1932 October 2

“Professional Patriot” Calls Colleges a “Hotbed of Radicalism”


Ralph M. Easley, of the National Civic Federation and a leading right-wing critic of left-wing groups in the U.S., on this day urged the Secretary of Labor to investigate radical activities on American colleges and universities. Easley expressed particular alarm over the International House, a social center for international students, which he called a “hotbed of radicalism.”

Easley further charged that “many of the most revolutionary and dangerous characters in South America and the Far East” have been educated in the U.S. The problem, he continued, is that so many professors are “atheists, pacifists, Socialists, or Communists.” He called for such faculty to be “ousted from their posts of high trust.”

Attacks on colleges and universities for alleged “radicalism” continued through the 20th century. One of the most famous controversies involved the loyalty oath for all faculty at the University of California in the 1950s.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Universities (representing university administrators) signed an agreement on standards for academic freedom and tenure in 1940.

Learn more about academic freedom and tenure at AAUP web site.

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