A.A.U.P. States Academic Freedom Standards Review of Past Year's More Significant Cases
Condemns California, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Temple, Jefferson Medical College
This is the CRIMSON'S eight annual Academic Freedom Supplement. As in the past, we do not claim to present a complete survey of infringements against academic freedom, but we do hope to present, through case studies of some important affairs, the trends and developments of the past year on these two pages.
We wish to thank the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times for the use of their extensive files.
Attacks on traditional standards of academic freedom have mounted in recent years as legislatures, Congress, and various administrative boards tried to outdo one another in asserting their Americanism and their anti-Communism, which all too often have been taken as synonymous. From time to time a college stood up and told off the government, the public, or its alumni, but frequently professors have been fired or denied reappointment, books have been taken off shelves, and academic life disrupted by an investigation, a loyalty oath controversy or a student demonstration on one of the above issues.
How much the nation's security benefitted from these efforts has never been documented, but much has been written to show the affects on colleges and universities. Some groups have criticized the tendency sharply, but the long-time spokesman for academic freedom in America--the American Association of University Professors--has been relatively silent. While statements of policy remained theoretically in effect, the organization had censured no colleges since Evansville Teachers in 1950.
Last fall, however, the AAUP appointed a special committee to investigate "Academic Freedom and Tenure in the Quest for National Security," thus taking most of the alleged infringements out of the hands of its standing committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
On March 22 the Committee issued its report, a 58-page document spelling out a doctrine of academic freedom and the responsibility of the university to its faculty. It also examined alleged breaches of these standards at 18 schools and recommended censure of five of them.
Both aspects of the report came under heavy attack, with fire directed from all over the nation on the general approach--which includes the position that exclusive of other considerations neither Communist party membership nor use of the Fifth Amendment is sufficient to disqualify a man from teaching. Attacks on the proposed censures came largely from within the Association or from the schools themselves.
Nevertheless, the AAUP convention in April adopted both the policy statement and the censure urged upon it, the latter by overwhelming votes.
Limits and Procedures
The policy statement was notable not only for its relative uniqueness in suggesting that Communists or users of the Fifth Amendment might retain a right to teach. It was significant also as a firm statement by a respected group from the academic profession, a statement outlining limits and procedures reasonable in the current era of international tension, and showing also the opposition of the academic community to infringement of these standards.
The crux of the Association's position is contained in this statement of excusable grounds for removing a faculty member who holds tenure:
"Removal can be justified only on the ground, established by evidence, of unfitness to teach because of incompetence, lack of scholarly objectivity or integrity, serious misuse of the classroom or of academic prestige, gross personal misconduct or conscious participation in conspiracy against the government."
To determine the accuracy of any of these charges the AAUP demands a hearing by fellow faculty members, preferably standing committees of the given institution.
The Association held that neither use of the Fifth Amendment nor admitted or proven Communist Party membership were sufficient proof of unfitness to teach, although it said that each would suggest unfitness and furnish an institution with cause to investigate further.
These standards of acadamic freedom were demanded for dismissal of non-tenure faculty members. The Association maintained that procedures which violate academic freedom should not be allowed to bar reappointment or promotion for non-permanent faculty members.
The group also hit loyalty or disclaimer oaths, calling them an "evil heritage" and saying that "they should be steadfastly opposed until they are eliminated." The AAUP attacked a tendency to view teachers as particularly disloyal, implicit in asking them as a class to swear disclaimer oaths, and it also scored such oaths for "their evident fruitlessness." Generally, the AAUP opposed investigations of individuals against whom there is no reasonable suspicion of illegal or unprofessional conduct or of an intent to engage in such conduct.
The group justified this defense of academic freedom "not as a special right, but as a means whereby we may make our appointed contribution to the life of the commonwealth. The ability to hold and defend unpopular doctrines was seen as a necessity to the advancement of knowledge."
But the report was not only a plea for better treatment for professors, as some of its critics seemed to think. Before nothing the circumstances under which a tenure faculty member might be ousted, the AAUP said:
"The academic community has a duty to defend society and itself from subversion of the academic process by dishonest tactics, including political conspiracies to deceive students and lead them unwittingly into acceptance of dogmas or false causes. Any member of the academic profession who has given reasonable evidence that he uses such tactics should be proceeded against forthwith, and should be expelled from his position if his guilt is established by rational procedure."
