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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

 

July-August 1949


July 6
Non-Academic Senate academic employees meet and support the Academic Senate position against the Oath.

Professors Lehman and Hildebrand meet with six representatives of the faculty who are opposed to the oath, who agree not to release a letter prepared by several faculty urging their colleagues not to sign the oath until the Academic Senate can meet again in September. 

July 8
A group of Southern California “non signers” meets for the first time. The faculty is not united, with various factions disputing motives and tactics.

July
President Sproul sends formal letters to faculty members presenting the Regents action of June 24 and asking that the oath be signed and returned by October 1. Many faculty members sign. Some support the Regents, others sign as a practical matter so they can go on with their teaching and work, and others sign because they have not heard of further Academic Senate action and assume that the oath represents a negotiated settlement between faculty and administration. 

By the end of the month it is clear that employment contracts for the coming academic year, 1949-50, are being sent only to those who have signed the oath. Many faculty consider this a breach of faith by the administration. Ultimately, after faculty protests, salary checks are issued to non-signers as well.

August 25
Professor Lehman tells President Sproul that opposition to the oath is much more extensive than previously anticipated, and the faculty were antagonized by the withholding of contracts earlier in the summer. Lehman urges Sproul to ask the Regents to delete the oath before the Academic Senate can meet in September; he believes the Senate will oppose the oath, thus making any later action Sproul and the Regents take towards rescinding the oath seem like a reaction under pressure to the faculty opponents, not an independent initiative.

By the end of August only about half the oaths have been signed and returned, confirming the fact that large numbers of the faculty are concerned about the oath.

 

Compiled by Steve Finacom

 

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