1940 October 11
University of California Regents establish an anticommunist policy and dismiss, on recommendation of the Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure, UC Berkeley mathematics teaching assistant Kenneth May for Communist Party membership. Audio clip of Malcolm Davisson, UC Berkeley professor of economics, commenting on why the faculty accepted the 1940 policy more readily than they did the 1949 oath.
President Robert Gordon Sproul issues a revision to Regulation No. 5 (established in 1934), seeking to clarify University policy on freedom of expression.
American Civil Liberties Union states its position that, as the Communist Party is legal, solely affiliating with it should not be cause for dismissal.
Senator Jack B. Tenney introduces thirteen anticommunist bills to the California State Legislature. UC administrators become concerned that widespread anticommunist sentiment would threaten the University’s autonomy. Audio clip of James H. Corley, UC Vice-President.
UCLA invites Harold Laski, left-wing British Labour Party activist, to speak. Provost Clarence Dykstra grants permission, but when he learns Laski will not visit Berkeley as well, he consults UC President Sproul. Ultimately, the invitation is canceled with the support of the Regents.
University of Washington Regents dismiss tenured professors Herbert J. Phillips and Joseph Butterworth, for Communist Party membership.
UCLA Graduate Student Assembly receives permission to host a debate featuring Phillips.
Regents meet in executive session to discuss Phillips’s UCLA appearance.
California legislature commends the Regents of the University of Washington for dismissing Phillips and Butterworth.
Regents amend the state-mandated oath of allegiance (adopted 1942 June 12) with an anticommunist clause. Audio clip of Donald H. McLaughlin, UC Regent. Audio clip of Clark Kerr, UC Berkeley professor of industrial relations.
Faculty Bulletin announces the revised oath to be required in the 1949-50 appointment letters; Academic Senate Northern Section (AS/NS) convenes a special meeting to discuss it. Audio clip of James H. Corley. Audio clip of Malcolm Davisson. Audio clip of J.A.C. Grant, UCLA professor of political science.