were denied him, and he eventually just had to leave the country.
The point I want to make here was that it is important to look beyond sort of what happened on the surface. You know, in California, the Loyalty Oath was rescinded; in the case of Owen Lattimore, he wasn't fired. But nonetheless, I think the damage was done, I think that there was damage in terms of people's ability to speak out, to take unpopular controversial opinions, that was not really assisted by the California Loyalty Oath because people became so involved in that struggle that they simply didn't realize how much had been given away.
Another thing I would like to look at, and I'm not going to go into much detail here, is something that kept coming up during the presentations over the past few days, and that was the relevance of governance issues to the whole struggle over the Oath. And I think this is very crucial for almost every case of academic freedom, that these power struggles that occur between administrators and faculty members within the administrations, within the faculty, are not just power struggles, that they do, in fact, deal with questions of principle, with questions that have really important substance to them. They're not just power struggles that occur because Sproul didn't get along with Neylan, or something like that. What one has to see here is that the connection between governance and academic freedom is absolutely central to what we're talking about, and that in a sense, the locust of decision-making is really what academic freedom is all about, that especially as issues become much more complicated. And we're talking here not just about individual faculty members, but about sort of a transformation of the institution of higher education. I think we have to really focus much more on questions of governance, on questions of who actually has the final say over issues that very much, very deeply concern faculty members. And, you know, from my vantage point in the AAUP, it's becoming increasingly more clear that the academic struggles of today are very, very much questions of governance and questions of making sure that the faculty has some say over, not just their conditions of employment, but just basically where the universities are going today. And I think that's something that we should be looking at. And maybe, you know, the California Loyalty Oath controversy was just one chapter in this unfolding saga. Thank you.
SPEAR: Thank you very much. I'd like to call on President Gardner next.
I'd like just to recall that the views that I doubtless reflect in my own book are a function, as with everyone else, of my own experience, my education--I was born and raised in Berkeley--my acquaintance, my understanding of the institution, my friendship at a very young age with many senior people. I sought to write a book that did not represent a single view, nor argue a single point. I sought to represent everyone's views, as impartially and fairly as I could, although, obviously, that's never always possible however much one might strive to accomplish that. I did not, in my view, argue for a single viewpoint. I described this controversy as best I could and interpreted where I felt it was necessary to understand some of the main directions and conclusions. So that was where I was coming from on the book. I also wrote it 35 years ago.
Now, this was the story of a controversy. I have had my share of controversies. I was a young Vice-Chancellor at UC Santa Barbara during all of the anti-war demonstrations on that campus, and in the middle of them because I was about 32 or 33 years old. The senior administration was younger than I am now, but not by much. And the interaction and interplay among and between students and the senior administration was not altogether congenial, and I was invited to translate. So I was in the middle of it. So I have some sense of controversy there. I was President of the University of Utah, in a public university, in a state dominated by a single religion. The controversy there was very subtle. And actually, quite polite, but important nevertheless. And as President of the University of California and before that as a Vice President under Charlie Hitch for three years, I came to have a heightened appreciation for the significance of both controversy and its resolution.
In the positions I've held I'm obliged, and by instinct, in any event, always look for solutions, not merely the articulation of a particular view, however critical those views are to the integrity of any controversy, and how respectful one needs to be of those different views. And in the absence of such respect, a person in the position that I've held, and other here, can't play any constructive role because you're thought to be a party to one view as against another. I'm reminded of a conversation that occurred when I had my regular monthly meeting with the chancellors and vice presidents who were meeting at Blake House. I forget the issue, but it was an issue about which none of us could find our way through. We didn't know what to do, in other words. So we were sitting around in some despair, and Bob Sinsheimer, who was the chancellor of our Santa Cruz campus, and a very distinguished scientist, and a very fine chancellor, and a fine human being, said, 'Dave, I don't know what the problem is.' He just walked it right through, just like that: this, this, this, this--'Therefore, that's the answer.' I said, 'You know, Bob,' tongue in cheek, I said, 'you know the problem with you scientists? You confuse the answer with the solution. That's not a solution.' Then I explained why it wouldn't work, even though it made sense. So in the jobs I've had I've tried to find a solution among and between views that each in their own right have merit and make sense.
So in that sense, my native disposition in writing this book is to take account both of the views, and of the lost opportunities, to find a solution, which is one reason I arrived at the conclusion I did.
Professor Schachman made a very interesting comment toward the end of his remarks today. And I enjoyed all of the panels this morning, and I learned a lot. I appreciate their being here and being able to join with them in helping to illuminate this controversy as best we all can. Where he said there was just no reconciling the difference between his view and the view of the Regents. Now, he didn't say where on the spectrum of the controversy he came to that conclusion. And I don't wish to imply that he ascribed it to any part of the spectrum, but perhaps toward the latter part than the earlier part. But my view is you can't stop there because if your views are irreconcilable and each pushes the other to the wall, in the contest that we're remembering here, the answer is going to be clear because the power and authority rests on one side, in the legal sense of the term, and they exercised it. That was not a solution. So I tried to call out in the book where such solutions nearly made it, but didn't quite.
If people have been a little more forgiving, a little more creative, a little more careful in representing the opinions of others, this controversy could have gone a wholly different way, early on. Let me give you an example of that. In March of '49, the Oath was enacted; Regent Neylan was not present. As I mentioned yesterday, President Sproul's proposal to adopt the Oath was hardly debated, it didn't take five minutes. Then, of course, you know, things got lively, and at the June meeting, came back on and it was revised. There was a meeting of the Advisory Committees of the Senate with the Regental Committee, chaired by Regent Hutchinson, just prior to the June meeting. And we had some very distinguished faculty members serving on those committees, and very good University citizens and experienced people serving on those committees, and a Committee of Regents that at that point were really not hostile at all toward the faculty. As a matter of fact, Neylan was hostile toward the Oath. 'This Oath thing, he says, 'I don't think much of it at all.' And then goes on to say that if he were a faculty member he probably wouldn't sign it. That was then.
