Teachers' Union Announces Policy on Academic Freedom

The Teachers' Union yesterday issued its first policy statement on academic freedom since the firing of three professors from the University of Washington in February for membership in the Communist Party or alleged Communist sympathies.

At a meeting addressed by one of the three ousted Washington professors, Joseph Butterworth, the group adopted three resolutions.

The first states: "In any investigation of the possible effect of teaching competency of personal convictions or membership in a political party, the decision of the university faculty, or authorized organ of the faculty, should not be reversed by governing boards."

Thomas Wilcox, secretary of the Teachers' Union and Teaching Fellow in General Education, pointed out that the board of regents at Washington had reversed the recommendation made by a faculty committee.

The second resolution says that "neither membership in a political party (including the Communist Party) nor political activities of a member of a university faculty, should in itself, be grounds for dismissal.


Third, the Teachers' Union resolved that "in time when widespread suspicion and organized pressure threaten the independence of university scholars, every effort must be made to preserve the principles of academic freedom, and special effort should be made to avoid stigmatizing or punishing members of the faculty who profess independent or unpopular views."