2015 October 28

Professor, Fired in 1962 for Political Views, Gets Apology 53 Years Later

 

Larry Gara, fired from Grove City College in 1962 for his political views, received an apology from the college 53 years later, it was reported today. Gara, a Quaker and a pacifist, had been hired by Grove City College in 1957. The chairperson of the college’s board of trustees, J. Howard Pew, later decided that Gara’s anti-war views were “disruptive,” and that he was too sympathetic to the Soviet Union. Pew had Gara dismissed.

Pew had been an outspoken conservative critic of President Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s. His fortune, based on the oil industry, now funds the Pew Charitable Trust, one of the most respected and non-partisan foundations in the country.

The Grove City College apology was the result of research by Steven Taafe, a history professor at Stephen F. Austin University and a Grove City College alumnus. Taafe brought the issue to the president of Grove City, who decided the firing had been “inappropriate and unfair,” and decide that an apology was needed.

Read the AAUP report on Gara’s case here.

Read the AAUP Statement on academic freedom and tenure: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/contents/1940statement.htm/

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