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November 3, 1932, Pages 1, 3

Students Hear 'City' Dismissed Instructor

          The corner of Lawrence and Willoughby Streets served as a forum for the meeting of the Oakley Johnson Defense Committee on Monday afternoon. At least a thousand students, both of C.C.N.Y. and of Brooklyn College, stayed to hear the facts.

          Dr. Johnson, former member of the English staff of C.C.N.Y. Evening College, had acted as Faculty Adviser of the school's Liberal Club despite remonstrances on the part of the administration. At the end of the spring semester he was informed that there might not be room for his reappointment the following year. The final notice of dismissal, however, was not written until three days before the reopening of sessions in September, according to Dr. Johnson. When the instructor asked for definite reasons, he was told that two instructors had returned from a two-year leave, and room had to be made for their reappointment–this despite the fact that it is customary for only those of professorial rank to receive sabbatical leave, and then only for the maximum of one year. Upon further inquiry Dr. Johnson learned that enrollment had markedly increased. In addition, another English instructor had been appointed to another branch of the college.

          Dr. Johnson further declared that if he were reinstated, he would not give up the Liberal Club.

          The demands of the Defence Committee, read to the students by Emanuel Geltman, were as follows:

1. The reinstatement of the Liberal. Club,
2. The reinstatement of the suspended students.
3. The reinstatement of Dr. Oakley Johnson.
4. The resignation of President Robinson.

          At the close of the meeting Mr. Geltman allowed several members of the Brooklyn College Pioneer and of the Student Council of Men's Division to speak. Alex Boskoff, Editor-in-chief of the Pioneer rebuked the students for using outdoor mass meetings and other such "illegitimate means" of obtaining their ends. "It is useless," Mr. Boskoff stated, "to stand here dropping pearls of wisdom to pigs." Irving J. Levine, President of the Student Council, and Ben Alpert supported Mr. Boskoff's arguments.



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May 20, 2004