Now, in reading from the actual meetings of this committee. The Advisory Committees were not present but the Hutchinson Committee was then meeting, just Regents and President Sproul. Regent Dixon, reading the Neylan draft, which he had been asked to prepare, which did not include a Communist Disclaimer affidavit. Very modest adjustments to the Sproul Oath in March of 1949, when it was first approved. Regent Dixon: 'Do you want to say that the President is hereby authorized and instructed to dismiss such persons...?' That is, referring to persons whose employment was inconsistent with the terms of the resolution, that is those who didn't sign, or so forth. Neylan says, 'No, we don't want to give him that authority.' The President said, 'I don't think so.' Regent Dixon: 'Well, if you don't do that, there will be those who say the Regents have capitulated.' That is, if they don't dismiss, then they will be regarded as having capitulated, as regards anyone who doesn't sign. Regent Neylan to the President: 'Are you empowered to say that the Academic Senate will agree to this?' That is, referring to an inclusion of the Oath in Sproul's draft of the Oath. The President: 'Yes.' That was not a complete response. And I put parenthetically: 'Sproul's response would have been more accurate had it been qualified instead of just an absolute yes, by stating that the Advisory Committees...' that is, of the Senate, '...had recommended that the Oath included in the resolution should be included only if the public relations of the University required it, and, in fact, preferred that no Oath be required at all.' And that was not said at that meeting. Neylan then concluded that everybody was together--the Senate, the President, and the Regents. And went on to say, 'That's what we want to come out with, everybody agrees. If we agree that we all agree, I'll go along with you on this.' The President: 'The faculty wants the requirement of the Oath to be tied to a declaration of the policy...' That is, the non-employment of communists policy. '...Otherwise, they think it's a reflection on their patriotism.' So he wanted to make a distinction between requiring the Oath by singling out faculty members on the one hand, and what he really had in mind, which is helping to further clarify the University's 1940 policy, that would not employ communists. Well, that was one example of many, where just a little word would have made a huge difference in the outcome.
Then there was a comment that, I think, it was Professor Griffiths, who suggested that--and I read his chapter, by the way, on his work on the Loyalty Oath, which I enjoyed very much--that he disagreed that it was futile, which I suggested that it was, the controversy, that is. And my definition of 'futile,' what I really meant by that was that it was futile in the sense that people set out to accomplish certain objectives and fail to get them. In that sense, it was futile, that's what I meant. They didn't achieve their objectives. The Regents didn't set out to dismiss 31 faculty members who were innocent of any charges whatsoever, but did. Some faculty members set out to overturn the policy the Oath implemented and failed. Some set out to oppose the Oath, as well as the policy--lost on both counts. Some just opposed the Oath, but for a variety of reasons. The Regents insisted on the Oath, and in the end lost that. And the Court then ordered another oath to be substituted for the Regents' Oath, recognized the differences. So that's why I said it was futile, I think it is.
Intimidation. Professor Schwartz asked about that. As I have been on the other side of the table from Professor Schwartz on more than one occasion, it occurred to me as I listened to his question, that intimidation comes in many forms, I can assure you. Yes, police powers are intimidating. Yes, the exercise of authority in an institutional setting can be intimidating. So can the Senate when it's riled up. So can civil disobedience in your office be intimidating. So can thousands of students shouting their resentment and hostility with you as the object, that can be intimidating. Pressure groups of one kind or another, always wanting something, and if failing to get it, threatening you. Legislators threatening the University's budget if you don't go along. Donors. Governors. Most of this occurs privately, but I assure you it exists. So one has to conduct one's self in such a fashion that you do what you think is right, as the 'non-signers' did, as some Regents did, but you also try and find solutions, at least that's what I've tried to do.
Professor Griffiths was reading some letters of support from Columbia, and I know others came, I've read many of those myself, I've referred to them in the book. Where were these friends when you needed them? Most of them came later on. It's a little easier to come later on when the controversy is essentially over. I don't mean they all came later on, but there was not a mass outpouring, as one might have expected. I think because people were conflicted on the issues, in part, as they were here.
The other thing is that it seems to me the Regents have been referred to in some generic sense throughout our discussions. I don't think that's fair. It's true that the 'non-signers' may have carried with them the most consequential implications of this controversy, in terms of their professional and personal lives, but it's also true about half the Board did too, although they kept their jobs. They suffered too, in many ways that were real. Some lost their health. Some expired, actually, I don't know what relationship, if any, there was to that. But many of them truly did suffer. And half of them, roughly, at any given meeting supported the deletion of this Oath under certain circumstances. Indeed I think most of the Board would, if they could find their way clear to do it without a loss of face as they saw it. And in any event, half of them voted against dismissing the 'non-signers,' the other half voted for it.
So I think we need to be careful, just as Regent Neylan was not too careful when he characterized the faculty without those judgments and qualifications. For example, this was a meeting between the Senate's Advisory Committees on January 4, 1950, chaired by Malcolm Davisson, known by many of you, I know him as well, and Regent Neylan's Committee from the Board. Regent Neylan thought they were coming to the meeting to conclude a solution to the problem. I'm sure the Advisory Committees thought the same thing, they both came with some reasonable basis for assuming that there might be a solution. Well, it didn't take long for them to discover that there was no solution. For Regent Neylan, he believed that the faculty had repudiated an earlier agreement. The faculty vigorously resisted that interpretation. But that was where it was. This is Regent Neylan, this is a verbatim transcript of the meeting: 'You have to realize this Board had a right to stand on what it understood was complete agreement with representatives of the faculty. If you go behind these agreements constantly to create a situation of irresponsibility, it means that an aggressive minority of that faculty...,' now, he's referring to the 'non-signers,' 'stressing unity...an aggressive minority constantly can exercise the veto power embroiling this faculty and the Regents in constant turmoil. I beg of you to look at this thing in a realistic light. You cannot make agreements and abandon them as if they were a nullity. I would like to get the President's view. Am I wrong in my estimate of this situation?' President Sproul: 'You report the position of the Board...' And then he goes on to say that he doesn't think Regent Neylan's interpretation of this is correct, but he's not altogether unqualified in that. And then a colleague, Wendell Stanley, who was there, says, 'I simply cannot come to a conclusion that there's been a repudiation on the part of the faculty...' And he goes on to criticize Regent Neylan. So they're sparring back and forth.
All of this was prelude for getting at for what in Regent Neylan's mind was the real issue, at least at that point, because the issue has changed. In the early part of 1950, this was the key issue for him, and that was he saw the opposition to the Oath as a means of overturning the University's policy that it would not employ communists. But he was not able to get from the Davisson Committee an unequivocal affirmation of that. And he pushed and pushed and didn't get it. He sensed they were jockeying around, just as the Senate thought Regent Neylan was jockeying around. They were both right.
And this is the key point here because from here it was downhill. This is the meeting to which I have just been referring. Regent Hanson: 'I would like an expression on this one vital issue, whether the faculty...' Now, he is referring to the faculty as a whole here. '...is adamant that a person shall not be dismissed merely because he is a member of the Communist Party.' In other words, what's the faculty's view on that point? Mr. Grant, this is J.A.C. Grant from UCLA, Professor Grant: 'We are faced with this concrete factual situation. We might just as well face it here. Our Committee...' Now, that's the Davisson Committee. '...Our Committee is convinced that we cannot go back to the faculty, that we cannot go back to the faculty and request approval of anything which carries a specific approval of the Regents' policy of dismissal for Communist Party membership per se. We are not saying that would not be a good thing if it could be done, but we are saying to you because the faculty had confidence in us, we are saying to you that this could not be passed by the Senate.' At this meeting, the whole focus was on the policy, it wasn't on the Oath. 'Therefore, the issue is this: if the policy is to remain settled, what use would it be for this committee to agree with you and take it back to the Senate, an implementation which would carry with it approval by the faculty of the Regents' policy. When we are telling you in advance, as honestly as we can reflect the opinion of the Senate, gentlemen, we would fail, we would not get approval for the policy.' Regent Neylan: 'I think that is the answer. I want to thank you for being frank about it. Anything else is nonsense.'
