The Northern Section of the Academic Senate meets in Berkeley, with
about 450 members present. A Special Committee on Academic
Freedom is established. It is asked to begin work on procedures
for hearings regarding non-signers. A motion which states that
any dismissal of non-signers without a review by the standing Committee
on Privilege and Tenure will be viewed as an attack on tenure is
made to the Senate but, after debate, referred to the Special Committee.
The Southern Section of the Academic Senate meets in Los Angles
and instructs its Committee on Privilege and Tenure to regard those
who will not sign the oath for reasons of conscience as fully protected
in their tenure.
These actions antagonize the Regents who favor
the oath and highlight a difference in interpretation of the Regental
actions on the oath. Regent Neylan believes that only those
who refuse to take any oath for religious reasons, such as Quakers,
should receive a favorable review from the Committee on Privilege
and Tenure, and that all other reasons for refusing to sign the
oath are invalid; this would excuse only a small minority of the
faculty. In contrast, many faculty see the Committee reviews
and role as much more flexible, providing a way for the vast majority
of non-signers to justify opposition to the oath and still receive
a favorable review from their peers. The non-signers also feel
that if the Committee does not rule against them, their jobs should
The Academic Senate actions also create a rift among faculty. Some
believe that the Senate actions encourage faculty to oppose the
oath and continue the controversy. Professor Joel Hildebrand
writes to members of the Northern Section on this date, stating
that I venture to interpret the position of a large majority
of the Senate as believing that the contract form is not unreasonable,
and as devoutly desiring to have an end to the turmoil, division
and ill-will under which we have so long suffered.
The Northern Section of the Academic Senate announces new members
of the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. All of them are faculty
who had signed the oath.
The Committees on Privilege and Tenure meet jointly with President
Sproul in Berkeley to develop procedures for the hearings for non-signers.
The deadline for signing the oath specified by the Regents on June
24, or the new contract of employment specified by the Regents on
April 21. The Committee on Privilege and Tenure hearings commence.
Regent Neylan tells the Board that he does not believe non-signers
should be retained simply because he cannot be proven that they
are Communists or because the Committee on Privilege and Tenure
rules in favor of them.
Hearings begin for non-Academic Senate employees and non-academic
employees who have not signed the oath. Eighty one cases are
reviewed; 58 are recommended favorably, eight unfavorably, and 15
receive no recommendation.
The Committees on Privilege and Tenure forward their recommendations
to the President.
The Southern Section Committee has heard twenty-seven
cases, and decided in favor of all but one of them. The Northern
Section Committee has heard fifty-two cases, and decided in favor
of forty-seven. A total of 81 cases are heard, and 75 of the
individuals are viewed favorably by the Committees. Six individuals,
both north and south, have refused to discuss the question of whether
they had any connection to the Communist Party or to state directly
that they oppose communism. None of the six are necessarily
viewed as Communists or sympathizers; they have simply stood on
President Sproul reports his recommendations on the Committee reviews. Sproul
tells the Regents that he believes that the recommendations of the
Committee on Privilege and Tenure should generally be upheld; if
they are not, the University would be damaged in reputation and
the best faculty could not be recruited or retained.
Sproul recommends that 157 employees, both academic
and non-academic be terminated. This includes the eight given
unfavorable recommendations by the Academic Senate Committees, eighteen
the Committees has supported favorably, but the President had decided
to oppose, 13 who had been referred by the Committees with non recommendation,
and all those who had said they would resign from the University
rather than sign the oath. Sproul also recommends that the
favorable decisions of the Committees on Privilege and Tenure be
upheld in the cases of sixty-two non-signers who are members of
the faculty, and that those individuals be confirmed in their academic
The Regents are divided. One point of contention
is that 62 non-signers are recommended for retention. What
happens, one Regent asks, if the next year there are ten times as
many? Regent Neylan says the issue all along has been whether the
University can exclude employees because they are Communist. The
Regents then vote unanimously to dismiss the 157 employees recommended
by Sproul for dismissal, and postpone action on the others until
their July meeting.
North Korea attacks South Korea, beginning the Korean War, which
will last until 1953. An American-led United Nations force
intervenes on June 30.
The position of the non-signers is weakened. Public sentiment
is generally against them, and many of their faculty colleagues
want the controversy to end. A number of non-signers decide
to sign to retain their jobs. Others, including Professor Tolman,
continue to stand on principle or have less economic necessity.
Compiled by Steve Finacom