Rutgers University. President's Office (Lewis Webster Jones)

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Rutgers University President Lewis Webster Jones established procedures to review the cases of three University professors who invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusal to testify before the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities (also known as HUAC) and the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security (also known as the McCarran Committee) during the McCarthy Era of the early 1950s in regard to questions about their alleged Communist Party membership and affiliations. These professors were Simon W. Heimlich, Associate Professor of Physics and Mathematics, College of Pharmacy in Newark.

Moses I. Finley, Assistant Professor of History, Newark College of Arts and Sciences, and Abraham Glasser, Associate Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law in Newark. These cases emanated from the search of Congressional Subcommittees for subversives in academia. Many of the academics called for questioning at the time had been graduate students or beginning their professional careers in the 1930s, when there was a lot of sentiment on college campuses, though this was by no means the feeling of the majority, towards groups promoting socialism or communism. Though some individuals called for questioning had been deeply committed to these organizations, the majority had only a minor or passing role or interest and later disassociated themselves from them; however, they were held accountable for their earlier political views. In the conservative political climate of the early 1950s, colleges and universitites were under a gread deal of pressure to prevent Communist infiltration of academia, whether real or supposed. Rutgers' review of the Heimlich, Finley, and Glasser cases was carried out through a number of Committees of Review, and ultimately through decisions of the Board of Trustees, the governing body of the University.

The Board clearly expressed its view in a December 12, 1952 resolution requiring dismissal of any faculty or staff member who invoked the Fifth Amendment before an investigatory body in refusal to answer questions relating to Communist Party affiliation. The Professors argued that that refusal to testify was a Constitutional right, that their fitness as teachers had not been impaired in any way, and that the University was denying them legal due process. However, Jones considered the nature of the Communist Party to be antithetical to academic freedom and viewed the moral implications of the cases most seriously, as they reflected badly on the professors' obligations as representatives of the University. The professors' private lives and beliefs were not considered separate from their public role as educators and role models to students. Jones elaborated on these views in his January 1953 statement Academic Freedom and Civic Responsibility, which was issued in pamphlet form and widely requested by administrators of colleges and universities nationwide, who were struggling to create similar statements of their own.

From the description of Academic freedom cases records, 1942-1958 (bulk 1952-1953). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122478076

Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Association of University Professors. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of American Law Schools. corporateBody
associatedWith Brandis, Henry R., Jr. person
associatedWith Canning, William Martin. person
associatedWith Chaffee, Zechariah, Jr. person
associatedWith Driscoll, Alfred E., 1902- person
associatedWith Finley, M. I. 1912-1986. person
associatedWith Glasser, Abraham. person
associatedWith Gross, Mason Welch, 1911-1977. person
associatedWith Heimlich, Simon W. person
associatedWith Himstead, Ralph E. person
associatedWith Hoch, Myron L. person
associatedWith Jones, Lewis Webster. person
associatedWith Rich, Bennett Milton, 1909- person
associatedWith Rutgers University corporateBody
associatedWith Rutgers University. Board of Trustees. corporateBody
associatedWith Sutherland, Arthur E. person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. Judiciary Committee. Subcommittee on Internal Security. corporateBody
associatedWith Voorhees, Tracy S. 1890-1974. person
associatedWith Wittfogel, Karl August, 1896-1988. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey
United States
Subject
Anti--Communism movements
Subsersive activities
Subversive activities
Communism
Academic freedom
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1942

Active 1958

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SNAC ID: 60197973