UCHDA Home > Archives & Exhibits > Loyalty Oath Controversy > Timelines >

Expanded Timeline: Events of the Loyalty Oath Controversy and Historical Background

 

Introduction

1940-1948

1949
January-February
March-April
May-June
July-August
September-October
November-December

1950
January-February
March-April
May-June
July-August
September-October
November-December

1951-1956

 

March-April 1949


March 21
Provost Dykstra and UC President Robert Gordon Sproul discuss the Laski invitation and the confusion over whether he would speak at one or two UC campuses. Sproul reportedly tells Dykstra "the appearance of Laski on our campus would not be pleasing to the Board of Regents because some have charged Laski with being ultra-left and the Regents have a very firm policy as to Communists and alleged Communists." Dykstra directs his faculty to cancel the lecture. The cancellation is made public by some of the sponsors of Laski’s American lecture tour, drawing the attention of the press and Regents.

March 25
Regents meet. They are more preoccupied with the issue of how to resolve problems like the Laski and Phillips controversies at UCLA, than with the Tenney bills in the Legislature. Both situations have created some confusion as to what the University’s policies and procedures are regarding Communists or "Communist sympathizers" having official forums on campus.

University President Robert Gordon Sproul proposes that an oath be required of UC employees to help clarify the University’s policies on anti-Communism. The Regents adopt the requirement that a reference to the 1940 anti-communist policy be added to the constitutional oath of loyalty that University employees are required to sign. President Sproul says that the oath will be added to the contracts for existing faculty. Much of the discussion takes place in Executive Session, involving only Regents, the President, and the Secretary of the Regents. The Board goes back into open session to vote on the oath, but does not think to invite the public, press, and other UC staff back in to the meeting. Thus, the crucial action to institute the oath is made without any observers present, including press who might have reported it. President Sproul apparently sees the oath as something that will be largely uncontroversial, since the faculty has been signing an oath of allegiance in their contracts since 1942.

 

Compiled by Steve Finacom

 

Feedback
Copyright © 2002-2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 12/15/03.