Jane Lathrop Stanford Papers

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Ross Affair: Notebook containing D. S. Jordan's statement with exhibits and ptd. report of Committee of Economists

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Report of the Committee of Economists on the Dismissal of Professor Ross from Leland Stanford Junior University

The committee appointed at the meeting of the economists in Detroit, December 28, 1990, to enquire into the causes of the dismissal of Professor Ross from Leland Stanford University, have earnestly endeavored to learn the fact of the case. In addition to a careful examination of the statements made in the newspapers, we have asked Professor Jordan for a full and frank statement of the causes which led to Professor Ross's removal, and have obtained the replies printed in the appendix, in which Professor Jordan declines to give specific information in regard to them. We have also in our possession copies of letters bearing upon this case from various persons, including letters from Professor Ross, as well as from President Jordan, not only to Professor Ross, but also to others.

The following facts are, we believe, undisputed:

It is customary for professors in the Leland Stanford University to be reappointed early in May of each year. Professor Ross failed to receive his annual reappointment early in May, 1900. He was, however, reappointed on June 2. On June 5, he handed to President Jordan his resignation as follows:

''Dear Dr. Jordan: - I was sorry to learn from you a fortnight ago that Mrs. Stanford does not approve of me as an economist, and does not want me to remain here. It was a pleasure, however, to learn at the same time of the unqualified terms in which you had expressed to her your opinion of the work and your complete confidence in me as a teacher, a scientist and a man.

While I appreciate the steadfast support you have given me, I am unwilling to become a cause of worry to Mrs. Stanford or of embarrassment to you. I, therefore, beg leave to offer my resignation as professor of sociology, the same to take effect at the close of the academic year, 1900-1901.''

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