Now, I don't know whether the Davisson Committee was right or wrong in January of 1950, but when it was put to a mail ballot it was overwhelming support from the faculty for the policy, just as there was overwhelming opposition to the Oath. Now, why people voted the way they did, I mean, I don't know. People would have a lot of reasons to vote the way they did, at least they voted on a mail ballot. That's how it came out, whatever the reasons.
Once the policy was affirmed by a mail ballot, by an overwhelming majority of the faculty, then those that had arranged for the mail ballot assumed that the Regents would negotiate on the Oath. And I discussed this yesterday, and don't wish to take your time today, but by late spring in 1950, the issue of the policy had shifted to the issue of who is running the University. That's the bottom line. And on that issue, everything foundered.
I could go through, I don't have time, time after time, there would have been an opportunity to find a solution to this problem if people hadn't been so insistent about representing other people's views when they really weren't sure of what they were or purporting to have one view at one meeting and then qualified it at the next; or in reporting the opinions of others, leaving out a dependent phrase which was crucial to an understanding of the message; or egos getting in the way--I could give illustrations of that all the way through. Does this mean that there weren't important principles involved here? Of course not, there were. But there wasn't just one principle, there were many principles. Was it one side was villainous and the other side saintly? Not quite as dichotomous as that might suggest. There were honest people on both sides, people with integrity on both sides, people on both sides who acted and voted or decided according to their conscience. They should be respected for that. The people who tried to find a solution should be respected for it. The fact is, there wasn't a solution here, there were only some answers. So it didn't end in a very satisfactory fashion.
I did this research 10 years after the controversy, 12 years after the controversy. People were still not talking to one another, some people were still not talking to one another, in the same department. I could only get certain papers by talking to one, as I mentioned yesterday, in order to get it from another. The Regents were at odds for years. Sproul never regained the kind of authority he had with the Board or the faculty for the remaining years of his administration. There was a cost there. And when I say people weren't talking to one another, I really mean members of the faculty--hard feelings for years. And, as I mentioned yesterday, a direct link, actually, between the Oath and the dynamics of the Free Speech Movement.
Well, that's about it, I've taken more time than I should. May I just finish by quoting the entire paragraph, not portions of it, to which colleagues have referred, and the Chancellor yesterday--and let me say that this is my view, based upon my research. People can have any view of this they wish. And I will... just if you will allow me one minute. I remember during the controversy we had on divestment here, many of you in this room had a view contrary to my own, and I had a view contrary to yours. But we each had our views and we had our reasons for them. And I had a call from Neil Smelser, some of you were at this meeting, that I see here--Neil Smelser, who asked if I would be willing to meet with a group of faculty members at Berkeley on the issue of divestment. And I said... well, this was in May of '85, I think. And so a definitive meeting of the Board was coming up, and I said, 'For what reason do they wish to visit?' 'Well, they would like to have your views on divestment.' I said, 'I'd be very happy to meet with them. How many will there be, and I'll make arrangements here. And find a date with my secretary and I'll be happy to be there.' So we did, very shortly thereafter. There were maybe fifteen, or so. Those of you who are here, you may remember it differently; this is my recollection. Fifteen, eighteen members of the faculty were there. The question was: 'What are your views, President Gardner, on divestment?' Well, at that point, I had a view and I knew why I had it. And I went through in some detail explaining as best I could my reasoning for the conclusions I had reached. When it was over, to say that those views were not persuasive would be to understate, I would say, what occurred. And colleagues who were there then vigorously dissented with my conclusions, as well as my reasoning. And after a period of time, it became a little ad hominim, and so I said, 'You know, did I misunderstand the purpose of this meeting? I had understood you wanted to know my views on divestment. I have shared with you my views on divestment. I'm not asking you to agree with me.' Therefore, I'm not asking you to agree with this epilogue, but this is my epilogue for whatever it's worth.
'The California controversy was constituted of three dominant issues--I don't believe there are any sub-issues--three dominant issues, and they occurred sequentially: a disclaimer affidavit disavowing current membership in the Communist Party required of the University's faculty and staff as a condition of initial appointment or continued service; a Regental policy, unconditionally prohibiting appointment of members of the Communist Party; and the locust of governing authority in the University with special reference to the selection and retention of faculty members.' Those were the three, at least I view those are the three. 'The conflict over these issues arose... each one raises important principles...' Each one of those raises important principles. I don't mean by stating it that way that I'm not aware of those principles. 'The conflict over these issues arose within the University itself, that it was not imposed from the outside.' It was not. As I tried to describe yesterday, it was an internally-generated requirement. '...arose within the University itself...' although it was within this larger context, Ellen and others have made reference to. 'Conflict over these issues arose within the University itself, and made adversaries, primarily of faculty and Regents.' In a way, the President got squeezed out about a third of the way through, then he came back in toward the end. 'Whatever weight one may assign to the prevailing political climate in the country and the state, the fact is that University factions and groups...' and these were fluid, '...used the issues in dispute more as weapons against each other than as instruments of orderly progress.' You had Neylan fighting Sproul. You had some opposing the Oath because of the policy. And when the faculty voted to affirm the policy, many of them signed because they thought the major part of the fight had been lost. So just by way of example. 'The history of the conflict is the story of the failure of educated, competent, and allegedly rational human beings bound together in a good cause, the service of truth and knowledge, to resolve their differences without injury to the University as a whole. It is also the story of lofty principles, ideas, and ideals, glimpsed and then forfeited as tribute to personal hostility, stubbornness, pride of opinion, ill manners, and bad faith.' That's harsh, I realize. In some ways, it's unforgiving; I don't mean it to come across that way. It's just as I have read these documents, talked to people who were involved, this is how it came out for me. 'The controversy abetted more than it constrained public suspicion of free inquiry and independent thought.' I mean, it was very clear where the people in the state were on this issue, worse after the controversy than before. 'And in the end, won no victory for intellectual and academic freedom.'
Now, are there lessons there? Yes. Was there courage there? Yes. Was there sacrifice there? Yes. But I was not part of all that, and I thought it would be presumptuous of me to try and characterize in a way some of the intense personal feelings that so characterized people's behavior, that described their views, that explained their actions, and their role in the controversy. Someone closer to it really needs to do that. And some of that has been done. And I was hoping to fill in some of the gaps with respect to the factual course of events, at least as I understood them.
So it's a pleasure for me to join you today, and I always learn from these occasions. And I especially was pleased to hear the 'non-signers' today, it was really a special treat. Thank you.
