Well, here's why . . . . .

…IT'S BECAUSE DURING THE PAST YEAR the University has been the scene of a bitter struggle between the faculty and the Regents in which the faculty have fought unsuccessfully to defend the principles of academic freedom. The Regents have finally succeeded in forcing the faculty to comply with and to implement a political test for teachers. Compliance with this test is now a condition for employment at the University.

On August 25, 1950, the Regents of our University took the final step in driving from the University all junior and senior faculty members who refused to submit to the political test.

These men, your profs, refused to submit to this political test in order to preserve academic freedom for all of us. Academic freedom means freedom of teachers and students to examine all theories in the light of facts with complete assurance that no particular ideas are politically required or or politically forbidden. A political test for academic employees forbids, by decree, the reaching of certain conclusions and threatens all who question, all who doubt, with loss of their jobs. History shows that forbidding of certain ideas is only the first step toward the forbidding of all but one set of ideas.

The men and women who are missing from our faculty today are missing because they value the preservation of academic freedom far more than their jobs, far more than their economic and professional security.

THIS IS THE REASON you may not find your favorite prof here today. Among the casualties in the fight for academic freedom are: Walter Fisher, Ag. Econ.; E. S. Tolman, Psych.; Herbert S. Coffey, Psych.; Leonard A. Doyle, Bus. Ad.; Ludwig Edelstein, Classics; Margaret Hodgen, Sociology; Edwin Fussell, Eng.; Ernst Kantorowicz, Hist.; Harold W. Lewis, Physics; Hans Lewy, Math.; Jacob Loewenberg, Philos.; Charles Muscatine, Eng.; Stefan Peters, Bus. Ad.; Brewster Rogerson, Eng.; Edward H. Schaefer, Oriental Lang.; Pauline Sperry, Math.; Gian C. Wick, Physics; Arthur Brayfield, Ed.; Harold Winkler, Pol. Sci.; John Kelley, Math.; Margaret O'Hagan, Art; R. Nevitt Sanford, Psych.; Leslie Fishman, Bus. Ad.; and many others on all campuses. More than eighty of your Teaching Assistants and lecturers - junior faculty members - have resigned or been fired during the fight for academic freedom.

THIS IS THE REASON you are having real trouble in getting an education in theoretical physics. This is why you might as well forget about those insurance courses in Bus. Ad. This is why you, as a psych. major, may have to go elsewhere for your education - the American Psychological Association has blacklisted the University.

THIS IS THE REASON our Big C was painted black after the July firings - in memoriam for academic freedom.

THIS IS THE REASON your profs this year may seem nervous when a controversial subject is approached. A great university has been transformed into an institution where intimidation and suspicion are stifling free inquiry and proper instruction.

No university is an island unto itself. As soon as the first firings were announced, California communities broke out in a rash of loyalty oaths.

It is imperative in these times of national and international tensions that we preserve and extend our democratic values. Academic freedom, civil liberties, freedom of thought are not luxuries that are permitted only when events allow - to be taken away and handed back at the discretion of those in power. To the extent they are curtailed or denied, our society, in that measure, limits its chances for free survival and growth.


  1. Ask your student government to call an A.S.U.C. meeting in the Greek Theatre so that you can hear what the faculty non-signers, the Academic Assembly and student leaders have to say about the oath.
  2. Help the fight financially. Send your contributions, no matter how small, to

    Academic Assembly
    Box 292
    Berkeley, California


    The Group for Academic Freedom
    Shattuck Hotel
    Berkeley, California

  3. Pass this information on to others - your parent, friends,- so that they too may be aware of this fast-spreading danger to our traditional American rights.
  4. Come yourself or send a representative from your organization to the next meeting of the U.A.C.A.F., the non-partisan student federation fighting for academic freedom on this campus.

    Time: Next Monday, September 25 at 4:00 p.m.
    Place: 2425 Bancroft Way
    corner of Bancroft Way and Dana Street

About this text
Courtesy of University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info
Title: Having Prof Trouble? September 9, 1950
By:  Group for Academic Freedom, Author
Date: ca. September 9, 1950
Contributing Institution: University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info
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