The stated argument drew little direct criticism from within the academic community, despite the previous positions of many educators that Communists should never be allowed to teach. But the national press often disagrees with the professors' view, contending that party membership itself should be enough to bar a professor.
The report then took up alleged infringements of academic freedom over the last eight years, considering 18 institutions and how well they had met standards of academic due process and upheld academic freedom generally. Censure was recommended for the University of California, Jefferson Medical College, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, and Temple University.
Censure was voted for Ohio State on the grounds that it fired Professor Byron T. Darling in 1953 for his invocation of the Fifth Amendment. When he heard of the censure recommendation, President Howard L. Bevis of Ohio State attacked the findings bitterly.
Bevis charged that Ohio State had not received a fair hearing because the special committee had sent no on-the-spot investigators, relying instead on the public record. He also scored the premise that Communist Party membership was not sufficient ground for dismissal, although that was not at issue in the Darling case.
Clark Kerr, chancellor of the University of California, also hit the findings because of subsequent developments at Berkeley, calling the recommendation "unjustified and singularly inappropropriate at this time." Censure had been urged for the administration's support of loyalty oaths and the firing of professors who refused to take them.
Censure was demanded for California because of its failure to stand up for academic freedom in the loyalty oath controversy. Jefferson Medical College was condemned for firing three faculty members without giving explicit reasons.
Rutgers was censured for firing a professor for his use of the Fifth Amendment, as was Temple University.
Oklahoma, not condemned by the Special Committee, was censured after an overriding recommendation of the Association's Council for a "highly improper" and "speedy" firing of a professor.
The committee's recommendations were forwarded to the governing council of the Association, which considered them again before the AAUP's convention in April. The council passed all the recommendations, and upon reconsideration of the University of Oklahoma case, where the committee had recommended no censure, decided to urge censure, feeling that the situation was worse than the committee had held.
The Council also recommended censure of St. Louis University and North Dakota Agricultural College, passing on the suggestion of its standing committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure in these standard tenure cases.
On April 6 the Association met in St. Louis, with about 400 professors, representing 150 institutions, present. After some heated debate the committee's report was accepted and censure was voted for St. Louis and North Dakota. Time ran out before any decision could be reached on the other six institutions, but not before H. Gordon Hullfish, vice-president of Ohio State, had attacked the censure move as premature:
"The special committee," he said, "did not do a thorough enough job to get all the facts. If we persist in our actions we will damage the Association." He added, "If we believe deeply in democratic living and democratic action, then this association must lean over backwards any time it moves to censure" a college organization.
But his call for moderation was answered sharply by William Heckle of Rutgers, who replied, "I could not disagree more than I do with the Ohio position. For four long years the Rutgers chapter has fought this fight alone. If criticism is to be directed on this committee, it should not be because of speed, but because of its too long delay.
In the next day's session the issue was not too clearly joined on the merits of the censures. Ohio State objected because of the lack of an on-the-spot hearing; Temple representatives felt the situation had improved sufficiently so that censure was no longer called for; California felt that the paying of back salaries to dismissed faculty members had cleared it. But most of the attention went to a decision to limit debate to forty minutes on each censure proposal. This measure, adopted in order that the convention might end on time, drew bitter criticism from the California camp, and Professor George R. Stewart, long a leader in the fight against loyalty and disclaimer oaths at Berkeley, walked out of the meeting saying:
"I will return to the University of California where I shall inform my colleagues that the action you have taken here is tyrannous. I shall also tell them that they should wear their censure proudly as a badge of torture given by a tyrant."
Nevertheless, censure was passed against all six institutions, and by overwhelming, sometimes almost unanimous, votes.
The effect of a censure vote is only a moral one. It carries no legal force, but puts the Association on record as saying that an institution does not live up to proper standards of academic freedom and tenure. Furthermore, as Benjamin Fine noted in the New York Times, "Some members [of the AAUP] will not join the faculty of a college that is on the censured list."
Two circumstances mar the force of the AAUP's censure, but by no means nullify it. The first was the lack of an on-the-spot investigation by the special committee, except at Oklahoma and California. But as Talcott Parsons, professor of Sociology and a member of the special committee, explains, the "list of cases was too long to hope to get investigations of all in time for the meeting." He maintains that the committee felt it was important to take a stand at this time, and relied on the public record only where that in itself justified censure. He points to the University of Vermont case, where the committee made no recommendation except that the standing committee conduct a further investigation.
