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September 01, 1964 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-09-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

TIHE MICHIGAN DAILY

ier

defends Action in

'54 Faculty Dismissals

Prof. Markert's reinstatement ob-
viated many of the reasons for
dismissing the other two men and
raised serious questions about the
University's proceedings. To a
Daily editorialist, for instance,
Prof. Nickerson had behaved be-
fore all committees just as Prof.
Market did-the only difference
appeared to be that the latter
criticized the party more strongly
than the former.
Faculty Rebuke f
Early in October, 1964, the two
dismissals drew a fairly strong
rebuke from the faculty. "Regret-
ting" the President's move, the
faculty was disturbed, not only by
the action itself, but by the facts
that it was taken when school
was not in session and that it dis-
regarded-in Prof. Nickerson's
case-the recommendations of the
two Senate committees.
The faculty statement followed
a lengthy speech by Hatcher in
which the President presented a
review of events, reports and'
thoughts in the decisions to dis-i
miss Prof. Nickeirson and Davis
and reinstate Prof. Markert.
Hatcher claimed that the timing
of the dismissals "was a matter
quite beyond our control. We have
pursued the cases diligently, and
they have moved as fast as they
could consistent with fair proce-
dure and judicial study."
He emphasized the importance
of considering the times in evalu-
ating the firings: "We must keep
in mind the context of 'these in-
quiries and their relationship to
the grave crises which we have.
faced and which still menacingly
confront us . . .
'Skilled, Relentless Intrigue'
"We are not dealing with a
political party in our traditional

and accepted sense of American
freedom, but with a skilled and
crafty and relentless intrigue
which, i.s successful, would deliver
us into the hands of those who
would destroy our freedoms . ."
The faculty's expression of re-
gret over the dismissals by no
means ended the issue, however.
For at least a month afterwards,
faculty and student concern was
turned to the issue of severance
pay for Davis.
A statement of principles by the
American Association of Univer-
sity Professors declared that a
dismissed teacher is entitled to
one year's pay unless he had been
fired for "moral turpitude." When
Davis made it known that he was
not receiving this pay, students,
faculty and the AAUP made var-
ious demands that Davis be duly
compensated.
No Pay,
On October 14, 1954, the Regents
announced there would be 'no
severence pay for Davis. Accord-
ing to University Relations Direc-
tor Arthur Brandon, the question
was "'where to get the money."
This was the only reason given
for the decision.,
Davis would not accept the rea-
son, claiming he was entitled to
severance pay and that the matter
was not, as the Regents had stated,
closed.'
Literary college faculty mean-
while continued efforts to raise
funds to support Davis, especially
in his drawn-out contempt trials.
This dismissals issue arose again
in the summer of 1955 when a
number of faculty committee rec-
ommended policies for handling
future dismissal cases.
A committee concerned with
severance pay said that pay should

be denied only "where the asserted
ground for dismissal in the area
of political non-conformance is
that there is competent evidence
to establish beyond a reasonable
doubt that the individual con-
cerned has been guilty of felonious
conduct."
Only If No Illegality
The committee elaborated upon
this to the effect that severance
pay should not be extended if the
dismissed teacher has violated a
national or state law. The report
of this committee was subsequent-
ly adopted by the Senate.
Another committee reporting at
Anticipate New
,Job for Sawyer
Dean Ralph Sawyer of the grad-
uate school will be appointed act-
ing director of the American. In-
stitute of Physics this fall, un-
official sources have disclosed.
Sawyer retired as vice-president
for research this summer and will
retire from his post as graduate
school dean as soon as a replace-
ment is found.
The Institute was founded in
1931 through the joint efforts of
four professional scientific socie-
ties. Among other activities, it pub-
lishes virtually all of the physics
journals in -the country. Four of
these nine publications are owned
by the Institute itself.
Sawyer has been chairman of
the governing board of the Insti-
tute since 1959. He said recently
that he would have no comment
on the appointment possibility un-
til the present director retires Oct.
1.

