Hatcher Asks Faculty Man Be Dismissed
Conduct Of Dr. Davis
Grounds For Firing
Dismissal of H. Chandler Davis, one of three University faculty members suspended following an I appearance before a House un-American activities subcommittee, has been recommended by U-M President Harlan H. Hatcher.
Dr. Davis is an instructor in the; mathematics department. He has been under suspension since May and last week was cited for contempt of Congress as a result of his refusal to answer questions put by the Clardy subcommittee.
Dr. Hatcher’s recommendation came to light as Davis made public a letter he had received from the U-M President, notifying Davis of the decision and pointing out that he had the right to appeal to the U-M Senate Advisory Committee.
Plans To Appeal
Davis indicated he would appeal to the committee, which is headed by Prof. Angus Campbell, director of the Survey Research Center. Final action, regardless of the outcome of the appeal, is up to the Board of Regents.
In his letter to Davis, President Hatcher noted that the mathematics teacher had refused to answer questions concerning alleged Communist ties put by the Clardy group and had persisted in this refusal in talks with Hatcher and a special faculty committee.
“This conduct is inexcusable in a member of our profession who seeks at the same time the protection of and continued membership in the University whose policies he disdains and whose responsibilities he ignores,” Hatcher wrote Davis.
"Your conduct to date is clearly mimical to the mission and trust reposed in this University and indicates your unfitness to continue in the position you hold.
“In view of the evidence available to me, and of the unanimous recommendation of the special committee to advise the president, I regret to state that it will be my duty to recommend to the Regents your immediate dismissal from the staff of the University.”
Dr. Davis has sent an answering letter to Hatcher in which he said: "I believe you have made a seriously wrong decision. For the University’s good as well as my own, I hope to see it reversed. I shall therefore request a hearing before the (U-M) Senate subcommittee on intellectual freedom and integrity.”
He went on to argue that answering questions put by University officials would be, in effect, the same as answering the Clardy subcommittee's question, which he declined to do under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
He added that he feared his answers might not be kept confidential.
Two other faculty members have been under suspension since the Clardy hearings. They are Profs. Mark Nickerson and Clement L. Markert. It is expected the Regents may act on their cases later this week. Dr. Hatcher's recommendations as to them have not been made public.
House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)
University of Michigan - Faculty & Staff
University of Michigan - Board of Regents
Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA)
Survey Research Center
Ann Arbor News
Horace Chandler Davis
Harlan H. Hatcher
Kit F. Clardy