Campus police surveillance of the classroom and other academic affairs has a long history at California State University, Fresno.
In 1970 Rendell Mabey, an assistant professor of philosophy, was fired for remarks made during a meeting of the CSUF Academic Senate. He accused the administration of then-President Karl Falk of violating faculty rights to academic freedom.
During the grievance hearing in which Professor Mabey challenged his firing, it was revealed that the campus police maintained a file on "Known Campus Radicals." This file contained not only the names of faculty and students deemed "radicals," but also the names of clergy members, business leaders and other citizens who had come to the campus to offer their good offices in resolving disputes over racism, the Vietnam War and other vexing issues of the day.
Ultimately, a federal judge in San Francisco ordered Professor Mabey reinstated on the grounds that he had been fired in violation of his constitutional right to free speech.
It seems impossible that such a firing and abuse of police power could occur on the campus today. But we thought it was impossible then.
Those who do not know their history are condemned to relive it.
Paul D. Bush
Professor Emeritus of Economics
California State University, Fresno
Faculty counsel to Professor Mabey