The other detraction is the one noted by Professor Stewart. But Fuchs observed in a letter to Time, "had [Professor Stewart] used his time in the meeting for arguing the merits of the censure action proposed and then asked for an extension of time if he needed it, he would have been able to state his position adequately." Fuchs pointed to the investigations of the special committee as evidence that the AAUP's actions were "far from hasty."
Furry and Kamin
Leon J. Kamin '48, former research assistant in Social Relations, was acquitted last January of the contempt of Congress charges he faced for refusing, almost exactly two years before, to answer six questions Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (R.Wisc.) asked him about former Communist Party associates. His trial had lasted ten days.
Federal District Judge Bailey Aldrich, who had been trying Kamin's case without a jury, handed down the acquittal verdict after a month and a half of deliberation. To reach his decision which he explained in a 25-page opinion, he placed what was up to that time one of the severest limits yet imposed on Congressional investigations.
His ruling, which held an entire McCarthy investigation illegal, assured the dismissal of similar charges against Wendell H. Furry, associate professor of Physics.
And on June 13, United States Attorney Anthony Julian did indeed announce that the government had decided not to continue its prosecution of Furry. In a short, terse statement, he said: "The evidence in this case is deemed insufficient to warrant further prosecution of the defendent on this indictment." But observers generally agreed the government's decision to drop charges had become inevitable following Judge Aldrich's Kamin decision.
Waived Fifth Amendment
Furry, like Kamin, had been asked about men he had known in the Communist Party and had refused to talk about them, though he talked freely of his own activities. At the University's urging, he waived the Fifth Amendment privilege.
Judge Aldrich held that the investigation of subversion in defense plants, for which Kamin and Furry had been summoned, was outside the powers Congress had granted to the Government Operations Committee, parent committee of McCarthy's permanent investigations Subcommittee.
The Judge said the Committee lacked authority to investigate subversion in privately operated defense plants. The questions Furry and Kamin had been ordered to answer dealt with either the University or defense plants.
Since both the University and the defense plants hold Government contracts, Judge Aldrich was faced with the difficult legal questions of distinguishing between "private" and "public." He dealt with it as follows:
He noted that the 1946 Legislative Reorganization Act, which defined the Committee's functions, had assigned to it the task of "studying the operation of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining its economy and efficiency."
"It seems to me," the Judge said, "that, as a pure matter of language, private operation of private industry is not 'activity performed by the Government' at an 'operational level,' and that the general economy and efficiency of such private corporation was outside the scope of the Committee."
Judge Aldrich cited a recent Supreme Court ruling which held that even private management of Government-owned installations must be deemed private business. "It is not the purpose that determines who is performing the operation," he said.
In reaching this decision, Judge Aldrich noted he had difficulty in determining just what it was McCarthy had been investigating. He had no records before him of the summer 1953 meeting at which the investigation was approved, but only the oral testimony of the Senators who attended it. McCarthy had said on the stand in October that his Subcommittee had been investigating, not private industry, but the operation of Government security regulations. After studying the conflicting testimony of Senators Dirksen, Potter, and Mundt, and the content of the hearings McCarthy held on the subject, Judge Aldrich ruled McCarthy's contention "entirely insubstantial."
Defense Protests Overruled
Although Judge Aldrich felt forced to disagree with Senator McCarthy on the trial's key issue, he was unsympathetic to defense appeals for restrictions on Committee procedures. Protests about the crowded hearing room and McCarthy's slackness in telling Kamin what was the subject matter were overruled. The Judge did not feel that Kamin's performance at the hearing (which was cool and rational) had been impaired. He apparently felt that failing to examine the Committee's legal authority before embarking upon an investigation was much more serious than procedural sloppiness.
During the Government's five-month silence following Kamin's acquittal, Furry's lawyers had followed a policy of simply waiting, ready either for a trial or a dismissal of the charges against their client. Since Furry was questioned in the same investigation as Kamin, and he too worked for a privately operated defense establishment, their confidence was justified.
Senator McCarthy had been indicating, ever since January, that he felt the case a lost cause. He had attacked Judge Aldrich several times for handing down a "ridiculous" decision, for running a "kangaroo court" and for insulting the Senate. He finally said in April he would not testify at Furry's trial unless there were a different judge. Aldrich had, however, drawn the assignment of trying the case.
