By J. Dee Kille
The "Red scare" of the Fifties created a countrywide problem that challenged options of loyalty and freedom of speech in each nook of yank society. The drawback used to be specifically problematical in American universities, the place traditions of educational freedom came across themselves at odds with political concerns stemming from the chilly warfare. The college of Nevada in Reno was once no exception. The collage prior to and through global warfare II was once a small (fewer than 2,000 scholars) university delivering uncomplicated courses to a principally Nevada-based pupil physique within the nation’s least-populated nation. The campus was once quiet, safe, conventional, and customarily conservative. The postwar years introduced booming enrollments and new college contributors, many from outdoors Nevada, imbued with a feeling of the significance of analysis and of shared educational governance. quickly, the college came upon itself embroiled in an severe controversy that threatened its educational integrity or even raised matters approximately its destiny as a plausible establishment. The 1952 appointment of Minard W. Stout as president brought on the hindrance. Mandated through a conservative Board of Regents to "clean up" the college, Stout delivered to his new task a willing experience of venture and a strident dedication to an authoritarian, top-down chain of command. His next battles with college and scholars over their function in college governance and over the very nature of upper schooling quickly degenerated into offended accusations of college Communist sympathies and sour confrontations over educational loose speech, educational freedom, and loyalty. The hurricane introduced the college nationwide notoriety and made the management of upper schooling an important factor inside Nevada, eventually related to the country legislature and the courts with the intention to get to the bottom of the clash. J. Dee Kille’s vigorous and insightful account of the problem "on the hill" rests on quite a lot of archival resources, interviews and oral histories, college files, and released assets. of significant curiosity to readers drawn to Nineteen Fifties Nevada, the publication additionally serves as a robust case research of the devastating effect of McCarthyism, suspicion, and repression on an American college in this turbulent period within the nation’s heritage.
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Extra info 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)
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. The vagueness of the charge that ‘‘all is not well at the university,’’ the anonymous nature of those making the complaints, the short remainder of the legislative session, and the ‘‘hit-and-run’’ character of the investigation all militated against a successful study.
The existence of Little’s grant and its attendant clearance procedures had been common knowledge since mid-April, so for Heward to pose such a ludicrous question was proof to his audience that he had merely been attempting to smear both the aaup and Richardson who was the president of the local chapter. The lack of success of Heward’s probe into Communism was evidently exasperating for the Board of Regents, too. According to Gorrell, as Little was testifying, he kept responding to each of Heward’s questions by referring to documents that he kept in his pockets.
34 Statements by Stout in 1972 that the board gave him autonomy to run things his own way are in opposition to those of faculty who believed he was doing the board’s bidding. Consequently, the differing perspectives make the issue of who was the ultimate autocrat, Stout or Ross, unclear. The results, however, show that whatever criterion was chosen to explain the working relationship between the Board of Regents and President Stout, in the ﬁnal analysis, the alliance probably rested on a meeting of like minds.