Academic Freedom Imperiled: The McCarthy Era at the by J. Dee Kille

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By J. Dee Kille

The "Red scare" of the Fifties created a countrywide obstacle that challenged thoughts of loyalty and freedom of speech in each nook of yankee society. The problem was once in particular complicated in American universities, the place traditions of educational freedom came across themselves at odds with political matters stemming from the chilly struggle. The collage of Nevada in Reno used to be no exception. The collage prior to and through global warfare II was once a small (fewer than 2,000 scholars) institution providing simple courses to a mostly Nevada-based pupil physique within the nation’s least-populated nation. The campus used to be quiet, safe, conventional, and customarily conservative. The postwar years introduced booming enrollments and new school individuals, many from open air Nevada, imbued with a feeling of the significance of analysis and of shared educational governance. quickly, the college stumbled on itself embroiled in an extreme controversy that threatened its educational integrity or even raised matters approximately its destiny as a workable establishment. The 1952 appointment of Minard W. Stout as president prompted the hindrance. Mandated through a conservative Board of Regents to "clean up" the collage, Stout delivered to his new activity a willing feel of venture and a strident dedication to an authoritarian, top-down chain of command. His next battles with school and scholars over their position in collage governance and over the very nature of upper schooling quickly degenerated into indignant accusations of school Communist sympathies and sour confrontations over educational loose speech, educational freedom, and loyalty. The hurricane introduced the collage nationwide notoriety and made the management of upper schooling a tremendous factor inside of Nevada, eventually regarding the country legislature and the courts to be able to get to the bottom of the clash. J. Dee Kille’s energetic and insightful account of the predicament "on the hill" rests on a variety of archival assets, interviews and oral histories, collage documents, and released resources. of important curiosity to readers drawn to Fifties Nevada, the ebook additionally serves as a strong case research of the devastating influence of McCarthyism, suspicion, and repression on an American collage in this turbulent period within the nation’s heritage.

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Additional resources for Academic Freedom Imperiled: The McCarthy Era at the University of Nevada (Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History) (Wilber S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History)

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The aau, the organization that represents the administrations of many of the nation’s leading graduate schools, went on record as favoring the dismissal of all teachers who were members of the Communist Party. In the aau’s opinion, [A] scholar must have integrity and independence. This renders impossible adherence to such a regime as that of Russia and its satellites. No person who accepts or advocates such principles and methods has any place in a university. Since present membership in the Communist Party requires the acceptance of these principles and methods, such membership extinguishes the right of a university position.

The author of the controversial article. Bestor’s petition from the University of Illinois, mailed to Silas Ross and the Board of Regents, was signed by thirty-eight faculty members and excoriated Stout’s actions. We the undersigned are alarmed by the threat to academic freedom and tenure which appears to be involved in the efforts of President Minard W. Stout to secure the dismissal of Professor Frank Richardson, chairman of the Department of Biology. We . . believe that certain Dictators and ‘‘Reducators’’ 23 principles set forth publicly by President Stout in his statement of the case are utterly untenable, and we are convinced that should these principles be made the basis for dismissing Professor Richardson, irreparable damage would be done to the University of Nevada.

51 Finally, with the realization that he was digging a deeper hole for his case, the exasperated Heward made probably the biggest blunder of his examination of the Red issue. ’’ Little responded that he was not only not a Communist, but a Republican and had ‘‘Q’’ clearance from the Atomic Energy Commission and the fbi for work at the atomic proving grounds in southern Nevada. The existence of Little’s grant and its attendant clearance procedures had been common knowledge since mid-April, so for Heward to pose such a ludicrous question was proof to his audience that he had merely been attempting to smear both the aaup and Richardson who was the president of the local chapter.

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