In the meantime Kamin has become "as obscure as possible" beginning his career as an animal psychologist.
The three-year probation on which the Corporation placed Furry in 1953, expired May 20.
Cornell Zoology professor Marcus Singer, a former Harvard instructor, remains on salaried leave after his March 16 conviction for contempt of Congress, pending his appeal.
In May, 1953, he refused to tell the Un-American Activities Committee the names of any associates in a Communist cell here during the war, although he discussed his own actions. In November, 1954 he was indicted on twenty-two counts of contempt of Congress and Cornell suspended him from teaching duties, while permitting him to continue research.
Federal Judge Burnita Matthews tried him without a jury this winter, and dismissed twelve of the counts in January. In March she acquitted him on eleven others, but found him guilty on the remaining one.
She sentenced Singer to a suspended three-month jail term and a $100 fine, but the professor said at his sentencing, "I will appeal and hope to win."
Cornell is awaiting final disposition of the case before taking further action.
For several years California has been a trouble spot in academic freedom controversies. Even with this year's general decline in such disputes, California provided its share. The cases of Andries Deinum and Harry C. Steinmetz do not involve the familiar California state loyalty oath, but refusal to testify before investigating bodies instead.
Andries Deinum, an instructor without tenure in the Cinema Department at the University of Southern California, was very highly regarded at the school. He had taught there since 1951 and was largely responsible for the growth of a large and important cinema library. Early last June he was recommended for promotion from instructor to assistant professor.
Then on June 26 he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He admitted membership in the Communist Party from 1946 to 1950, and discussed his own activities, but refused to name any other members, citing the Fifth and First Amendments. He explained that the Amendments represented a legal necessity, but said that the reason behind his refusal was that he could not "bring upon people who were to my knowledge innocent of any subversive intent the mental suffering that has befallen me."
He told the Committee that he belonged to a cultural study group and that he never observed anyone engaged in "criminal, subversive, or illegal acts." Books and articles in the fields of "aesthetics and the social history of literature" formed the basis of the group's discussion, he said. Therefore, he felt "morally unable" to name his associates.
He said that he quit the Party because he found "any dogma repulsive" and his "interests had progressed beyond anything the Communist Party had to offer." He said he had had no contact with the Party since leaving it.
Then next day, June 27, he was suspended from teaching. U. S. C. then refused to rehire him because he had not cooperated fully with the Committee.
Lester F. Beck, former chairman of the Cinema Department, immediately protester to U.S.C. president Fred C. Fagg, calling Deinmun's loss a "crippling blow" to the department.
This fall Deinum's case was reviewed by the Executive Committee of the University Senate at U. S. C., and that body recommended that "no further action should be taken."
Students protested to Fagg, calling his dismissal "antithetical to Constitutional principles and traditional aims of a University." They complained that he had not had a fair hearing since only the Board of Trustees had heard the case against him. The American Civil Liberties Union protested that "the dismissal of a teacher of tested competence for such irrelevant reasons as his use of a constitutionally guaranteed right is a breach of sound principles of academic freedom." The ACLU also objected that his removal was not accompanied by "academic due process," i.e., that he was not judged by a committee of his peers.
Fagg and U.S.C. were adamant, and Deinum was not reinstated.
Harry C. Steinmetz, a former psychology professor at San Diego State College, carried appeals through the courts in an attempt to win reinstatement in his position, but lost to an adverse ruling from the State Supreme Court, a verdict the U.S. Supreme Court, a verdict the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review.
He was fired early in 1954 for refusing to tell the State Board of Education whether he had ever been a member of the Communist Party, although he said he had never been a member of an organization advocating violent overthrow of the government.
California's Luckel Act requires public employees to answer, under oath, questions pertaining to personal advocacy of violent overthrow of the government, present knowing membership in any organization advocating such overthrow, and past knowing membership in any such organization since September 10, 1948.
Steinmetz appealed his dismissal to the State Supreme Court, charging that the law was unconstitutional. But the Court, by a 6 to 1 vote, refused last July to consider this attack, holding that he was fired for refusing to answer questions, and that any attack on the constitutionality of possible firing for such membership was subsidiary in his case.
