The University Record, March 7, 1994

Historian Metzger to deliver Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture

By Mary Jo Frank

Walter P. Metzger, emeritus professor of history at Columbia University, will give the fourth annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom at 4 p.m. March 21 in Rackham Amphitheater.

Metzger, author of Academic Freedom in the Age of the University, will discuss “A Walk Along the New Frontiers of Academic Freedom.” The free, public lecture will be followed by a reception.

An authority on the history of academic freeom, Metzger has written prolifically both on historical and contemporary issues in higher edcuation, including changes in the concept of faculty tenure, the evolution of academic governance and limits to scientific inquiry.

Metzger has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; a visiting scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford; and a director or consultant to many foundations and public agencies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the Danforth Foundation, the Meyerson Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Institute for Mental Health.

Metzger was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1971, has served as a member of Committee A of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) since 1957 and is working on a history of the American academic profession.

The lecture is named for three former faculty members who were sanctioned by the University for their political views and associations in the 1950s.

H. Chandler Davis, Clement Markert and Mark Nickerson were suspended for refusing to testify about their political views and activities before a congressional subcommittee in 1954. Davis and Nickerson were fired. Markert was eventually reinstated and received tenure before leaving for another academic position. The former faculty members have been invited to the lecture.

The annual lecture is sponsored by the Senate Advisory Committee on Uni-versity Affairs (SACUA), the U-M Chapter of the AAUP, and the Academic Freedom Lecture Fund, a tax-exempt organization independent of the Univer-sity. Its governing board is appointed by SACUA. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 4152, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106.