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September 01, 1964 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1964-09-01

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I f1

PAGE SIX.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER1,1964

Teachers
Gain Job
Stability
EAST LANSING-Friday, Au-
gust 28, statewide teacher tenure
went into effect for 1,414 school
districts and 78,000 teachers in
Michigan. Last year at this time
only 60 systems had tenure pro-
visions for their teachers.
Basically, tenure is a means of
providing continuity in the school
programs of Michigan children and
a measure of Job stability for those
teachers who have shown them-
selves to be competent as well
as properly certificated.
Tenure is much more important
to children and their educational
programs than it is to teachers.
No school system can continue to
hire competent teachers and main-
tain a good school program if
there is a high rate of turnover
among its teaching staff. More-
over, the best teachers will not
apply for positions in a district
offering little employment securi-
ty. A vital factor in any school
program is providing the continu-
ity that will improve the work and
implement new ideas.
Under tenure, once a teacher
successfully completes a proba-
tionary period of two years he
may be freed from the necessity
:f reapplying for the position year
after year.
The new tenure act does not for-
bid the firing of a teacher. How-
ever, it does require that a teach-
er be given a written notice of
the reasons for his dismissal as
well as providing for hearing pro-
cedures and other restrictions
against arbitrary dismissal.

Critics
(Continued from Page 1)
asked that Davis be let go.
On August 25, 1964, with sum-
mr school over and the fall term
not yet under way, the Regents
dismissed Davis.
Only the day before, Davis had
been cited on 26 counts of con-
tempt of Congress. After long trial
and appeal proceedings, he was
eventually to serve six months in
prison.
Nickerson Case
Prof. Nickerson's case took more
deliberation-even though he was
dismissed at the same time as
Davis-primarily because he tes-
tifi.ed openly and freely to both
the five-man advisory committee
and the five-man advisory com-
mittee and the Committee on In-
tellectual Freedom and Integrity.
The advisory committee recom-
mended, three to two, on July 13,
1954, that Prof. Nickerson be re-
instated. It found his refusal to
testify before HUAC subject to
censure, but, the majority felt, he
had not injected Communist be-
liefs into his pharmacology classes
--even though he still held those
beliefs.
'Lacked Integrity'
The minority, however, conclud-
ed that Prof, Nickerson lacked "the
integrity and the fitness to con-
tinue as a member of the Univer-
sity." It pointed out that he with-
drew from the Communist Party
merely because he did not have
time for both political and scien-
tific activities, that he continued
to hold Communist beliefs and
that he refused to answer ques-
tions before HUAC. This, the
minority said, "placed the Uni-
versity in a difficult position."
Four days after receiving the
advisory committee's r e p o r t s,

Charg
Hatcher notified Prof. Nickerson
that he would recommend dis-
missal.
Hatcher at the time said Prof.
Nickerson's answers to questions
posed by HUAC, the Medical
School and the advisory commit-
tee "leave grave doubts as to your
fitness to hold your present posi-
tion of responsibility and trust,
and have raised in my mind and
in the minds of the University
community serious concern about
your integrity as a member of the
teaching profession."
Prof. Nickerson immediately ap-
pealed to the Committee on In-
tellectual Freedom and Integrity.
'Near-Hysteria',
In his appeal to this committee,
Prof. Nickerson defended his use
of the Fifth Amendment: "I . .
invoked the Fifth Amendment on
the advice of my counsel, who
pointed out that the combination
of the present atmosphere of near-
hysteria and the undefined and
almost undefinable nature of such
terms as 'conspiracy to advocate'
made any discussion of what'
might be considered to be un-
popular political beliefs a poten-
tial course of unjust prosecution."
He also outlined his political
beliefs, which he said included the
beliefs "that 1) the best solution
of the problems of economic cycles
and of international conflicts over
markets rests in public ownership
of the means of production; 2)
that racial discrimination. can be
definitely resolved only by the
elimination of economic exploita-
tion and 3) that labor should be a
major and organized political force
in our democracy."
But he specifically disavowed
violence as a means of bringing
about change "as long as the pro-
cedures for orderly democratic

Violation of

Academic

Freedom;

.f'

change . . . are available." I
Defending his loyalty to the
University, Prof. Nickerson said,
"I felt that the maintenance of
intellectual honesty and freedom
of thought are ultimately much
more important to a university
than the size of its immediately
available o u t s i d e (research)
grants." The report of the Com-
mittee on Intellectual Freedom
and Integrity delved into all the
charges which had been levelled
at Prof. Nickerson.
Its final recommendation was
unanimously for reinstatement.
The committee found that:
-Prof. Nickerson's experience
with the Communist Party prior
Abrams Gains
USNSA Post
Collegiate Press Service
Special To The Daily
MINNEAPOLIS -- Howard Ab-
rams, '63, of the University was
elected to the National Supervis-
ory Board of the United States Na-
tional Student Association Thurs-
day.
Elections to the 10-member
board were held at the USNSA
convention National Student Con-
gress on the University of Min-
nesota campus.
Abrams will be one of three
representatives from the midwest.
A former Student Government
Council member, he is currently
studying at the University of Chi-
cago law school.
The NSB is established by US-
NSA to oversee the work of its
national officers. It meets several
times a year.

