The questions herein are apparently inaccurate.
Tentative draft of statement of facts in the Ross Case with copies of documents, to be addressed to President of Board of Trustees of University, to be held subject to further consideration by the President on his return from Alaska.
After ten years the surviving Founder of the University has succeeded in turning over the guardianship of her trust safely and legally to the Board of University trustees. Every difficulty in the way of the institution has been removed, every serious purpose of its founders justified. The only cloud which remains over it is the prejudice existing in certain quarters aroused by the alleged connection of the surviving Founder with the removal of Dr. Ross and hence of the University with the question of academic freedom.
Now that the Board of Trustees is in control I am free to say a plain word about this matter which I could not, in part at least, have discussed with propriety while the Founder retained the relation of sole Trustee [handwritten insert Re: Trustee] I was not Trustee but sole Founder. I therefore place in your hands this account of the Ross Case from the point of view of the President, appending the documents on file in the archives of the University bearing upon it, leaving the record in your hands for preservation or to be used at your discretion.
In considering the Ross Case we may ask three questions:
1. What were the official acts involved? 2. What were the reasons for these acts? 3. With whom does the responsibility for them rest?
1. The official acts. a. Dr. Edward A. Ross was on February 6, 1893, appointed Professor of "Administration and Fiance" in the Leland Stanford Junior University. The letter of appointment (Exhibit "A"), giving his title, salary and conditions of work will be found in the Appendix to the statement. This appointment like all regular appointments in the Faculty of the University at that time was made by the President and was understood to be for an indeterminate period, depending upon good behavior or mutual satisfaction.
b. In October, 1896, Dr. Ross was for cause removed by the President from his original chair, then known by the title of "Economic Theory and Finance". A temporary chair of "Sociology" was created to which Dr. Ross was transferred. The details of this arrangement were made by personal conference and by mutual consent no charges were formulated or public action taken in matter.
c. Dr. Ross's change of status was made a matter of official record by a formal notice of appointment, "for one year", continuing the temporary arrangement already in force for the academic year 1897-98 (Exhibit "B"). This notice of appointment, dated March 25, 1897, was under discussion between the President and Dr. Ross for some days and was finally
agreed upon and sent to Dr. Ross under date of April 8th with a memorandum (Exhibit "C") by the President stating the conditions under which the appointment was made.
This understanding contemplated the effort of Dr. Ross to find a place elsewhere. It provided that he might be granted leave of absence the year following. It specifically provided that Dr. Ross should retire from the University before the period of the appointment should begin, if it were "deemed desirable for the interests of the University."
d. Dr. Ross served under this temporary appointment during the year 1897-98, and the following year was granted leave of absence as greed upon. On his return from Europe it was again renewed for the year 1899-1900.
a. In May, 1900, Dr. Ross was notified verbally by the President that his temporary appointment as Professor of Sociology could not become a permanent one and that steps would be taken to definitely terminate it.
After discussion of the various interests involved, the President on May 26th submitted (Exhibit "D") to Mrs. Stanford as Trustee a statement of certain conditions under which the withdrawal of Dr. Ross might be effected. These conditions provided for his reappointment for 1900-01; for his resignation to take effect at the discretion of the President; for his endeavor with the assistance of the President to secure another place. To these conditions Mrs. Stanford agreed under date of May 28th (Exhibit "E").
f. In accordance with these arrangements, on June 5th, Dr. Ross submitted his resignation (Exhibit "F"), to be acted on at the President's
discretion, but no later than March 1, 1901, this resignation assigning as a reason the unwillingness of Dr. Ross "to become a cause of worry to Mrs. Stanford or of embarrassment" to the President.
g. The President was absent during the summer of 1900 in Japan, returning in October. On November 11th (Exhibit "G") he accepted the resignation of June 5th, to take effect at Dr. Ross's convenience, this being understood to mean at the end of the first semester in December, or at latest, the 1st of March.
h. On November 13th, Dr. Ross gave to the press a statement (Exhibit "H") regarding his enforced resignation. This appeared in the daily newspapers of San Francisco for the following morning. This public statement was made without warning to the President and in violation of the understanding that he would withdraw quietly and without prejudice.
i. On November 17th, the President having paid Dr. Ross his salary in full to the end of the year as agreed upon, peremptorily dismissed him from the University. (Exhibit "I".)
These are the official acts in the Ross Case and are a matter of record.
2. The reasons for these acts. a. On his return from Bering Sea in October 1896 the President found Dr. Ross wholly occupied in partisan politics, and this without consultation with and in opposition to the judgment of the acting President, Dr. John M. Stillman. Specifically, Dr. Ross was under engagement to a political campaign committee to stump the state for Mr. Bryan. He had delivered one out of a number of speeches
without permission in the University Chapel. He was conducting a "coin catechism" of a partisan nature in a local newspaper. Particularly, he had published over his name and official title in the University (Exhibit "J"), and had placed on sale on the University Campus and caused to be circulated through the medium of a party campaign bureau, a pamphlet called "Honest Dollars." This pamphlet or booklet was illustrated with coarse cartoons and was in the highest degree undignified and unseemly (Exhibit "K"). It was in fact so indefensible in manner and matter that neither Dr. Ross nor his friends have made any excuse for it.
These matters as affecting the reputation of the University for nonpartisanship were to the President a source of grave concern (Exhibit "L"). It was the wish of the founders that the University should be absolutely non-partisan and non-sectarian and should never become the tool of any party or sect. To the maintenance of this wise policy the President stood pledged. Hence his action is rebuking Dr. Ross.
b. In creating the chair of "Sociology" and in placing Dr. Ross probationally in it the President was moved by a desire to protect the University from the discussion which must follow publicity and especially to protest the future professional career of a young man who apparently saw and admitted his mistake and who was anxious for an opportunity to win back the confidence he had well nigh destroyed, or at least to prepare the way for a new start elsewhere. To these neds no publid reference was made or official action taken in the matter. The new position was understood to be temporary and probationary one to be terminated by Dr. Ross's acceptance of a place elsewhere, or if need be, by act of the President at