SPEAR: Well, now I think it's fitting that the final formal discussion here for the afternoon comes from a somewhat perhaps different perspective, President Jack Peltason.
JACK PELTASON: Thank you. Yes, I apologize because I will reflect on higher education from my perspective. I cannot add to the rich feast that we've already had today about the Loyalty Oath controversy. I am very honored to be part of this symposium, and by being here indicates my respect and affection and appreciation for the men and women who are principal, who I have read about and knew about when I was with Ned Goldwasser as a young Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois. My only connection with the Oath, personally, is that when I did come to the University of California, they told me I had to sign an Oath to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of California. I said, 'Well, that's fine for the United States Constitution.' I had written about it, write about it, loyal to it, in love with it. 'But I haven't seen the Constitution of California, send me a copy please.' I'm one of the few people, I think, who has actually read it--not all of it. And then I signed the Oath.
But I'm going to talk just very briefly because I want to leave some time for conversation, and I know the men and women in this audience are really focused upon that bonding experience that you will have together, on the politics in higher education as I have seen them from my reflections as a long-time University faculty member and colleague. I worked at the University of Illinois for 23 years; been at the University of California for 15, long, 15 wonderful years. It's fortunate for me that it's not illegal or immoral to be simultaneously in love with two great universities. And I also had the pleasure of being the President of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., where for seven years I represented higher education in Washington.
So if you want to know about politics in higher education, the answer is it's all around us, all the time. Nothing unusual about it. In fact, there's nothing undesirable about it. We live in a democracy. We take a lot of the people's money, who are very important, and many of them, they love what we do and that they're concerned about us, and deeply concerned about us is a reflection of significance. I remember the times when we used to sit around, and say we had bad press, 'How could we get the public to understand us better?' And he'd say, 'I'd settle for the good old days of public indifference.' Or not. We're too important to too many people.
Let me just give a few examples of routine everyday politics that affects this and other universities. The capital budget of the whole University of California was held up for two weeks, while Representative Valatori, when I was a Chancellor at UCI, called me down there to explain to him why I had not been present at a banquet where he had been, and why were there not more Chicanos on the faculty, and what was I going to do about the admission policy? The Legislature appropriated the money. I spent two weeks; I explained it to him. But there were two weeks there where the whole budget of the University of California was held up.
The University of California Irvine Hospital is in Orange County City, California, 12 miles away from our main hospital because Speaker Brown felt that it was more important for us to take over the old County Hospital in Orange, as he would say, 'Take care of those poor people at [unintelligible] rather than those rich people in Newport Beach.' And we now have a hospital 12 miles away from our medical school.
When I was President of the University of California, in the time of the biggest recession in our entire history--I used to say our biggest recession since the Depression, and Clark Kerr, who is a better historian than I am said, 'No, it was much worse than the recession in the early 90's.' And I had made a recommendation after consultation with the Academic Senate Council, full involvement of the faculty, reluctantly, that rather than threaten the quality of the University of California, we would raise the fees and seek some student financial aid. And I was called over by Senator Lockyer, and told that the Democratic Caucus of the State Senate of California recognizing that the Regents could set the fees, but the Legislature can appropriate the money, and he would try to get the money for us. But if he couldn't get it, our number one priority was to keep the student fees low, no matter what it did to the quality of the University... In fairness to him, he didn't phrase it that way. He said, 'You're going to do what you can to protect the quality without the resources.'
Other examples that David Gardner can testify to. Among some of the greatest pressures that we felt, and I was the President, was when the CalPIRG community, working on the Legislature of California, to try to force upon the University of California a provision that all students coming here, as a condition of coming here, the fees would be taken from their payment and given to CalPIRG, unless they personally went to check it off. That is against my views as a civil libertarian. We had lots of pressure.
The timing of the tenth campus. When I became President we were in the worst recession we ever had, and now it seems foolish to me, David Gardner had very statesman-like, tried to prepare the University for the coming tidal wave of students, and had recognized that there was not enough room in the existing nine campuses. And, by the way, among the greatest steps of finding more opportunity for minorities that the University of California has ever taken was a decision made many years ago by wise people, to expand from Berkeley to UCLA to San Diego to Irvine, to provide opportunity for more and more students. That has done more for minority education than any other single thing that we might have done. I was for the tenth campus, but because the faculty did not have adequate funds for the existing nine, I said to the Regents, 'It's foolish for us to plan the tenth, it will be some time off.' And so the Regents agreed with me, my recommendation, and I was called to Sacramento, by the entire representatives, Senators and Representatives of the San Joaquin Valley. And I explained to them, 'Why would you want to plan it now?' They said, 'We listened to you, but we want you to plan it now.' I said, 'But we don't have the funds to plan it now.' They said, 'We'll appropriate the funds now.' I said, 'Well, that's only the beginning of it.' They said, 'Do you want our support for your budget, or don't you?' And there was a $50 million supplement, several months of faculty salaries in balance. And I said, 'Well, then you found my price, $51.5 million.' And I agreed to that because I believed in the tenth campus anyway, it was a question of timing. But that's an example of the people of California, through their elected representatives, expressing their views on a decision that affected the fate of the University of California.
The unions, many of our employees are unionized. They are adequately represented in Sacramento, and in the Office of the Governor. Much of their time is spent influencing and trying to influence the decisions of the University of California.
From my experience at the University of Illinois, as Ned might remember, we were forced to continue a program of training. The Provost came into me one day and said, 'It's costing us a half-a-million dollars to train pilots.' We had an institute to train pilots. That's more appropriate for a community college. If we can transfer the funds to the community college, we could save $500,000 and students will get their training, the faculty involved won't lose. A wonderful idea. And we had immediately the Governor of the State of Illinois, the Legislature of the State of Illinois passed a bill because the instructors had gone to work, and so I got letter after letter and television program after television program saying, 'The University of Illinois is turning out Ph.D.'s in history, but they don't need... they won't even train pilots.' The Legislature and the Governor forced the University of Illinois to continue that instruction. The Provost was quite demoralized, and he said that was a legislative intrusion into the independence of the university. And I said, 'When you have to ask them for a billion dollars a year appropriation, you pay attention to what they want you to do.'
So it's not a question of whether politics intrudes on higher education. It's not a question of whether we can have total independence from the rest of the community, or be totally dependent on the community, the issues are more or less. So having made my point that we're part of the political process, that we can't expect the people to just appropriate the money and leave us alone, that they're interested in what we do and how we do it. Nonetheless, when you live in American higher education, American higher education is in large measure most independent from the immediate political partisan politics of the day, of any system of higher education that I know of in the world. We enjoy a considerable amount of independence. What is to be explained in American democracy is not how often external forces intrude upon our internal business, but how seldom they do. The fact that this symposium is celebrating an event, which is an unusual event, it's not a routine event in American higher education, is a reflection of the fact that by and large we are allowed a considerable amount of autonomy to decide how to do our business, what courses to teach, the curriculum, who shall teach, how they shall teach it, and the continual amount of toleration by people who put up the money and give us that freedom.