to his leaving it in the mid-1940's'
had not "corroded his intellectual
equipment so that he cannot
properly function as a free thinker
and researcher in his University
position.
"This Committee views with
deep misgivings the implication
that a faculty member's 'spirit' is
subject to scrutiny and criticism.
We believe that a man's spirit is
peculiarly a private matter which
the University should respect as
such."
-His invocation of the Fifth
Amendment, when "he could have
denied his present membership
and explained his past member-
ship without unfavorable conse-
quences to himself," was "repre-
hensible."
'Not Necessarily Bad Faith'
-His failure to inform the Uni-
versity or the Medical school of
his Communist affiliations repre-
sented "bad judgment, but it does
not necessarily prove bad faith."
-His major departure from in-
tegrity was this failure to reveal
his affiliations. His invocation of
the Fifth Amendment was not a
departure from integrity. Since
there was, in any case, "no evi-
dence of wilful or malicious dis-
honesty during his period at the
University," even the combined
weight of the above charges was
insufficient to warrant dismissal.
-The previous judgment of the
Medical School executive commit-
tee to dismiss Prof. Nickerson
should be given relatively little
weight. This judgment was not
based on "incompetence, insubor-
dination or failure to cooperate
in departmental duties," matters
which are "within the peculiar
competence" of the school. Rather,
it was based on Communist" af-
filiations, involving "questions of

the freedom to hold unpopular
ideas." As such, it was properly a
I University-wide matter. The com-
mittee's unanimous recommenda-
tion to reinstate Prof. Nickerson
was given to Hatcher Aug. 11.
Two weeks later Hatcher asked
the Regents for dismissal.
Difficult Position
At that time, he reiterated an'
earlier statement which emphasiz-
ed the difficult position in which
their refusal to testify had placed'
the University.
That refusal, Hatcher said, "in-
evitably placed the University un-
"This is not an inquiry
into the technical compe-
tency of the men in ques-
tion. It does not involve any
question of the right freely
to investigate, to arrive at or
hold unpopular views. It is a
question of relation to or in-
volvement in a conspirator-
ial movement which, if suc-
cessful, would subvert the
freedoms and the liberties
which we hold sacred."
-President Harlan Hatcher
on the faculty dismissals
der the obligation to examine these
cases. The University cannot say
that these questions are unim-
portant and that it does not mat-
ter whether a member of the
teaching profession answers them
or not. Neither does the University
believe that respect for law is in
conflict with freedom of the mind.
"This is not an inquiry into the
technical competency of the men
in question. It does not involve

any question of the right freely to As Hatcher told the faculty
investigate, to arrive at or to hold Senate early in the fall, Prof.
unpopular views. It is a question Markert w,.as "found to be an ar-
of relation to or involvement in a ro an an d opinionated man, naive
conspiratorial movement which, if outside of his field of speciality.

successful, would ,subvert the free-
doms and the liberties which we,
hold sacred."
Hatcher also cited the "unten-
ability of Prof. Nickerson's posi-
tion in the Medical School, where
he was not wanted by the faculty
executive committee," as weighing
heavily in the dismissal decision.
Markert Case
Prof. Markert was the only one
of the three professors to be rec-
ommended by Hatcher for re-
instatement. Though he was never
questioned by the Subcommittee
on Intellectual Freedom and In-
tegrity-since his dismissal was
never recommended-he received
favorablenvotes from a zoology
departymegt committee, fromthe
literary college executive commit-

who holds ideas repugnant to the
overwhelming majority of his col-
leagues."
While the committee felt Prof.
Markert had been especially can-
did in testifying, it recommended
-and the Regents later approved
-censure for Prof. Markert's re-
fusal to answer questions in the
HUAC hearings in the spring of
that year.
To numerous critics at the time,
LSA Chairmen
Eve Crowding
(Continued from Page 1)

tee and from the special advisory closing of chemistry, psychology
committee. and natural sciences has upset
mThe Senate committee found programs of freshman who require
that Prof. Markert had been a' extensive scientific backgrounding.
member of the Communist Pa ty Dean Stephen S. Attwood of the
but had withdrawn about 1948y engineering college said that
According to its report, Prof.we're managing to take care of
Markert "reduced the amount of. our 125 new freshmen, which has
his political activity (in the Party) increased the class to 800." The
hisponica ativty inthePary)dean reported a "slight expansion
because of growing ascendancy of of repoteans.
his scientific interests and grow- Engineering students take their
ng doubt concerning the Coim- basic math, chemistry and physics
munist Party as an effective, courses in the literary college, but
means of achieving the ends he programming -problems will be
desired." ironed out in the next few weeks.
The committee noted further he said.
that Prof. Markert mentioned lack Dean Stephen Spurr of the nat
of democracy in the Party, its ural resources school, administra-
growing dogmatism and lack of tive assistant in the office of aca-
free thinking, its growing emo- demic affairs, attributed the
tional ties to Russia, its tendency crowding of courses to the "prob-
to dictate ideas and unwillingness lem of a free election system with
to permit any heresy as reasons for 29,000 students."
his withdrawal from the Party. He added that a "big influx of
However, the committee ob students is bound to create grow-
served, Prof. Market admitted ing pains." The overflow, which
freely "he still holds many of the has overcrowded dormitories and
political and economic views he counselling offices as well as class-
held while an active Party mem- rooms, resulted from a flurry of
ber." summer admissions, he said.
"All the news that's fit to przuat"
DELIVERY STARTS SEPTEMBER 6th
~- -~~ ~ ~ ~- - - ~ -~ --~ ~- - ~~ - - ~ -~

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LET US TEACHYOU
A TRADE!

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