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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

 

November-December 1950


November 10
The non-signers file their amended legal brief against the Regents in the lawsuit which is now designated by the courts as Tolman v. Underhill. They argue that the State Constitution forbids any special oath beyond the oath of allegiance to the State for any “public officer” including faculty, that the University is required by the Constitution to be free of any “political or sectarian influence," that this is essential to academic freedom, that the Regents should not have been allowed to reconsider their vote not to fire the non-signers, and that the vote was a violation of the principle of tenure. 

November 17
The Board debates the Levering Oath. Regent Neylan is strongly against requiring UC employees to sign it because it would weaken the University’s autonomy. 

November 24
A special meeting of the Board to continue discussing the Levering Oath draws only ten Regents, and business is postponed. 

December 14
The Regents file their legal brief in Tolman v. Underhill, arguing that the non-signing faculty members are not public officers within the meaning of the State Constitution and that faculty have no legal sovereignty in the governance of the University; instead, the Constitution grants the Regents “full powers of organization or government.”

December 15
The Regents vote to require the Levering Oath, with Neylan opposing. 

December 22
The Court of Appeals hears verbal arguments in Tolman v. Underhill, questioning the Regents’ attorneys about the right of tenure and other matters.

 

Compiled by Steve Finacom

 

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