The organized opposition on the campus of Columbia University to the proposed appointment of former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to a teaching post is a "crude from of Mc-Carthism," a recently formed ad hoc committee of students supporting the appointment charged today.
Stephen Morris, a doctoral student in the Political Science Department at Columbia, said he and other supporters had obtained 197 student signatures in a week favoring Kissinger's appointment, including a majority of graduate students in the School of International Affairs.
The petition asserts that Kissinger's background in government and as a professor at Harvard University would make him a "unique and especially qualified asset" to Columbia.
The petition notes that "many" of the signers personally disagree with "many" of the policies Kissinger pursued while in office, but warns that to reject his academic credentials on grounds of "purely political judgment" would constitute "a crude form of McCarthyism."
Amid a growing controversy over the proposed appointment, a faculty organization has obtained over 130 signatures of faculty and research staff members opposing Kissinger's appointment, while another group has prepared a petition signed by 1,000 students and faculty members protesting the appointment. There are approximately 16,000 students and 4,0000 faculty members at Columbia.
Kissinger has not been formally offered the job, but is expected to tell University President William J. McGill at the end of the month whether he would accepted a specially endowed chair in the Political Science Department. Opponents of the appointment say they base their objections on Kissinger's "immoral" involvement in Vietnam war policies, while his backers view the issue as one of academic freedom and accuse the opponents of trying to keep unpopular views of campus.