Bloomfield College Asks No 'Red, Near-Pink' Instructors
Bloomfield College is a small institution in Bloomfield, New Jersey, which consists of 131 students and 21 faculty members. Last year, Bloomfield's president, Frederick Schweitzer, decided that Bloomfield needed teachers and it needed money.
To get the teachers, Schweitzer in February, 1948, mailed out letters to various university officials, asking for recommendations. One of these letters was received at Harvard by Edwin B. Newman, chairman of the Psychology Department. To teach at Bloomfield, the letter said, a man must have these qualifications:
"Definite, positive loyalty to American political ideals and traditions. Reds, pinks, near-pinks, and 'fellow-travelers' will not fit into the policy of Bloomfield which, while aggressively committed to criticism and correction of the abuses and inequalities of our present economic order, is fundamentally committed to the American system as against communism or socialism."
It is not known how other college officials in the country responded to this request, but Newman told Schweitzer he was "astonished." He dispatched a letter which did not list a single instructor, but which said:
"It has long been a canon of academic freedom that a man's political opinions have no bearing on his ability to obtain and hold an academic appointment.
"I think it is even more basically a principle of our American democracy that every citizen should enjoy freedom of speech and thought...You...blatantly propose to violate the principles on which both our democracy and our educational system are founded."
To get the money that Bloomfield needed, called for publicity. So Schweitzer printed his request and Newman's answer side by side in a pamphlet and mailed thousands of copies of it all over the country.
On the cover of the pamphlet was the prize-winning photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, along with the words:
"Should AMERICA'S College Professors be pro-AMERICAN? A thought-provoking contrast in points of view from Bloomfield College...."
It has not been announced how much money this pamphlet raised, but it did provide a steady flow of clippings and mail to Newman's office. Commented the Tulsa, Okla., Tribune, "Time was when Harvard was American."