By J. Dee Kille
The "Red scare" of the Fifties created a countrywide difficulty that challenged strategies of loyalty and freedom of speech in each nook of yankee society. The obstacle used to be specially troublesome in American universities, the place traditions of educational freedom chanced on themselves at odds with political matters stemming from the chilly battle. The college of Nevada in Reno was once no exception. The collage earlier than and through global warfare II was once a small (fewer than 2,000 scholars) college delivering easy courses to a principally Nevada-based scholar physique within the nation’s least-populated kingdom. The campus was once quiet, safe, conventional, and usually conservative. The postwar years introduced booming enrollments and new school contributors, many from open air Nevada, imbued with a feeling of the significance of analysis and of shared educational governance. quickly, the college came upon itself embroiled in an excessive controversy that threatened its educational integrity or even raised matters approximately its destiny as a achievable establishment. The 1952 appointment of Minard W. Stout as president caused the hindrance. Mandated by way of a conservative Board of Regents to "clean up" the collage, Stout dropped at his new task a prepared feel of challenge and a strident dedication to an authoritarian, top-down chain of command. His next battles with school and scholars over their function in collage governance and over the very nature of upper schooling quickly degenerated into indignant accusations of college Communist sympathies and sour confrontations over educational unfastened speech, educational freedom, and loyalty. The hurricane introduced the college nationwide notoriety and made the management of upper schooling an immense factor inside of Nevada, eventually regarding the kingdom legislature and the courts so one can unravel the clash. J. Dee Kille’s energetic and insightful account of the difficulty "on the hill" rests on a variety of archival resources, interviews and oral histories, collage files, and released resources. of important curiosity to readers drawn to Nineteen Fifties Nevada, the booklet additionally serves as a strong case research of the devastating impression of McCarthyism, suspicion, and repression on an American collage in this turbulent period within the nation’s heritage.
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Extra resources for Academic Freedom Imperiled: The McCarthy Era at the University of Nevada (Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History) (Wilber S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History)
The administrators were eventually successful in their united front against the assembly’s Education Committee, and the authority-restricting laws were left to die without being reported back to the ﬂoor of the assembly. ’’ Although there is no known public accusation that any of these scholars were connected with Communism, this highly exploitable issue was not to be left to languish if it could be of beneﬁt. Fred M. Anderson, a local physician, member of the alumni executive committee, friend of the three English professors, and future member of the Board of Regents, visited President Stout’s oﬃce on the morning of April 6, 26 Academic Freedom Imperiled 1953, shortly after the show-cause letters had been issued.
Wood of Washoe County, and F. E. Walters of Dictators and ‘‘Reducators’’ 17 Elko County to an investigating committee to identify the nature of the problems and get the university back on track. ’’ 25 That the assembly would interfere in the domain of the regents struck many as a political maneuver intended to increase legislative control over the administration of the university. An editorial in the March 12, 1953, issue of the Reno Evening Gazette pointed out the ludicrous nature of the investigation.
Who Is the Boss, Anyway? ’’ 2 Fuel, it seems, turned out to be the liquid of choice of the Board of Regents. Shortly after the board disregarded overwhelming testimony on the biologist’s behalf and voted for dismissal, Richardson’s attorneys, Bruce Thompson, Ralph Wittenberg, Bert Goldwater, and Leslie Gray, petitioned the Nevada Supreme Court to examine the evidence to determine if it was suﬃcient to warrant that decision. On June 19, the high court issued a writ of certiorari in response to the request by Richardson’s lawyers.