Now, part of that price for that, the other side of the bargain is that to retain public confidence that we use the resources for the purpose given to us. We are not part of the governing process, we are part of the educational process. And we do not own the University, it is a trust. And I believe that one of the lessons I've learned from this session today is that the Regents in the Loyalty Oath controversy were trying to act like a legislative body, rather than the Regents of an educational institution. And I think that it is required that Regents as well as faculty recognize the function that these resources were given to us. This is why I have never been willing to use my administrative office or titles for clearly political, even though non-partisan purposes. That was very hard to resist in the 1960's when I was Chancellor of the University of Illinois in the middle of all that turmoil. The demand that the Chancellor speak out against the war, the demand that the Chancellor lead the crusade against the war. I refused on the grounds that was not an appropriate function of a President of a university. I made a distinction between that and I did speak out against racial discrimination and in favor of affirmative action, and I did speak out on behalf of the rights of women because I felt that it was inherent in a university function, that the University does not in its employment policy or its admission policy engage in any discriminatory practices. So I thought that was appropriate for a President of a university to speak from.
Let me just say a little bit about my days in higher education in Washington, representing higher education. When I was there, I was struck by the amount of influence we had in the political system where we could not deliver any votes or give anybody any money. When we'd call upon the legislators or executive officials, we couldn't threaten that 'if you don't go our way, I'll mobilize all the students to vote against you.' I couldn't say, 'If you go our way and support the programs that we're interested in I will be able to contribute to your campaign.' So without votes or money we nonetheless, I was struck by the great deal of influence American higher education has. And I was once again reminded of the strong affection that the American people have for their colleges and universities, almost like secular churches. And what I discovered we had in Washington, provided we all stay together--if we could get the independent colleges, and the public colleges, and the community colleges, and all of the sectors of higher education to go speak with one voice, what we had was access. There is not a decision-maker in the United States, from the White House to the legislative body, where he's either gone to that college, has a child that wants to go to that college, or knows somebody at that college. And the influence and prestige of the presence in terms of their access to their decision-makers gave us a great advantage. So that I was struck by the ability of higher education in Washington.
Let me just say a little bit because I know this has been a long day and I want to get through my comments so we have time for questions. Because, as David said, the Board of Regents has been talked about here at great length, and I'm not going to comment about their role in the Loyalty Oath controversy, but how my observation has been that in trying to explain the great strength of American higher education, the great invention of the lay board of control as the governing body for universities was a great social invention. When you see how higher education is managed, controlled, regulated, governed in other countries, you get an appreciation. And even though our lay boards make mistakes and they don't always behave properly, that the alternative of having a Department of Education in Sacramento, or having a Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C., or even as much as I am loyal to and believe in the vision and the integrity of the faculty, I don't believe that a faculty-controlled university is an appropriate one, and I certainly know no examples of a student-controlled university that works properly. So as a social invention that John Marshall gave to us in the Dartmouth College case, of a lay board that serves two functions, is both a buffer and protector of it most of the time, through most of its events, and also a conduit to be sure that we are responsive to the public which we serve. I used to tell the Board of Regents that '...you are to me what the canary bird is to the miners.' If you're beginning to tremble about what we're doing, and you're close to us and know us, then that's a reflection that we haven't adequately explained our policies of the program.
And I have found that at the end of the day, again, let me say, it is necessary to make a distinction between 'a Regent' and the 'Board of Regents.' I told the Board of Regents the day I became President that the Board of Regents is my boss, a Regent is my colleague. There can only be one President at a time, and it's the Board of Regents that governs the University of California, and it's the lay Board that runs it and not an individual Regent. Frequently, the Regent that is least representative of the Board of Regents is the one that you read about in the newspapers. The Regent that is most likely to make a statement is not necessarily the one that's reflective of the politics of the Board of Regents.
At the end of the day after all the noise, and after all the controversy, more or less, not always, the Board of Regents generally follows the recommendations of the President and the faculty. Our Board of Regents, about every 20 years, seems to reject the advice of the President and the Regents. Again, the Loyalty Oath controversy, although I learned today that the President played a role that I had not been fully aware of, the firing of Clark Kerr, the refusal of the Board to go along with my recommendation and that of the Academic Council and the Senate with respect to affirmative action, they're about 20 year intervals. So I told Dick Atkinson he's got 23 years to go now before the Board can be expected to have its normal rejection.
There are other examples we sometimes forget. It's another example of how we're part of the political system. David alluded to that. The Governor of California and the candidate for the Governor of California came to a Board of Regents meeting to persuade the Board to go against its existing policies to stop our investment in firms doing business in South Africa. That's another example of external forces coming into the University of California. At the time that I was at the University of Illinois, the Board ordered me to not let William Kunstler come to speak. That was the closest I got to what I call resignable instruction from my Board. And I decided not to resign and made it clear to them that I would implement their policies to postpone his coming to campus on the grounds that because of unrest at that particular moment, it might be a clear and present danger if he came to speak, but I would permit him to speak a week later. And that was the way the policy came out. But another example...
In the case of SB 1 and 2, that was an issue in which I felt that reasonable people could be on both sides of the issue. I felt very strongly about, very committed to affirmative action. I had at the University of Illinois with the support of Ed and others, sponsored a program in the early 1960's in which we admitted 500 African-American students in about a six-month period. I've long been dedicated to that. But I also recognize that whether or not race and gender should be taken into account in an employment decision, admission decision, or business decision is an educational decision in part, but it's also a political one in which the Board, lay Board, has a right to participate. I urged them, however, to again, not make the mistake--if I had only read David's book, I would have said, '...not make the mistake of the Loyalty Oath controversy, let that be, again, decided in the political process...' not make the University of California be the forum for that debate.
Let me just end with where I think we currently are. I still think we need to defend academic freedom. I do not think we can relax. I believe tenure is still vital to the protection of academic freedom, and that the time has not passed in which we can just say, 'Oh, that only happened some time ago.' I am also sorry to report to you that in my observation, tenure has no friends outside of the University. Wherever I go in the business community, or lay community, or outside the University, there is not an understanding of the vital importance of tenure. And I think that's on our agenda. I think we have to make it clear that tenure is there not to protect the incompetent, and the faculty and the administration of the universities need to develop codes and enforce codes that effectively work against faculty members, the few faculty members, the very few faculty members, who abuse their role as faculty by failing to perform in an adequate way, who then become the anecdotes by which tenure is undermined.