Steinmetz appealed to the Supreme Court, but in April the Court refused to grant certiorari. Justices William O. Douglas and Hugo L. Black dissented, favoring consideration of the case, while Chief Justice Earl Warren, who signed the Luckel Act into law as governor of California, did not take part in the decision.
New York's City Charter contains a section which provides for the dismissal of any municipal employee who refuses to answer official questions regarding his conduct on the grounds of possible self-incrimination. This section, known as Section 903, has been used to fire teachers who took the Fifth Amendment before Congressional investigating committees or before investigations conducted by the city itself.
Harry Slochower an associate professor of German at Brooklyn College, was one of those fired. In September, 1952, he cited the Fifth Amendment in refusing to tell the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee whether he had been a Communist in 1940 or 1941. In October the New York Board of Higher Education dismissed him because of Section 903.
Slochower fought the case in the courts, and last April won his case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court agreed with Slochower's contention that his dismissal was a violation of due process of law and deprived him of a constitutional right.
Associate Justice Tom C. Clark wrote the majority opinion, upheld 5 to 4, and said:
No Sinister Meaning
"At the outset we must condemn the practice of imputing a sinister meaning to the exercise of a person's constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment . . . The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury."
The Court noted that in application use of the Fifth Amednment was made grounds for dismissal, saying that "in practical effect the questions asked are taken as confessed and made the basis for the discharge."
The Court noted that in application use of the entirely, but objected to the city's invoking it in cases where the city had not done the questioning itself. Justice Clark noted that the city had information about Slochower from its own investigation of twelve years earlier, and he held that the city had no cause to discharge Slochower.
But Slochower's reinstatement, to be effected by lower courts sometime this fall, will be short lived. Harry D. Gideonse, president of Brooklyn College, announced after the high court ruling that upon Slochower's reinstatement he would be suspended and face a department trial on charges of "untruthfulness and perjury." This will not affect Slochower's right to three and one half years of back pay, or about $30,000. Slochower's right to three and one half years of back pay, or about $30,000. Slochower's lawyer criticized Gideonse sharply, saying that "like Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Gideonse seems to believe that first comes his verdict and then comes the trial."
Meanwhile, the Court's decision had repercussions elsewhere. The West Virginia Board of Education cited the Slochower decision when it decided to keep an English instructor at Bluefield State College. Nathaniel Bond had refused to answer certain questions before an investigating committee, but the Board felt that it could not dismiss him before the end of his contract because of the high court's verdict.
Similarly, Frederick M. Raubinger, New Jersey State Commissioner of Education, ordered the Newark Board of Education to reinvestigate charges against three teachers whom it had fired. Estelle Laba, Robert Lowenstein and Perry Zimmerman had been fired in May, 1955 for invoking the Fifth Amendment before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Raubinger said that in light of the Slochower decision the Newark Board of Education must reopen their cases and hold additional hearings.
On September 12, 1951 Dirk J. Struik, professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was indicted by a Middlesex County jury for conspiring to overthrow the government of the United States and of Massachusetts and for advocating the overthrow of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by force.
This indictment followed Herbert A. Philbrick's testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities naming Struik as a lecturer before a secret Communist class. Previously, Struik had refused to tell the Committee if he had ever been a Communist. After the hearing, Struik freely told newspaperment that he was not a Communist but that he was a "Marxist scholar" and a "good Marxist." He labeled the charges as "absolute nonsense."
At that time James R. Killian, Jr., president of M.I.T., announced that Struik had been suspended with full pay pending the disposition of his case.
Two days later, on September 15, Struik pleaded innocent to the charge that he had advocated the overthrow of the government "by speech, exhibition, distribution, and promulgation of certain printed and written documents, papers and pictoral representations." He said that he was in deep sympathy with the Communist fight for civil rights and had been "quite close" to them at one time. However, he said he had disliked the strict party discipline.
Struik had been formally indicted under the Massachusetts Anti-Anarchy Act of 1919, and his counsel soon brought forward a motion to quash this indictment. Counsel claimed that the law applied only to direct action anarchy. If they apply it to a teacher, counsel asserted, "then they are trying to punish free speech as such without relation to any action at all."
After four years of waiting, the case finally ended this year when the Court dismissed the indictment, acting on precedents set in the cases of Commonwealth v. Gilbert and Pennsylvania v. Nelson, where the U. S. Supreme Court decided that Congressional legislation on security matters had superceded state sedition laws.
