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Grand Jury Indicts Suspended Professor

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Regents Weigh His Status:

Grand Jury Indicts Suspended Professor

GRAND RAPIDS -(AP)- A suspended University of Michigan mathematics instructor today faces 26 counts of contempt of Congress in a federal indictment resulting from recent congressional probing of communism in Michigan.

Horace C. Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury at Grand Rapids yesterday. It was the first such indictment to stem from Michigan hearings of the House un-American activities subcommittee this spring.

(The University Board of Regents was meeting on campus this afternoon to reach a decision to dismiss or lift the suspension of Dr. Davis and two other faculty men, Profs. Mark Nickerson and Clement L. Markert.

(The three were suspended last May after refusing to answer questions by the Clardy subcommittee on Communist activities.)

The 28-year-old Davis had refused to answer questions put to him by congressional committee members in Lansing last May 10. He refused to say whether he had ever recruited members for the Communist Party. He refused, too, to say whether he had ever known Gerhardt Eisler, one-time top U. S. Red who fled to Communist Germany in May, 1949.

Nor would he identify his own signature or photograph.

Instead Davis a former Army ensign, stood on his constitutional
rights. Invoking the first amendment, he said:

"I do not discuss politics with a sword over my head; the first amendment is intended to keep coercion out of politics.”

Davis joined the Michigan faculty in 1950. He was suspended shortly after the House hearings. Harlan H. Hatcher, University president, recommended dismissal Aug. 3.

The subcommittee, which also held hearings in Detroit and Flint, was headed by Michigan Republican Rep. Kit Clardy.