I do not think the enemies of freedom are limited to any one place in the political spectrum. In my career I have had to defend right-wingers and left-wingers. I first had to defend Revelo P. Oliver, the Classics professor who was so reactionary that he got kicked out of the John Birch Society. I called in Revelo once and I said, 'Revelo...' he was making speeches all over, and I said, '...now, when you speak, make it clear you're speaking as an individual, not for the University of Illinois.' He went to Dallas and said, 'I'm here to speak against communism, but I want to make it clear that the Dean said to make clear to you that I'm not speaking for him.' I've had to defend William Kunstler; student newspapers from the charge that much of what they put in is offensive, and it is. I had to defend radical professors at Illinois. And, by the way, that's relatively easy to do for a university president. I went to Sacramento and was attacked in the legislative body because of my failure to order the dismissal of three rather obnoxious radical professors. And I came back and got praised by the AAUP and got a medal. And I said, 'That's easy to do because you know when you come home you're going to be a hero. What's tough to do is to defend somebody whose views are unpopular with the faculty and the student body.' I had to defend the right of the of the General Motors and the General Electric recruiters. As the President, in one week, I defended the right of Michael Milliken and Angela Davis in the same week. When Angela Davis--David, you didn't have any heat when she became a member of the Santa Cruz faculty--but she got appointed by the Santa Cruz faculty as a Presidential Scholar. And I got a letter from somebody saying, 'Why did you make her President of the University?' I said, 'Explain to her we didn't do that, we just named a campus after her.' I've had to defend the right of Jean Kilpatrick to speak on this campus. I had to defend the right of a muralist to put up some paintings that the Chicano students found to be offensive. So I still think we need to defend the right, and we still need all the protection we can to ensure that universities are places where all points of view are heard.
But the major issue before us in my judgment is not whether we're not going to define regulation, our problem at the moment, the one that I worry the most about, my greatest concern is where are we going to find the funds to maintain the quality of the public universities? The public universities are falling behind in the institutions. And we need to enter politics that are appropriate for an institution of higher education because we just can't assume automatically that we go and tell people we need the money and we want the money that they will give it to us. We have to make our case, we have to be persuasive, and we have to know that there is a claim upon the public purse and we have to be there. And we are falling behind. The 'paradigm shifters,' as I call them, are winning in the court of public opinion. These are people who claim that the big research universities, like the University of California, have our head in the sand, we don't realize that times have changed, we have to, through modern means of communication, shift the paradigm and be more effective and more efficient. And when you ask the paradigm shifters precisely what they have in mind, in my time they had in mind that we close down most of the campuses and put all the resources because the state can only afford two or three research campuses. So I think that we have to be persuasive as possible, we need all the friends we can make and deserve. The politics of higher education that I worry about is how more effectively we can make the case. It is a tough one because as David Gardner has so eloquently alerted the state to the Constitution of California, it's not so much that we're losing favor with the public, but as the claim on the public purse becomes greater and greater by the other resources, there's just less and less for us.
So that is my worry about the politics of higher education. My confidence is, as I started, we mean so much to so many people, and we have so many loyal alums, so many effective faculty, that I think we can make a case, but I think we have a major responsibility to do it. Thank you.
SPEAR: We have a few minutes left. And I just wanted to make a couple comments about what's going on right at the moment that raises these same issues. And I think Ellen, in her comments yesterday, really gave us a clue in one context. This issue of governance, which has been often... in fact, President Gardner mentioned just a few moments ago, was at the core of the Loyalty Oath issue were elements of governance. And the challenge these days is governance of the University in an increasingly economically-driven environment--and I say economically-driven because of the fact that this issue of commercialization, which was mentioned by Ellen, and I think the other thing to keep in mind is that the University, the Berkeley campus likes to put out the number that in the last decade or 15 years, or whatever, the percentage of the total budget of the University that's coming from the state government has fallen from 60-some-percent to 30-some-percent, as if the state funding were really diminishing on a per student basis. But, of course, the vast proportion of that growth is extramural funding, coming in a research enterprise, not necessarily the diminution of government support.
And that means we're a big business. What do you read in the newspapers? You, of course, read issues about the Stanford-UCSF Hospital problem. Why? Because our medical schools are big business. And this is not necessarily good or bad, I'm not making a judgment on that. But it does change the politics and it puts great stress on the governance system to try and accommodate to the realities of educational needs, and trying at the same time to improve our teaching facilities, our research facilities, and the service activities of our students and faculty in this increasingly economically-driven environment.
At least that's what it seems to me in my perspective as the Chair of the Senate. I just jotted down a few of the things that we're dealing with at the moment. The enrollment increase issue. As you all know the University of California is thought to have to take an additional 60,000 students in the next decade, and while the state is aware they are going to have to fund those students individually, they're not talking about providing capital funding to house and equip the laboratories, the faculty, the instructional classrooms and so forth. There is the whole issue right now that we are immediately engaged in of the unionization of the teaching assistants and the changes in the culture that they will bring, and the profound governance issues and the relationship between the faculty and graduate students in an environment that is going to be really controlled by United Auto Workers. You know, there are many good arguments to be made for unionization and there are many downsides, but it puts great stress on faculty governance, particularly just involving ourselves in the discussions around how this unionization should perceive, and who has the influence over what aspects of the life of undergraduate students who are engaged in their instructional tasks.
And then, finally, I'll just mention, the Governor, of course, has had the idea, some of you may have read about, that every student who goes to tertiary education, an institution in the State of California, the community colleges, the CSU, and the University, should have a public service requirement imposed on them for graduation before they graduate. And that is the Governor's idea; apparently, this has had considerable political support in Sacramento legislature, and it apparently has some support on the Board of Regents. Think of the logistics. Think of the logistics. The Santa Barbara campus made some calculations, whether they had enough citizens in Santa Barbara to receive public service from the total number of students. There's a political issue. The governor has now had an idea about a graduate requirement for every student going to public higher education in California. And he's very serious about this. So it will be interesting to see how all this is going to play out.
At any rate, after my little diatribe there, I would like to just begin the question period by posing one to Ellen, and asking her to maybe say a few more words about what you meant yesterday when you referred to commercialization.
PROFESSOR SCHRECKER: Okay, basically, this is the move toward running universities in a more corporate style. You know, it's a broader thing. I mean, obviously, there are issues with regard to the corporate sponsorship of research that are clearly, in part, academic freedom issues when you look at the question of the dissemination of research results, whether they should be kept private or, you know, as required by some corporations or not.
Other issues include the whole question of accountability. This notion that somehow the productivity of faculty members can be measured the way it can be in businesses. Also, another element coming in here is the move toward technology. You know, in the AAUP, there's a lot of concern about distance education, and whether that is a gesture toward substituting technology for real-life human teachers. They are all issues that I think are coming... they're out there in the culture, and they are impinging on the ways in which universities are delivering their product, their educational product to students, and the way, I think, the kinds of values that are also... You know, you get it in your own classes. I mean, I have students coming up to me and saying, you know, 'Why should I major in History? I can't get a job.' And you know that what they're saying is what's coming through the culture. That, you know, if it doesn't pay, why bother?
