A well-known author and left-wing political activist has charged that Brandeis University rejected his appointment to its faculty this summer because of his leftist politics.
"I was turned down by the Brandeis administration for what I can only believe to be political reasons," Richard A. Cloward, professor of social work at Columbia University, said yesterday. Cloward said he has always been "on the left" and is involved in the civil rights movement.
Jack Goldstein, dean of the faculty at Brandeis yesterday refused to comment on the rejection of Cloward's appointment to the Heller School of Advanced Studies and Social Welfare at Brandeis.
The Committee on Academic Freedom of the American Sociological Association is investigating Cloward's charges against Brandeis. Cloward said. He added he has received more than 200 letters favoring his position. The American Association of University Professors and the sociology faculty at Brandeis, Boston University, and other schools are giving him their support, he said.
Thirteen professors of Sociology at Harvard have signed a letter to Brandeis supporting Cloward. Lee Rainwater, Professor of Sociology and one of the signers, yesterday called Cloward "one of the most distinguished sociologists in the world."
"It is impossible to accept that a university would reject him on the basis of a lack of ability." Rainwater said. "Cloward has realized one of the ideals of the intellectual by being active in the real world while pursuing active research and teaching," he added.
Rainwater said that, in Cloward's writings and political activity, he has never come close to breaking the law or acted improperly for a professor. Cloward is the author of "Regulating the Poor" and "Poor People's Movement."
"Professor Cloward's qualifications as a scholar are unquestionable." Paul E. Starr, assistant professor of Sociology, who also signed the letter, said yesterday. "Brandeis's decision to reject him was a political decision and a clearly unjustified one," Starr added.