John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 2 Folder 20

Material Information

John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 2 Folder 20
Added title page title:
Correspondence Part 12
Egerton, John
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box 2 Folder 20


Subjects / Keywords:
Academic freedom -- Florida -- Tampa ( lcsh )
History -- Tampa (Fla.) -- 20th century ( lcsh )


General Note:
This collection consists of materials relating to the 1962-1964 Johns Committee investigation of the University of South Florida. The collection includes correspondence, press statements, statements to the Florida legislature, editorials, various newsletters and newspaper clippings, as well as the typescript of "The Controversy," John Egerton’s unpublished 300-page study of the Johns Committee.

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Source Institution:
University Of South Florida
Holding Location:
University Of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028802325 ( ALEPH )
50648262 ( OCLC )
E02-00028 ( USFLDC DOI )
e2.28 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

John W. Egerton Papers

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VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY Office of the Chance II or Nashville 5, Tenn. Mrs. /11\ary Low Weaver 2015 Buckminster Circle Orlando, Florida Dear Mrs. Weaver: June 11, 1962 I read with interest the copy of News & Views which you sent me, and was very much interested in it. I do not think Dr. Fleming is, or has been, a Communist, but I think he is an individual who has gone sour over the years, and has lost his perspective and his balance of judgment. Vanderbilt University, of course, does not subscribe to the views of all of its 750 professors; neither do we defend them against criticisms which they bring on themselves. Pro fessor Fleming was retired a year ago in spite of his request for continuation. You will be interested to know that he is transferring this next fall to Tampa, Florida, where he will teach in some institution there. c 0 p y Yours sincerely, Harvie Branscomb


L. 5 1tf62 GALLATIN ALUMINUM PRODUCTS COMPANY, Inc. Dean Russell M. Cooper College of Liberal Arts University of South Florida Tampa. Florida Dear Dean Cooper: Manufacturers of A luminum Stor m Windows and Doors P .O. So 469, Gallatin Tennesse e Telephone 4524550, N a s hville Phone UL 9-1110 June 30, 1962 Last night in Nashville I learned of a letter that has come into your hands! written to a citizen of Florida by Chancellor Branscomb of Vanderb lt University concerning my friend Professor D. F. Fleming. I was astounded to hear that Mr. Branscomb characterized Professor Fleming as "sour, "bitter" and "old" and as having "unbalanced judgement. This is the most preposterous allegation that I have ever heard. I must be candid and tell you that this characterization fits the Chancellor --not Professor Fleming. The life of Professor Fleming is an unimpeachable record of scholarship, integrity and honor. He is a gentleman, a patriot, and a responsible son of his God. I have known Professor Fleming since 1939. His mind is open and and uncluttered by personal frustrations. His career at Vanderbllt has been eminently successful. He has contributed an important shelf of books to the study of international relations, adding last fall his massive two volume study of the Cold War. More importantly his students love and respect him. Were the contents of Mr. Branscomb's sick letter known to Professor Fleming's students, your mail would bring this letter many times over. No responsible person atVanderbilt will concur in Mr. Branscomb's I am confident that you have already discovered this. lOf course, we do have one or two left-over "Agrarians who are against everyone including themselves.) Perhaps we must indulge Mr. Branscomb for excesses at this time as the Board of Trust has recently placed him in retirement even as a 30 Million Dollar Fund drive for the university was successfully GANO PIIODUCTS Two Tra ck Tdt Act oon Storm Wondows Three Track T i lt Weatherstropped S t orm Wondows Arch1tectural Storm Wndows and Doors Stare Front Doors e Alumon u m Thre s holds e Stationary S osh e C ombonaroon Stor m Doc > e Jalou>oe W o n dows and D oor>


GALLATIN ALUMINUM P RODUC TS COMPANY, Inc -2-Manufacturers of Aluminum Storm Windo"ws and Doors P.O. Box 4 69, Gallat n Tennessee, Telephone 4524550 Nashvd le Phone UL 9 1110 June 30, 1962 concluded. I feel very sorry for the Chancellor but resent deeply his venting his frustrations in this cowardly and malevo lent way. My wife, my father, my sister and I hold degrees from Vanderb ilt. I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa with Mr. and and completed my Masters Thesis under the latter. I am very embarrassed for Vanderbilt that this letter has to be written. I am certain that your students will have a challenging year with Professor If I can help you in any way, p lease do not hesitate to call upon me. Sincerely yours, Walter T. Durham Secretary-Treasurer WTD/vb OANO PIIODUCI'S Two T rack T ilt A c tion Storm Wmdows Three Track Tilt Weatherst"pped Storm Windows Arch11ecturol Storm W ondows ond Doo" Sto r e Front D oors e A l umonum Thresholds Stationary Sash Com b n