And this, I think, is basically the issue that you were talking about when you were talking about getting more money for the University from the state legislature, just the fact that one has to find some way to justify this that goes beyond just the notion of employability, vocational education, making money for the University as such, that there has to be some emphasis on those broader values that brought us all into the University in the first place.
PRESIDENT PELTASON: Can I comment? I'm old enough to know that students have always fought against taking courses that are not relevant. During the 60's it was relevant to war or peace, and at other times it's relevant towards getting jobs. I also remember we had these same concerns, the question was should we take federal dollars to support research. We worked that out. I'm sure that we can take commercial dollars to support research, and work out controls there. I think the safety of a university is having many sources of funding, not just one source of funding.
Also, one other observation that I've noticed. Among the best friends that research universities have are business people because they understand the importance of the university to the well-being... they see the university as an investment, rather than as an expenditure. And when they go to the Legislature and they go to the Congress to support research universities, and I think other education, it is sometimes more persuasive than when we go because we seem to be more self-serving than when they go.
One other final comment. I don't want to sound too crass, but whenever I go before a legislative body when I was in Illinois and California, I don't talk about Renaissance studies or political science department. I find it much more persuasive seeking the $2 billion appropriation in terms of some other kinds of examples. And as a political scientist, I've been quite happy to ride on the support given to more pragmatic purposes. But it has always been that way in higher education. We've always been supported--during the last century because we were important for the agricultural revolution, then we were supported because as a way to beat the communists, recently we've been supported as a way to beat the Japanese, now we're being... so I don't mean to seem crass, but I do think we... I'm not alarmed by the fact that we find pragmatic reasons to try to persuade people to give us funds.
I agree with Ellen, we still need to talk about the value of the liberal arts education. As the Dean of Liberal Arts, I know that speech, I can give that speech too. But I don't think... you have to give one or the other.
SPEAR: Okay, comments from the audience.
AUDIENCE: My name is Sashon, and I was an undergraduate at Berkeley until this year. So my comments are going to focus I suppose largely on concerns... I know that President Gardner has addressed this a bit, and it has been the subject of some discussion--the situation of people other than professors in the Loyalty Oath controversy, and in ongoing controversies on academic freedom. Professors, of course, have traditionally been fairly well organized, which has been very important. Organizations like the Senate and the AAUP have accomplished a number of important things. But the academic community is larger than just the professors, and during the famous Loyalty Oath controversy, as President Gardner pointed out, a large number of people other than professors were fired, many of them were actually communists--students were more likely than professors to actually be communists, and not to be afraid to say so, and to take active stances this way. And so there were a large number of people other than professors who were fired or who resigned rather than swear this Oath, and I think that's important to point out.
And I also wanted to point out, as I was mentioning to President Gardner yesterday, the Loyalty Oath was never abolished, and as is clear, the famous controversy which this symposium is discussing was the very political matter concerning these issues of governance. It was not by and large a statement by the professors that a loyalty oath is inherently illegitimate, or a loyalty oath should not exist, or there ought never be a loyalty oath, that it's not something that belongs to the University. It was a statement that the Regents ought not impose the Loyalty Oath, that it's not part of our tradition of governance that the Loyalty Oath should come about in this way. And so it was observed that many professors returned to the University as soon as the Regents were no longer responsible for this, as soon as the Tolman law suit was resolved and the Levering Act was passed, so that the Loyalty Oath existed in essentially the same substantive form, it was still a requirement in the same way, but it was no longer imposed by the Regents. So this indicates that most professors' concern was not with the existence of the Loyalty Oath, but with the political nature of the process which imposed it. This is troubling to me as an individual who was fired in 1998 as a staff member for refusing to swear what's left of the Levering Oath. Because the Levering Oath is still enforced in California; the Keeshian case in New York abolished only the negative part in which one swears that one is not a communist, but not the positive part which is similar to the earlier Constitutional Oath. And so it's very troubling to me as someone who has actually been fired for refusing the Oath as an undergraduate in very recent memory, that so few professors and so few other individuals were concerned with the existence of the Oath, that they focused their concerns on the political process and not on the broad question of why any form of loyalty oath ought to exist within the universities.
Since Professor Schrecker made very interesting and important comments on governance but not on the institution of the Loyalty Oath per se, I'd be interested to hear what she has to say. And President Gardner mentioned yesterday that he might be willing to say something about this as well.
PROFESSOR SCHRECKER: Well, I think, you know, the form in which the Loyalty Oath manifested itself in the California case is clearly a case of who makes the decisions about the hiring of faculty members. And it was, I think, essentially a governance issue, in the sense that loyalty oaths were sort of prevalent throughout the country. There were loyalty oaths in almost every state, I think largely because they were seen as a kind of a convenient measure. You know, it was a way of taking a position on the part of whoever imposed it, usually legislatures, city councils, I mean, they were really very widespread, and were used as a kind of symbolic gesture to make a statement about what was the significant issue of the time, which was clearly that of communism, the Cold War. So I think that, you know, the Berkeley Oath is really only kind of a gesture of recognizing that this broader issue of communism and anti-communism, it was a way of bringing that issue to a concrete form on the campus.
But the oaths, themselves, are, I think a symbolic recognition of broader policy issues than just, you know, a swearing affirmation toward any particular institution. I mean, I don't think I clarified it very much, but I do see them much more as symbols than anything else.
PRESIDENT GARDNER: I could just offer a comment. You're referring to the residue of the Levering Act in California, which is an affirmation of support--I'm paraphrasing it--for the Constitution of the State and the Constitution of the United States. That part of the Oath that was required in 1949, '50, '51 was not the part that was under attack, it was the amendment to that Oath that was the object of the controversy as we've discussed it today. And it was the negative part of the Oath, if you wish to put it that way, that was struck down, it was replaced by the Levering Act, and that portion later cut down by the Courts.
I don't recall that the part of the Oath requiring one to affirm his or her support for the Constitution in the State of California and the Constitution of the United States was ever thought to be inappropriate. I don't mean by that that people might not have thought so, but the object of their criticism is the second part of the Oath because that Oath had been amended in 1949, and it was the amendment that was attacked. And I think that the argument against the residue of the Act would have to be a different argument than the argument that was made against a Communist Disclaimer affidavit. Therefore, I think it's a different argument.
I don't mean there isn't overlap and so forth, it's just you would have to construct another rationale in many respects. This is imposed by the state, which doesn't make it right or wrong, it's just imposed by the state; mercifully, it's not the responsibility of the University to act on it. And I haven't heard much about people objecting to that Oath. Now, the mere fact that people don't object to it doesn't mean there isn't inherent sense of whether it's right or wrong, you can't judge the rightness or wrongness of something merely by the size or scale of the concern expressed about it, but I think you would have to devise another rationale for opposing it than the one that was opposed in 1949.