the time asked that a Senate
Subcommittee on Tenure be es-
tablished to review all cases of
dismissal for conduct "regarded as
potentially disqualifying a person
for continued membership or in-
imical to the welfare of the Uni-
versity or society." This move was
aimed at formalizing the pro-
cedures actually taken in the
Nickerson and Davis cases. It, too,
was adopted.
But the most significant report-
that of the Committee on the Re-
sponsibilities of the Faculty to
Society-was rejected in a close
mail vote. The committee had at-
tempted to rebut assertions that
University professors, because their
employer is. a state institution,
owe political conformity and com-
plete cooperation with investiga-
tors to the public.
Right Te Be Silent
Its statement, while agreeing
that a teacher should be honest,
argued that "as a citizen he has
a constitutional right to be silent:
in certain cases.
"Nor can it be argued, as it
seems to be, that because he
claims the fullest right to speak,
therefore he must speak . . . His
having a right to speak only im-
plies that he must be allowed to
speak, not that he must speak."
Upholding the professor's right
to withhold "complete self-revela-
tion," the committee defended re-
fusal to speak when a man "sin-
cerely believes . . . that an in-
vestigating agency is invading his
legal and moral rights . . ,. or
that the questions asked are ir-
relevant to his fitness for an
academic position."
Academic freedom-the freedom
"to criticize popular opinions"-
cannot be effective if it stops,

within the University, the com-
mittee continued. Thus the teach-
er "should be permitted to exer-
cise his rights as a citizen without
risking his job, income or ad-
vancement, as long as he satisfies
the requirements of competence
and professional ethics and citi-
zenship. In this sense, academic
freedom involves a reassertion for
the faculty member as such of the
rights of men and citizens.'
Even if Embarrasses 'U'
"It follows that a professor may
on occasion have not only the
right, but the duty, to take a
position or to speak out even
"As a citizen (the profes-
sor) has a constitutional.!
right to be silent in certain
cases. Nor can it be argued,
as it seems to be, that be-
cause he claims the fullest
right to speak, therefore he
must speak."
-The Faculty Committee'
on the Responsibilities
of the Faculty to Society
when doing so is embarrassing to
his university. If ''his stand is
taken in the interests of reason
and truth, it must be honored, not
penalized .
"(The faculty member also) has
rights correlative to the duties he
owes his colleagues. Insofar as he
owes them candor, confidence, co-
operation or respect, he also has
a right to expect these from them,
and they have an obligation to
return them. -
"Among other things, he has a
right to expect, if occasion arises,
that they will assume him to be

innocent until he has been proven
beyond a reasonable doubt to be
guilty
"A state university, if it is to
remain true to its purpose, can-
not require its teaching staff to
surrender any of their rights asj
men or as citizens, for it is not
the organ of any religious or in-
dividual group, nor even-. of a
government, but of a society."
Surprised at Defeat
Proponents of the report in-
dicated at the time that they
would seek to have another com-
mittee study the same issue. They
were surprised that the report had
been defeated, but said the defeat
probably came because the report
asserted the right to silence when.
asked about political beliefs.
After a bit of controversy over
the rejected report, the dismissal
cases seemed forgotten. The Uni-
versity was shocked from its slum-
ber, however, when after a four-
year silence the AAUP moved to
censure the administration for its
1954 actions.
Implying only that the Univer-
sity would be listed as censured
until conditions leading to tle
judgment were believed corrected,
censure is nevertheless a signifi-
cant and feared weapon of the
AAUP. Thus its statement in April,
1958, stirred anew the somewhat.
dusty controversy.
No Proper Grounds'
The AAUP specifically charged
that, whatever might be thought
of the dismissal of Davis, "there.
can be no doubt about the lack
of proper grounds for the dis-
missal of Prof. Nickerson . . . The'
charges against (Prof. Nickerson:
and Davis) were not stated with
particularity, and the dismissals
were not related to the charges

made. The dismissals were based
upon grounds either improper or
unsupported by substantial evi-
dence."
Noting that "procedural im-
provements in the (Regents') by-
laws are gratifying," the AAUP
said that "they remain, however,
insufficient to offset the threat
of a basic administrative philos-
ophy which upholds the right to
dismiss on inadequately supported
g'rounds.,
It was not until October, 1959,
that the AAUP was finally satis-
fied with procedural rules and
lifted its censure. At least partly
responsible foi the decision was
the Regents' June, 1959 adoption
of new assurances of severance
pay for dismissed faculty mem-
bers.
COMING SOON:
The Firings in Retrospect
APA Granted
Aid for Plays
The Association of Producing
Artists, resident repertory com-
pany at the University, has been
given a grant from the Rockefeller
Foundation, It will enable the APA
to do special work in speech and
body movement in preparation for
the four plays to be produced on
campus in the Professional Thea-
tre Program's Fall Festival.
The company, under the artis-
tic direction of Ellis Rabb, will be
preparing for the extensive use of
special choreography and musical
background in the American pre-
miere of Tolstoy's "War and
Peace" as well as in Brendan
Behan's "The Hostage."

