Yale University suspended 11 students Friday for their alleged roles in leading disruption of an April 15 debate between controversial Stanford University professor William B. Shockley and William Rusher, publisher of the National Review.
The Yale College Executive Committee suspended the 11 students for next fall's semester, and said that they would be placed on probation upon their return in January 1975 for the spring semester. The committee said, however, that the students could apply in August for readmission for the fall term.
In addition, the executive committee decided to withhold a degree from a graduating senior, subject to review prior to the May 20 commencement date.
The disturbance occurred when 150 chanting and stomping members of the audience prevented Shockley from presenting his view on the hereditary basis of intelligence.
A Yale spokesman said the executive committee considered the 12 students to be the leaders of the disruption. The actions of the committee are subject to review by the Yale Corporation.
In suspending the students, the executive committee said the students' actions placed them "outside the voluntary association of persons dedicated to the free expression of all views."
The suspensions last Friday mark the first time that Yale has used disciplinary measures since November 1969. At that time, 47 students were placed on probation following a building occupation.
April's debate at Yale was one of a long series of controversial events surrounding proposals by various institutions to invite Shockley to debate his views on the hereditability of intelligence.
The Stanford professor of electrical engineering, a Nobel Laureate in physics, has claimed IQ tests show that whites are genetically more intelligent than blacks, and that intelligence can be measured by the percentage of Caucasian blood in an individual.
Citing pressure from black students and professors, the Harvard Law School Forum cancelled a debate it had scheduled for last October between Shockley and Roy Innis, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
A debate between these two men scheduled to take place at Princeton last December was cancelled when Innis refused to appear because Shockley insisted on excluding non-Princeton students and press from the event.
Shockley and Innis did debate on NBC's "Tomorrow" television show in December. Shockley also debated the subject on the David Susskind show in December with Alvin F. Poussaint, assistant dean of students at the Harvard Medical School.
On February 18 the Yale Political Union cancelled a proposed March debate between Shockley and Innis. A Yale alumni group, Lux et Veritas, then considered sponsoring that debate, but the event never materialized.