Document 39: Cold War on the Campus

Jane Sanders, Cold War on the Campus: Academic Freedom at the University of Washington
(Seattle : University of Washington Press,1979), 96-97.

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The impact of the [Canwell hearings and UW tenure] hearings was felt by each [of the six professors] in the years to come. Before Canwell, Eby had been a member of the Faculty Senate, active on its committees. Afterwards such activities ceased; he was avoided by most of his old friends on and off campus. He felt the need to be evasive with persons who asked his opinion about political or social issues. Both he and Ethel mentioned that they were never sure they did their students a favor by writing recommendations for them, especially if they were seeking jobs locally or with the government.

Since Eby was already a full professor, he was not sure if probation affected his salary, but Ethel told of being kept at the lowest scale for assistant professors until he became an associate professor through the intercession of friends on the College Council. Ethel remain[ed] convinced of the validity of his Marxist views and [was] bitter about [UW President Raymond] Allen's claims to protection of the intellectual integrity of the faculty: "If I was going to make a living here in the U.S., I had to shut up—that was the price of the job. I didn't think I could accomplish any wonders by making a couple of speeches when I couldn't even pay for my next meal." Campus friends of thirty years seemed afraid to be seen speaking to him, he said, and new members of the faculty soon learned to avoid him.

Melville Jacobs remained especially bitter about the fact that Allen singled him out for lying. . . . Always an active scholar, Jacobs told how he could not concentrate enough to write during his probationary years, and his anger intensified because he received no raises or promotions. Finally, he forced himself to eat daily at the faculty club and eventually found a good deal of reward in the form of faculty support. Throughout the remainder of his teaching years he would not sign anything even remotely political.

None of the three dismissed faculty ever got jobs in higher education again. Butterworth wrote to two thousand members of the Modern Language Association, but though there was a demand for Old English specialists in the 1950s, he never got an offer. Without severance pay from the University, he subsisted on odd jobs and eventually went on public assistance. Phillips spent the year after his dismissal traveling to colleges and universities around the country trying to rally support for the cause of Communist Party faculty members. [As] he later bitterly said, "That was no way to get a job." After a period of years as a building laborer, and several legal battles in the 1950s [he spent over a year in jail for refusing to name other members of the Communist Party during the trial of the "Seattle Seven"], Phillips retired in San Francisco, where he remembered his twenty-nine years as an admired teacher of philosophy as "a nice job."

For his "uncooperative" stance toward the Canwell Committee in 1948, Ralph Gundlach was convicted of contempt of legislative committee, fined $250, and sentenced to thirty days in jail, which he served in June, 1949. After selling their Seattle home "at cut price," he and his wife Bonnie Bird settled in New York, where she taught dance. Gundlach was accepted as a trainee by the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health . . . and did individual, group, and family therapy. He published extensively in psychological journals.

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest