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Stanford Students' Occupation Fails; Rallies Support Dismissed Professor


Students at Stanford University attempted to seize a building and staged several rallies this week in reaction to the suspension of H. Bruce Franklin, an associate professor of English.

Campus police found Wednesday night a power line cut and a bon fire started on campus. The Stanford Rehabilitation Movement, the student group leading the protests of Franklin's suspension, denied having any connection with either event.

On Tuesday 300 students gathered outside Stanford's electronics building and threatened to occupy it in their demand for Franklin's immediate reinstatement. When the students arrived they found the building locked and guarded by riot-armed Palo Alto police.

These actions come in the wake of the announcement by Stanford president, Richard W. Lyman, that he supported the findings of a faculty board of inquiry which called for Franklin's ouster. Lyman's decision made it virtually certain that the Board of Trustees will vote to dismiss Franklin when they meet to decide the case January 22.

Franklin, a tenured faculty member, is charged with inciting students to occupy the campus computer center in protest of the American-sponsored invasion of Laos last February.

The Stanford chapter of the American Association of University Professors has called on the Board of Trustees to consider their decision in light of the possible nationwide repercussions Franklin's dismissal may have on academic freedom.

Franklin, who has been barred from the Stanford campus by injunction, has accepted an invitation to teach one of his courses. "Literature and Revolution," at Columbae House, a non-violent residence hall on campus, but has yet to appear. Franklin is nationally renowned for his writings on Herman Melville.

At another rally earlier this week, 200 students protested the presence of Defense Department recruiters on the campus.

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