One day later, M.I.T. ended Struik's tour-and-one-half year suspension, but did so in a purely technical manner, since Struik was immediately put under the jurisdiction of an M.I.T. corporation Committee on Academic Responsibility.
The House Committee on Un-American Activities openly censured Harvard and several College professors for their pro-Struik actions. The committee said, "History alone will show how many of Struik's students were led by him down the road to Communism."
Struik's status has been altered in name only. He is still not free to teach, although technically he is no longer suspended. The new M.I.T. committee, in its own words, "reserves all rights to take such future action as may seem appropriate for the Institute."
The New York Board of Higher Education received a setback last November when the State Court of Appeals ruled that teachers accused of Community Party membership were entitled to a court trial.
Charles W. Hughes, associate professor of Music and choir director at the city's Hunter College, had been dismissed from his post in October, 1954 on charges of Communist Party membership and failure to cooperate with an investigating board by refusing to inform.
The Board had ruled that a department trial had not given evidence that Hughes had broken "in good faith" from the Communist Party, which he admitted joining in 1938 and leaving in 1941.
Hughes won the court trial granted him. In January Judge Henry Epstein ruled that he had made a clean break from the Party. Hughes, however, has not yet won reinstatement in his position. He is awaiting an appeal on the charge of failure to cooperate with the investigating board by not informing.
Several teachers who have been dismissed on such grounds have appealed to New York's State Commissioner of Education, who has authority to reverse the decisions. His rulings on the teacher's necessity to inform is still to come.
In a decision that somewhat foreshadowed the Kamin ruling, Columbia philosophy lecturer Corliss Lamont '24 last July won a dismissal of an indictment charging him with contempt of Congress.
Federal Judge Edward Weinfeld found the indictment defective because it failed to show the authority of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's (R. Wisc.) investigating subcommittee of the Senate Government Operations Committee to "conduct an inquiry."
Lamont had been on voluntary leave from Collumbia to prepare his defense, but next year will again teach his Philosophy course in "The Philosophy of Naturalistic Humanism."
In September, 1953, he had refused to answer 23 questions asked by McCarthy, citing the free speech clause of the First Amendment, and stating that as a private citizen his affairs were not properly the subject of an inquiry. McCarthy had based his investigation on the fact that some of Lamont's books on Russia had been used as bibliographical material for Army pamphlets on Russia during the war.
Judge Weinfeld did not go as far as Judge Bailey Aldrich, who stated definitely that McCarthy's committee was not empowered under law to conduct such an investigation. Judge Weinfeld attacked the indictments for failing to show the authority and implied that it did not exist, but he did not actually say that there was none.
The case failed to determine Lamont's right to refuse to answer on the basis of his status as a private citizen, because it was thrown out on the more technical issue.
The unusual case of a professor being fired after discussing Communist activities fully and naming his associates in the Party provided an odd twist to the academic freedom caseload this year.
Herbert Fuchs, a member of the Law Faculty of American University in Washington, D. C., testified last June before the Un-American Activities Committee. Then on July 10 the Washington Star broke a story about his admissions of former Communist Party membership.
Hurst R. Anderson, president of the institution, praised his cooperation, and said that Fuchs "is known in our Washington College of Law as an intelligent, loyal, and devoted teacher. He made a serious mistake in the past, which he has recognized and declared. The American University therefore would support his right as a citizen to pursue his chosen duties."
On July 15, Fuchs named 44 former associates in an executive session of the committee. Then, suddenly, on July 16, he was told to apply for leave with pay, which he did. On October 29 he was told to extend his application throughout the full term of his appointment, or through this June. He was also told at this time that he would not be reappointed.
University Never Explicit
American University was never explicit about its reasons for firing him. After probing from the American Civil Liberties Union, Anderson in January suggested that Fuchs lacked sympathy with the objectives of the institution, which came under Methodist control a few years age. Despite repeated questioning, however, he did not state criteria of religious acceptability, and the ACLU protested this lack of standard, charging a lack of academic due process in his suspension.
Several camps not accustomed to supporting fired professors also joined Fuchs' defenders. The National Review and Representative Francis E. Walter (D-Penn.), chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee, both attacked the firing, and Robert Morris, counsel to the Senate Internal Security subcommittee, said that it might result in increased reluctance to testify at investigations of Communism.