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY NASHVILLE 5 TBNNBSSBB of Politi'"/ s,ience Dean Russell M. Cooper College of Liberal Arts University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dear Dean Cooper: June 28, 1 96 2 It was distressing to learn from my young friend Sam Smith the other day that you are having some trouble in connection with the visiting appointment of Professor D. F. Fleming to the staff of the University of South Florida. Without Sam Smith's solicitation, I am writing to you concerning Dr. Fleming because I have known him for thirty-four years, first as an undergraduate student in his courses in I n ternational Relations and Comparative Government here, later on as a colleague in the profession, and for the past eight years as a colleague in the department here. I feel, therefore, that I can attest directly to Dr. Fleming's merits as a scholar, his great worth as a classroom instructor, and his loyalty as an American citizen. Although I have never shared all of Dr. Flaming's conclusions, I have always respected his diligence in seeking out the facts and his very great talent for getting students to think about important problems. There has always been, too, in his teaching a strong moral tone which is so lacking in many college classrooms today. His merits have been recognized in a number of ways. He has been elected by his colleagues in this region to the Council of the American Association of University Professors, to the Presidency of the Southern Political Science Association, and by his nationwide colleagues to the office of Vice-president of the American Political Science Association. In addition to that, he has had leave to be a Fellow at the Institute for vanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He once served as an adviser to Bernard Baruch with respect to international control of atomic energy and he was a close friend and


-2 -Dean Russell M. Cooper June 28, 1962 J adviser of the lte Norman Davis whose diplomatic activities are well known. i I can bear direot witness too to the fact that in his last years of teaching Dr. Fleming continued to be as stimulating as I found-him in 1928, 1929, and 1930. Accordingly, I think it would be a great pity if your university were to lose his servicea because of misguided radicals of the revolutionary right or because of any unfortunate letter written, I am sure, in a temporary moment of tmpatience. In this connection, I will emphasize that the department here, the Dean of the Graduate School, and Chancellor all concurred in renewing Professor Fleming's term for three years after he had reached his 65th birthday. I will emphasize, too, that it is the normal procedure here for a person to retire at 68, unless extraordinary circumstances result in the renewal of his contract on a yearto-year basis for a maximum of two years. Very few extensions are ever made. Because I know that you and others in the Admin:!.stration have been standing steadfast against the clamors of the revolutionaries of the radical right, I am sure that you will understand that I am making no threat when I say as a member of the Council of the American Association of University Professors that this organization is extremely sensitive to the encroachments that the John Birch Society and others have made upon academic freedom and upon the unfortunate tendency some instances of univeraity administration to yield to their demanda. I am confident this organization would be most shocked to learn that a contract with a man of Dr. Fleming's qualifications ahould be c -ancelled because of local pressure and hysteria. I hope very much that you and Dr. Fleming can work this difficult matter out in a way that will be satisfactory to all concerned and that will reflect honor upon your university which already shows signs of great promise. RJH:cs Sincerely yours, .J/,t! k v Robert J. Chairman


