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February 23, 1934, Page 1


Mark Eisner Cautions Students and Teachers
 Against "Unseemly Demonstrations and Acts"

         The Hon. Mark Eisner, chairman of the Board of Higher Education, warned against participation in "unseemly demonstrations" by teachers and students of the three city colleges, in an address delivered at a meeting on academic freedom held last week at Stuyvesant High School, under the auspices of the American Civil Liberties Union.

          The Board chairman reminded his audience that there is a growing feeling against free higher education among a large proportion of responsible citizens. He stated that the citizens believe that the city colleges should not be maintained at pubic expense. He advised that "action which would bring them into disrepute must be avoided."

          In discussing the attitude of the Higher Education Board, its chairman said: "We are indifferent to a teacher's political beliefs–he may be a communist–so long as he does not discuss them in the classroom, except n cases where they are germain to the subject under consideration by the class, and so long as his expression of them outside of the college does not bring his institution into disrepute."

          The Board's attitude on academic freedom as it affects students was stated by Mr. Eisner, as follows:

          "Obviously, there can be no objection to discussion by students on the various questions of the day, but the moment they cease to be merely discussion groups and become action groups, we must draw the line. We are not unsympathetic towards students, but we are not free of an obligation to listen to public opinion in this city. Those of us who have benefited most from these institutions want to we them continue. While I dislike to compromise with a principle, the existence of these colleges is so greatly to be desired that I would be willing to compromise some principles to maintain them."

          He scored demonstrations as a means of student action on general principle because they appeal only to the emotions.


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