1968: Columbia in Crisis

Consequences > The Executive Committee of the Faculty

Press statement. 23/8/68. Grayson Kirk statement of resignation.

Press release statement of William Petersen, Chairman, on behalf of the Trustees of Columbia University, regarding the resignation of President Grayson Kirk, August 23, 1968.

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At 3:00pm on April 30, the Joint Faculties met in St. Paul’s Chapel to consider a pro-Administration resolution put forward by historian Richard Hofstadter, and a resolution condemning the Administration by anthropologists Morton Fried and Marvin Harris. Some 600 faculty members attended the meeting. Both resolutions were set aside when law professor Maurice Rosenberg proposed the creation of the Executive Committee of the Faculty, which would be charged with the responsibility of returning the University to its primary function of education as soon as possible. The faculty adopted Rosenberg’s resolution. Originally a 12-man group co-chaired by Professors Michael Sovern and Alan Westin, the committee was reconstituted as an 18-member body with Sovern as chairman. At its first meeting, the committee urged criminal charges be dropped against the arrested students.

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