i, .:1 t L T L I \ b 1 S 1 T) S H \" I L L P. .,.. F. :.: :-; J.; S S I! B of Rm11rrh in tht Soci11l Scienw July 5 1 9 6 2 Dr. Russel M. Cooper, D e a n University of Flo rida Tampa, Florida D ear Dean Coope r: o f tht' iho. .. c '.,: cee;! !1lade against Dr. D f Fl emmg. I m liberty oi \Vrltlr. g you on fleming's b ehalf. It i s almost a task of supe:erog ... m fo: n : e ?-xpress a personal opinion about Dr. Fleming's p10fes s io:1al cc mp etence a nd p e r s onal .integrity. A long and d i s t.lngui s h e d ca;eer in American s cholarship s peaks far more eloquentl y about these matters t h a n can l. His professional peers ha.'e t im e and again e xpresse d their estee m and r e spec t f o r him by electing h i m to h i gh professional offices by extending to h i m opportunities for a m o r<:'! effective utilization o f his r e s earch talents b y placing on him professi onal r esponsibilities that have d emanded the exe 1 cise of judgment a n d called fo r the highest personal integrity. At one time or another he has been v ice-presi.dent of the P olitical Science Association, president of the Southe rn P olitical Science Association member of the Board of Directors of the Woodrow vVilson Foundatio n lectur e r a t Cambridge Ur:iv ersity and at the Indian School of International Studies New Delhi, mem ber o f the Executive Council of the American Associat;on of Unh' rsity a n d ,...,f hn T:;s1 t u t e N,....,. T ,-.,,... ::" ;, -. by all scholars but achieved by few. In h i s r e search activities e x ending over many y e a r s h e h a s manifested a painstaking diligence a nd a courageous candor w hich ha'/8 commande d the o f his fellow social scientists who. while r:ot always agreeing w ith him, have with few exceptions c ommend e d him for his fearless and untiring search for the truth. His as a teacher has equaled his achievements as a scholar. H e has bro;Jght to the class room a depth o f d edicatior; and a breadth of knowledge that have com manded the respec t of his students and challenged the complacency that all too frequently has characterized c ollege classrooms


.. 2 In relinquishing his services at Vanderbilt University at the age of sixty-eight, beyond which age no faculty member is retained except "under extraordinary and emergency circumstances," the vice-chancellor expressed the hope that other institutions of higher learning would avail themselves of Dr. Fleming's "distinguished services in scholarship and in teaching." It would be extremely unfortunate if under the circumstances of the present controversy the University of Florida should prevent the realization of this hope. GWS:rb


\ VANDBR.BILT UNIVBI.SITY "Himry Dean Russell M. Cooper College of Liberal Arts University of South Florida Tpa, Florida Dear Dean Cooper: J, 1962 I haw known Professor D. r. for twent,--1'1..,.. 7eara, t1rat, as JYt1 teacher 1n graduate school and 1D JIIOI'e reo t as a colleague on the V&ndltrbilt fculy. Professor-FlAining baa alwqs been a vigorou te...,_. In tbe lut tev ;years I haw known about his 02aaswark thro\lgh studaltt adviseu who haft taken hU clusea. Almost withov.t ....,tiOil t.IMae atwlenta &'teet to the tact that Proteasor nemfD has maintun.d hia vigorous teaching. I baw no beeitaticm in rec01'11118nding to TOU ae a n.. teacher. HW:lca Herbert W.awr Cb&:lrun ..... .!


Mr. Baya M. Harrison, Jr., Chairman Board of Control 1030 First Federal Building St. Petersburg, Florida Dear Mr. Harrison: THIS IS A COPY July 27, 1962 Re: Dr. D. F. Fleming Vanderbilt University On June 6, 1962, while taking the testimony of Dr. John s. Allen, of the University of South Florida, I gave him, on behalf of the Committee, certain information we had allegedly showing a record of Communist-front affiliation of the above named indi vidual, along with certain book reviews of Dr. Fleming's book, "The Cold War and Its Origins, and other information in our possession in regard to his attitude toward the Soviet Union and his method of teaching. The information concerning the alleged Communist-front affiliation of Dr. Fleming, appears in Dr. Allen's testimony beginning on Page 171. I gave this information to Dr. Allen after he had informed us that the House Unamerican Activities Committee had given him a clean bill of health on Dr. Fleming in this regard. The information I gave him included the original source which supposedly supported the alleged affiliations. On double checking, I confirmed this morning, that the Committee's source of infor mation was in error in attributing these affiliations to Dr. Fleming of Vanderbilt University. It appears there is a Dr. D. J. Fleming, also in education, to whom these affiliations are rightfully attributed. The clear result is that the Com mittee has no information that Dr. Fleming of Vanderbilt University, the author of 11The Cold War and Its Origins, n has any public record of Communist-front affilia tions. I am writiag you in this regard, so that the Board will know the true facts and will not expend any ttme seeking to check further on this information. For the sam' reason, I am sending a copy of this letter to President Allen and Dean Russell M. Cooper, in Whose college it was proposed that Dr. Fleming teach. As you know, this testtmony was taken in Executive Session by the Committee and the record is not public property and cannot become public property without action by the Committee. For your information, I am recommending to the Committee that they take the necessary action to see to it that this portion of this record may never be released publicly. I think, in all fairness, that Dr. Fleming is entitled to this pretection. Accordingly, I would appreciate your advising your fellow members and your staff of the Board, as well as Dr. Allen and Dean Cooper, in this regard. With best regards, I am MRH:eg CC: Dr. John S. Allen, President University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dean Russell M. Cooper University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Very truly yours, Mark R. Hawes Chief Counsel


VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY NASHVILLE) TI!NNBSSBB Department of Political Science Dean Russell M. Cooper College of Liberal Arts University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dear Dr. Cooper: June 29, 1962 Enclosed are copies of two letters which I will have verifaxed if you should desire it. The one from Dr. Branscomb on May 28, 1960 notifies me of a salary increase of $500.00 for my last year presumptive before retirement. The letter dated January 6, 1961 from Vice Chancellor Purdy contains not the slightest suggestion of incompetence or unbalanced judgment. Quite the contrary, and willingness to help me teach elsewhere is expressed. M y relations with Dr. Branscomb have never been close, but I was not aware that he felt strongly enough to intentionally undercut me. Would you please write to several other people at Vanderbilt concerning the charges that have been raised against me, both on the score of my competence as a teacher and of my unbalanced judgment. I feel that this is owed to you, to me, and to Sam Smith, whose reputation for veracity has been challenged by Branscomb. I feel that it would be much the best for you to request the letters, but if for any reason you should not wish to do so, please let me know and I will make the requests. Perhaps you have already done this. Please let me know so that I will know hO\'V to proceed. The moat important ones are: Dean Leonard B. Beach The Graduate School Professor Avery Leiserson Chairman, Political Science Department Professor Herbert Weaver Chairman, The History Department Dr. George w. Stocking, Director The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences Dr. Harold W Bradley Department of History (Long time Department Chairman) More -


2 About Dr. Harris's letter. Since he had to leave for the north, he wrote you a letter before he left and he was intending to put in it a reference to how the A.A.U.P. would view my dismissal. At that time he was going on the theory that Dr. Branscomb had really intended to do what he did, and tpat the A.A.U.P. angle would strengthen your hand. This was his sole purpose, so please do not be concerned about anything in that connection that he may have said. It is not easy to say how deeply I ap preciate your courage and devotion in my behalf, and in behalf of the principles at stake. 4721 Sewanee Road Nashville 4, Tennessee Sincerely yours, ... D. F. Fleming


Nashville 5 Office of Dr. D. F. Fleming 4727 Sewanee Road Nashville, Tenn. Dear Dr. Fleming: sity a see 1961. It is my sad duty to reply to your formal request to be continued as Research Professor of International Relations to age 70. This request has been received and given careful consideration by the officers of the University. The statutory rules of the Board or Trust provide for (1) explicit consideration of retirement at ages 65 and 68, (2) compulsory termination of active service at age 70, and (3) conditional continuation beyond age 65, contingent upon the concurrence of each level of university admiDistration. Under these rules i t was left open, and thereby became necessary, to establish administratively an equitable policy applying to the period between ages 65 and 70, lest the practice of extension to age 70 become automatic. Such was not, and never has been, the intent of the Board and itR administrative officers. The general administrative policy under t h e rule is that retirement shall take place at age 68 unless extraordinary or emergency circumstances exist which, in the concurrent judgment and recommenda tion or the department and the appropriate officers or university administration, make extension necessary for one or at the most two years. It is in no sense a reflection upon or detraction from your 1 long career of distinctive teaching, scholarship and public service at Vanderbilt that in your case such extraordinary or emergency conditions have not been found to exist. It becomes my duty therefore to notify you that as of Juz1e 30, 1961 your retirement from active service will become effective, from which date your status will be that of Professor Emeritus of International Relations. ( It is our hope, and expectation, that you will be able to offer your distinguished services in schola r ship and in teaching at other institutions of higher learning. To this end, please feel free to call upon us if we can be of help. With best wishes, RRP/vg very cordially, Signed: R. R. Purdy Vice-Chancellor


(Cory) VANDERBILT INTEROF'FICE TO Dr. D. F. Fleming FHOM: OFFICE OF THE CHP.NC.b:LLOR CORRESPONDENCE DATE May 28, 1960 ANSWERING YOURS This is to inform you that salary for the academic year 1960-61 will be $8,000. Thank y o u for all your servlcea to the University. Signed: H&rvie Branscomb HB/rd


