Profs want free tuition for poor

April 9,

Spurred to action by the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, eight professors are asking the University Faculty Senate to adopt a policy of “free tuition for poor people,” particularly of minority groups.
“Declaring free tuition for the poor is a way of declaring the openness of the University to them,” said D. Burnham Terrell, director of the honors division.
Terrell explained this is a more radical and effective way of making such a declaration than setting up a scholarship fund.
The proposal to the Senate says that while the University’s tuition is not a serious burden for the student of ordinary financial resources, “for economically deprived potential students it is prohibitive.
“Now, in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King,” the proposal continues, “the University community and the people of Minnesota generally, like the rest of the nation, are reviewing their responsibilities in the area of Dr. King’s concern.
“We are searching for new ways to assist our oppressed and deprived fellow citizens and to eradicate the sources of injustice in ourselves and our society. Higher education represents one way that must be opened wider to victims of economic deprivation and social discrimination.
“The present academic community itself would also benefit from the entrance of persons with more diverse backgrounds than it now includes.
“We do not believe that the provision of scholarship aid, that traditional means of meeting the need of the poor student, is sufficient at present. Financial aid over and above that required to pay tuition will be needed for some students; and resources available should be applied to help meet living expenses, to provide part-time jobs, to provide special services. Tuition should be free.”
Therefore, the eight professors ask the Senate to adopt the following resolution:
“The Senate of the University of Minnesota respectfully requests the Administration and the Board of Regents to adopt a policy of free tuition for poor people, particularly for members of minority groups whose opportunities for self-support are severely limited by the effects of social patterns of discrimination present and past. We further petition the Legislature to make it possible for the University to carry out that policy without damage to the quality of University programs generally.”
The resolution will be presented at the April 25 Senate meeting by University professors David Cooperman, John G. Darley, Forest Harris, John Kidneigh, Grover Maxwell, Maynard Reynolds, Allan Spear and D. Burnham Terrell.