The Commission of Inquiry decided yesterday not to conduct a formal investigation into hiring practices in the Economics Department but to issue an extensive report later this month on general Faculty hiring policy.
Commission chairman James S. Ackerman, professor of Fine Arts, said yesterday that he and other members of the commission have informally studied the Economics Department's hiring in the last two weeks and have concluded that "their procedures have been correct."
Ackerman said that he talked to members of the Department about hiring and the student members of the commission talked to members of the Union of Radical Political Economists (URPE), which submitted to the commission last month a complaint accusing the Department of bias against radical economists.
The report on general hiring policy will include sections on safeguards against biases in hiring and on official channels for complaints about hiring, Ackerman said.
"There's a lot of misunderstanding about hiring, and the commission should clear it up," Ackerman said. "We're not rejecting URPE's complaint by investigating all hiring rather than only the Economics Department. We're on the same track as they are."
The commission last week postponed a decision on whether to investigate URPE's complaint because the complaint did not provide sufficient information about the Economics Department's alleged biases.
The complaint's specific charge was that Samuel S. Bowles, associate professor of Economics, and Arthur MacEwan, assistant professor of Economics, were not rehired last December 'solely because their recent research and teaching have been in radical economics."
URPE submitted its complaint in response to a request by Ackerman for more information on an earlier complaint--signed by URPE, SDS and the New American Movement--charging "substantial political biases" in Faculty hiring and in the University's treatment of the Afro-American Studies Department.