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2141 Brockman Boulevard, 668-8715
Mormon Church History. Thursdoys, beginning Sept. 3, 5:45 p.m.
3545 Student Activities Bldg. Instructor: Mr. George Jarivs
B{NAI B'RITH HILLEL FOUNDATION
1429 Hill Street, 663-4129
Courses to yet be announced. Call Dr. Herman Jacobs,
Director, Hillel Office, 663-4129
UNIVERSITY LUTHERAN CHAPEL (Missouri Synod).
1511 Washtenaw Avenue, 663-5560
Christian Doctrine. Mondays, beginning Sept. 14, 8:00 p.m.,
University Lutheran Chapel, 1511 Washtenaw Ave.
Instructor: The Rev. Alfred T. Scheips n
LUTHERAN STUDENT CENTER AND CHAPEL
(National Lutheran Council)
Hill Street at South Forest Avenue, 668-7622
The Teachings of the Various Denominations of the Christian
Church. Tuesdays, Sept. 15-semester's end, 7:15 p.m.,
Lutheran Student Center, Hill and Forest Aves.
Instructor: The Rev. Henry 0. Yoder, D.D.
State and Huron Streets, 668-6881
WESLEY FOUNDATION (Methodist)
Basic Christian Beliefs. Tuesdays, Sept. 8-Oct. 13, 12-00-1:00
p.m., Wesley Student Foundation, State and Huron Sts.,
Lunch included. Instructor: The Rev. Gene Ransom.
Basic Themes in the Bible. Thursdays, Sept. 1'0-Oct. 15,
7:00-8:00 p.m., Wesley Student Foundation, State and
Huron'Sts. Instructor: The Rev. Jean Robe Bissell
UNIVERSITY REFORMED CHURCH
1001 East Huron Street, 663-0348 and 665-8951
"Who Is Christ?" A Series of Six Lectures. Mondays, Sept. 28-
Nov. 2, 8:00 p.m.,University Reformed Church, 1001 E.
Huron St. Lecturers: to be announced
THE NEWMAN CLUB
New-man Center, 331 Thompson Street, 665-5646
Theology 101. The Fundamentals of the Catholic Faith
Mondays and Thursdays, beginnings Sept. 14 and 17,
10:00 a.m., 2-4-8:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. Instructor: Msgr. John F. Bradley
Theology 201. The Foundations of Christian Theology,
Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 15, 2-4-8:00 p.m., Gabriel
Richard Center, 331 Thompson St.
Instructor: The Rev. Thomas G. Litka

Philosophy 101. Introduction to Scholastic Philosophy.
Mondays, beginning Sept. 14, 8:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. Instructor: Mr. Thomas Schoenbaum.
Philosophy 201. Psychological Issues-Aquinas and Freud.
Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 15, 8:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. Instructor: Mr. Patrick Lucas
Philosophy 301, Christian Existentialism. Tuesdays, beginning
Sept. 15, 8:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center, 331 Thompson St.,
Instructor: Mr. Theodore Thompson
History 101. History of Early Christianity. Tuesdays, beginning
Sept. 15, 1-3-7:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. Instructor: Mr. Thomas Giles.
to the 14th Centuries. Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 15, 7:00 p.m.,
History 201. The Development of Christian Art from the 4th
Gabriel Richard Center, 331 Thompson St.
Instructor: Mr. Bernard Bonar
History 301. The Reformation and Christtion Unity. Thursdays,
beginning Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. I nsti uctor: Mr. Timothy Gregory
Ethics 101. Nursing Ethics. Mondays, beginning sept. 14,
8:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center, 331 Thompson St.
Instructor: The Rev. Thomas G. Litka
Ethics 201. Medical Ethics. Thursdays, beginning Sept. 17,
7:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center, 331 Thompson St.,
Instructor: Msgr. John F. Bradley

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Theology 301. Studies in Sacred Scriptures: The History and
Theology of the Old Testament. Thursdays, beginning
Sept. 17, 1-3-7:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center, 331
Theology 401. Christian Marriage. Mondays and Thursdays,
Thompson St. Instructor: The Rev. Thomas G. Litka.
beginning Nov. 2, 9:00 p.m., Gabriel Richard Center,
331 Thompson St. Instructor: Msgr. John F. Bradley.

THE NEWMAN CLUB
(Continued from first column)

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Christian Ethics and Modern Society. Thursdays, Sept. 10-
Nov. 19, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Michigan League, Conference
Room II, Luncheorf 50c. Instructor: Dr. N. Patrick Murray
American Culture and the Crisis of Identity. Tuesdays,
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(Newman Club course offerings continued next column)

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