THE COLD AND ITS ORIGINS, 1917-1960 By D. F. Fleming Excerpts from a review by Professor Norman A. Graebner, Chairman of the Department of History, University of Illinois, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June, 1962. "This concept of the cold war D. F. Fleming attacks with an astonishing array of evidence and testimony, supported by quotations from a myriad of scholars and journalists who have studied Soviet reactions to Western policy since World War I." "To the extent that one accepts the legitimacy of Soviet purpose in preventing a recurrence of the disasters which followed the German attack of 1941, there is little in Fleming's analysis that can be questioned seriously." "At any rate, Professor Fleming has placed the burden of proof on his detractors, tor they will find it difficult, given the fog that continues to hover over Soviet intentions, to document with equal profusion any-competing concept of the cold war." Note to Dean Cooper This book has been published by Doubleday and Company in the United States, George Allen and Unwin in England, and G. Feltrinelli in Italy, who issued Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago Three of the greatest publishing houses in the world have united to give my alleged sour and unbalanced views, without perspective, world-wide currency.


-.JUL. 5 VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY NAIBVILLB 5 TBNNBIIBB Dean Russell M. Cooper College of Liberal Arts University of south Florida Tampa, Florida Dear Dean Cooper: July 3, 1962 It has been brought to my attention that a letter from Chancellor Branscomb of Vanderbilt University to a Florida resident, in which he brought into question the scholarly and teaching competence of Denna F. Fleming, has become a matter of public attention, and therefore of concern to the administrative officials of your Uni versity. As or. Fleming's successor in the chairmanship of the Political Science Department at Vanderbilt, I wish to present some evidence which, in my opinion, refutes any such reflection upon Or. Fleming's competence, explicitly or by implication. 1. Under Chancellor Branscomb's administration, Dr. Fleming served as Chairman for five years, from 1946 to 1951, and as Research Professor of International Relations from 1951 until June 30, 1961, the date of his retirement at age 68. Vice-Chancellor Purdy's letter to Dr. Fleming confirming the departmental and administration decision to retire Dr. Fleming in accordance with the University's normal practice of not extending appointments beyond 68, refers expressly and favorably to the quality of Dr. Fleming's services and contributions during his more than thirty years of employment at Vanderbilt. 2. Under our formal retirement regulations here, a professor on indefinite tenure may be reappointed for one three-year period at age 65, with the concurrence of the individual, the Department, and the Administration. Subject to the same conditions at age 68 he may have two further one-year appointments to age 70. In 1955 the policy of normal retirement at age 68 was established by the act of retiring three full professors simultaneously at 68, when each of the three wished to continue. Dr. Fleming's retirement in 1961 was made in accordance with that policy, and no issue or determinatione as to his teaching or


2 -Dean Russell M. cooper July 3, 1962 scholarly comp e t e nce was at time whatsoever. 3 In 1958 at age 65 Dr. req-.Je3ted and, with t h e concurrence of his departmental chairman, t h e graduate d ean, and Branscomb, he was reappointed for an additional three years as Research Professor To repeat, Chancellor con curred with that recommendat 1.on. 4. During the ten years I have known both Dr. Fleming and Dr. Branscomb I can say with confid e nce that both men hav e :1ever at any time been in agreement on Arner ican foreign pol .icy. Dr. Branscomb's disagreement seems to have gone so deep that h e i s willing to assert that one who holds Dr Fleming's views lacks good judgment and therefore must be i n competent or untrustworthy. In my opinion, Dr. Fleming's views are controversial, but t hey have invariably been competently presented and defended, a n d his views constitute a coherent, logical position that deserves o b e heard and analyzed o n its merits. At all even ts, this was Cha n cellor Branscomb's offici a l and public position u n t i l June 30, 1961, at least on the issue of academ i c freedom, and I know o f no reason to justify his chang e of attitude since that time. 5. If it i s contended that Dr. F l emi ng, at 2 g e 69, is now no longer competent to teach, I can onl y say that I know of n o events in the year since his retirement to impair his ability or to undermine his record and reputation as a stimulating and pro...: vocative teacher. You will of course determine whether ther e a r e any facts suffi c ient to modify the ori g inal decision and commi t ment to employ Dr. Fleming next year. I n my opinion, the of proof rests firmly upon those who challenge t hat judgment, I believe that t horough investigation will reveal that it is the acceptability of his views, not his competence, which are now a t issue in this case. Sincerely 1 .'\.. .:> ll;(h 4 Ave r y L e iserson,j Professor of Pjl it. ica 1 Sc l e nce AL:cs