Academic Freedom: The Case of Angela the Red

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Backfire. Three professors and two students have gone into court seeking a judgment that the firing is unconstitutional. Increasingly disillusioned with the regents' interference, the associate dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration, Frederic Meyers, has resigned his post rather than risk the humiliation of serving as "mere messenger boy for the delivery of missives." A group of black faculty members have formed the Angela Davis Defense Campaign; they are planning mass campus rallies this week to discuss the situation and are urging professors on all nine campuses of the University of California to withhold fall-quarter grades until the regents restore full credit to Professor Davis' course.

In all likelihood, the dispute will not be settled until it has been argued all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, if the regents' decision represents an effort to control what the Governor regards as a runaway state university, it seems to be backfiring. With the Angela Davis case, the regents may have pleased many California voters, but they have also handed campus activists an explosive new issue that seems destined to haunt the University of California—and the Governor—for some time to come.

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