ERIC Number: ED363185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Russell Case: Academic Freedom vs. Public Hysteria.
McCarthy, Joseph M.
This paper examines issues of academic freedom and the community's role in a review of public and legal events leading to the court's striking down of the 1940 appointment of Bertrand Russell to teach at the City College of New York. Russell was to teach three philosophy courses relating logic, mathematics, and science to philosophy. Episcopal Bishop William T. Manning publicly challenged the appointment and other church leaders joined him from various denominations. The New York Board of Higher Education refused to withdraw the appointment and consequently Mrs. Jean Kay sought to block it by filing a taxpayer's suit to compel the Board to void the appointment on the grounds that Russell was both alien and immoral. Justice John E. McGeehan then struck down the appointment arguing that Russell was not a citizen, was not fit under civil service rules, and was immoral. McGeehan denied a motion by the Corporation Counsel of the City to dismiss Kay's petition on the ground that the citizenship provisions of the law were not binding on the Board of Higher Education. McGeehan argued that his court had power to act in criminal matters and that Russell was guilty of inciting to criminal homosexual activity. The paper argues that McGeehan's judgment was a legalistic formulation of the views of a sizable body of people that see education as simply a tool of social control. (Contains 21 footnotes.) (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Civil Liberties, College Faculty, Community Attitudes, Community Characteristics, Community Influence, Court Litigation, Educational History, Faculty Evaluation, Governance, Government School Relationship, Higher Education, Legal Problems, School Community Relationship, Urban Universities
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)