SPEAR: Okay. Well, I would invite those who would wish to continue the discussion to join us in the Townsend Center. But before I make the closing remarks, David Hollinger has a hand up.
DAVID HOLLINGER: I just wanted to ask a quick question. Actually, I had two questions in mind. I'll just state them, and maybe they can't go anywhere with them. One for David Gardner, although others may have things to say about this; and one for Jack Peltason, although others, again, may have things to say about it. For David Gardner, I'm wondering, we seem to have a widespread agreement about one thing concerning the Loyalty Oath controversy, there are many disagreements about it, but there is widespread agreement that there were a lot of mistakes made by the President and by the leadership of the Senate. Now, I'm wondering whether we think that the lessons that we learned from their mistakes are generalizable, that we might have like a checklist of things that presidents and Senate leadership ought to do, or rather it's just that Sproul and Hildebrand are, you know, imperfect beings like the rest of us, and we just hope that we'll have wise and politically savvy people in office? I mean, it's one thing if there's nothing to be done, that can't be generalized, and it's another thing if there's certain lessons that can be articulated and can instruct future presidents and future leadership.
For Jack Peltason, I'm wondering whether he thinks that there might be a danger to public higher education in the strategy that he is defending for dealing with legislatures. I mean, my concern is that if we constantly play to the public's economic, utilitarian, and sort of functional understanding of what universities are and do not take fund-seeking discourse as an occasion to educate the public about a whole lot of other things that universities do, aren't we constantly narrowing the conversation and limiting our ability as universities to protect those parts of ourselves that are not economically salable?
PRESIDENT PELTASON: The answer to your question is, yes, if that's all we said, we would be narrowing the argument and giving away a lot of persuasive arguments because a lot of other things we do need to be defended on the grounds and I think are defended on other grounds, including undergraduate education, which is a big part of what we do and the inculcation and the transmission of knowledge and the additions of knowledge. We always have to educate about the importance of basic knowledge, so you don't short-cut and think you can get to the applied before you do the basic. We have to constantly be educating all the time.
And we also have to be educating about the importance of academic freedom, and why everybody has a stake in it, other than just the professor whose freedom you're defending. And we always at everybody opportunity have to speak at it.
PRESIDENT GARDNER: Well, I appreciate your question, David, I really do. And I can only speak for myself in answering, I can't speak for anyone else. I learned a lot from studying this controversy. Fortunately, I learned it when I was young, and its helped me a lot. Let me be specific. Ever since doing this study, I have been very concerned about any policy that applies equally to everyone, without qualification, whether it's an oath or a polygraph test. Be real careful of any policy that is written with such a broad mandate that no one has any discretion to take account of individual differences. That's one.
I learned that on the Speech Code, for example. I mean, I mentioned yesterday, there were nine chancellors. Some favored pushing the envelope in terms of what the University could do to restrict freedom of expression, however offensive on the part of students. Others wanted nothing to do with it, thought we should do nothing. Others wanted to appear to support it, but didn't really want it. And others wanted to appear not supporting it, when they did, in fact, want it. So that's what I had there. Now, I also had advice from General Counsel that I didn't follow, and I proved to be correct in subsequent court cases in Michigan. On the Oath, the day it was enacted in June of 1949, Regent Neylan said, 'How could we enact an oath when the Constitution says no other oath could be required of public officials in the state?' And the General Counsel said, 'Not a problem, you can do it.' So I thought to myself, 'Be real careful listening to attorneys at the University.' I got that message.
Also, I can't conceive, frankly, of how President Sproul, who was knowledgeable about the University, so well respected by the faculty and the Legislature, so informed, and actually so politically brilliant could act so spontaneously on something of this magnitude. I mean, I really can't, I don't get it. But I've learned not to act spontaneously on issues of moment and consequence.
The next is, if it's a matter that involves the faculty, I'm taking no position until I hear from them. It doesn't mean that I have to agree with them, but I surely need to understand their views. And if the views are ambiguous, that's their view; if it's clear, that's their view. If they're for you, that's their view; if they're against you, that's... You've got to take account of that, I've learned that.
I've also learned with respect to the Regents, that if the Regents are going to respect you, you have to act as though you're President and face the music with them, and try and persuade them to your view. If they're not ready to be persuaded to your view, don't push them, wait until they are. The timing of issues before the Regents Meeting is critical.
I was criticized during my period of service here by legislators and others, and the Regents were criticized because they thought they were a rubber stamp for me because the meetings, by and large, were pretty smooth. They didn't understand how it worked. I got it all worked out ahead of time, there were no surprises. I could count the votes before the motion was on the table. I knew everybody's views, both within the University's staff, administration, Senate, those who advised me, and the Regents. And I really tried to accommodate them in such a fashion everybody felt reasonably comfortable supporting it. If they weren't going to be in agreement, then I'd just state my view and go forward with it, as I did in divestment.
And I sat next to the Governor when he made a motion to divest, and I voted 'no.' With the Governor, who nobody could have been better to the University than he was. He called me up to Sacramento to tell me that he thought now that we should divest, and gave me his reasons. And I told him why I thought we shouldn't, and I thought his reasons were flawed. And I thought this was not a proper thing for the University to do, and we should maintain the University free of political and sectarian influence to the extent that we could, and I regarded this as a political intrusion. But I said, 'You're a President of the Board, you're a Regent, you're entitled to views just like I am. If you wish to do that, then you should come and propose to divest. You need to know I'll be voting no.' He said, 'I respect that, it won't affect our relations whatsoever, and I'll make that clear to the press after the meeting.' And he did.
So let me just say that I learned a lot, without exhausting you with these examples, in doing this research. And in that sense, I hope that I was able to do a better job than I might otherwise have given the lessons learned from this Oath.
SPEAR: Thank you. And with those pieces of wisdom I'll bring the proceedings to a close by thanking the sponsors, to recall to you that the UC History Project, the Center for Studies of Higher Education, the Berkeley Division of the Senate, the Bancroft Library, the Office of the Chancellor, the Townsend Center, and the Hewlett Foundation are all contributors to the event. And there's a website for the symposium, part of a larger UC History website project, located at the Center for Higher Education. And there's a large variety of historical documents on-line related to the Oath controversy, and some more will be put up shortly, including on-line access to the proceedings of the Conference, which is a joint project with the Berkeley Multimedia [Resource] Center. And on your programs you have that website address.
And those of you who wish to join us at the Townsend Center and see the artwork of Margaret Peterson will be very welcome to come. And if you don't know how to get there, it is probably best that you go to Faculty Glade, and then you proceed up the steps in Stephen's Hall until you find an iron gate which says, 'Townsend Center' on it. And some of us will be walking over there, for those who wish a guide on the way. So thank you very much for your attendance.
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