An article May 25 about the disputed cancellation of a course at Stanford University included an incorrect age for philosophy professor emeritus Philip Rhinelander. He is 78.

As political controversy spreads to several corners of sun-drenched Stanford University, a school investigation has cleared its philosophy department of improperly canceling a course taught by James B. Stockdale, a former prisoner of war and Medal of Honor winner.

A report by university vice president and provost James N. Rosse rejected accusations by Stockdale and others that Stockdale's course, "Moral Dilemmas of War and Peace," taught with philosophy professor emeritus Philip Rhinelander, was dropped because Stockdale is a senior research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.

Instead, the report said, the controversy grew out of misunderstandings and the department's failure to inform the two teachers of new accreditation rules.

Stockdale, however, has sharply challenged the conclusions. "On some rare occasions," he said, "I've gotten better deals than this in a communist prison camp."

His bitter reaction, and other politically tinged disputes surfacing here, seem to indicate further troubled times for administrators of what recent education surveys recognize as the finest private university in the West and perhaps the nation.

For once, the often tumultuous relationship between Stanford and Hoover is smooth and peaceful. The well-funded institution, full of conservative thinkers and former Reagan administration officials, is a semi-independent group housed on campus and whose director is appointed by the university and the institution.

Plans are under way for the Reagan presidential library, a joint Stanford-Hoover operation.

But charges of politically motivated decisions by Stanford faculty members have kept university attorneys busy and exacerbated ill feeling between conservative and liberal scholars here.

Norman Davies, a visiting history professor, has just sued one named and 30 unnamed colleagues for allegedly denying him an endowed chair because they thought one chapter of a book he wrote about Jews in Poland was too kind to the Poles.

Davies is being represented by former U.S. representative Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, a Stanford alumnus who has previously clashed with pro-Israeli activists on campus.

The university expects to be sued eventually by Steven Mosher, a former anthropology graduate student who sharply criticized Chinese government support for compulsory abortions and was expelled from the university doctoral program for alleged "lack of candor" in dealing with his faculty.

As on other campuses, lines are sharply drawn here over efforts to sell university holdings in South African-related businesses. Unlike other campuses, some students and faculty have even begun to criticize the freshman curriculum on Western culture as sexist and racist.

Political bias in the lecture hall has been a favorite topic over lunch at the Stanford faculty club for some time.

Hoover senior fellow Martin Anderson, former director of the White House policy development office under Reagan, said senior fellow Seymour Martin Lipset once tried to determine how many registered Republicans were among Stanford's senior faculty members in the political science department.

"We're still looking for one," Anderson said.

Anderson and other Hoover scholars said they still suspect that colleague Stockdale was a victim of left-leaning views in the philosophy department.

The Stockdale-Rhinelander course attracted as many as 100 students, including several auditing the class, in 1984, and the two said they understood that it would be offered again in 1986.

But the department balked at providing the course again without a review of Stockdale's credentials, a decision not reported to Stockdale until it was too late to list the course in the university catalog.

In an interview, Rosse denied that this or other campus controversies had been caused by faculty members' Politics in Academia Questioned at Stanford Conservative Wasn't Targeted, Probe Finds By Jay Mathews Washington Post Staff Writer

STANFORD, Calif. -- As political controversy spreads to several corners of sun-drenched Stanford University, a school investigation has cleared its philosophy department of improperly canceling a course taught by James B. Stockdale, a former prisoner of war and Medal of Honor winner.

A report by university vice president and provost James N. Rosse rejected accusations by Stockdale and others that Stockdale's course, "Moral Dilemmas of War and Peace," taught with philosophy professor emeritus Philip Rhinelander, was dropped because Stockdale is a senior research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.

Instead, the report said, the controversy grew out of misunderstandings and the department's failure to inform the two teachers of new accreditation rules.

Stockdale, however, has sharply challenged the conclusions. "On some rare occasions," he said, "I've gotten better deals than this in a communist prison camp."

His bitter reaction, and other politically tinged disputes surfacing here, seem to indicate further troubled times for administrators of what recent education surveys recognize as the finest private university in the West and perhaps the nation.

For once, the often tumultuous relationship between Stanford and Hoover is smooth and peaceful. The well-funded institution, full of conservative thinkers and former Reagan administration officials, is a semi-independent group housed on campus and whose director is appointed by the university and the institution.

Plans are under way for the Reagan presidential library, a joint Stanford-Hoover operation.

But charges of politically motivated decisions by Stanford faculty members have kept university attorneys busy and exacerbated ill feeling between conservative and liberal scholars here.

Norman Davies, a visiting history professor, has just sued one named and 30 unnamed colleagues for allegedly denying him an endowed chair because they thought one chapter of a book he wrote about Jews in Poland was too kind to the Poles.

Davies is being represented by former U.S. representative Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, a Stanford alumnus who has previously clashed with pro-Israeli activists on campus.

The university expects to be sued eventually by Steven Mosher, a former anthropology graduate student who sharply criticized Chinese government support for compulsory abortions and was expelled from the university doctoral program for alleged "lack of candor" in dealing with his faculty.

As on other campuses, lines are sharply drawn here over efforts to sell university holdings in South African-related businesses. Unlike other campuses, some students and faculty have even begun to criticize the freshman curriculum on Western culture as sexist and racist.

Political bias in the lecture hall has been a favorite topic over lunch at the Stanford faculty club for some time.

Hoover senior fellow Martin Anderson, former director of the White House policy development office under Reagan, said senior fellow Seymour Martin Lipset once tried to determine how many registered Republicans were among Stanford's senior faculty members in the political science department.

"We're still looking for one," Anderson said.

Anderson and other Hoover scholars said they still suspect that colleague Stockdale was a victim of left-leaning views in the philosophy department.

The Stockdale-Rhinelander course attracted as many as 100 students, including several auditing the class, in 1984, and the two said they understood that it would be offered again in 1986.

But the department balked at providing the course again without a review of Stockdale's credentials, a decision not reported to Stockdale until it was too late to list the course in the university catalog.

In an interview, Rosse denied that this or other campus controversies had been caused by faculty members' liberal politics. He said former philosophy department chairman John Perry, an outspoken liberal, had enthusiastically promoted the Stockdale-Rhinelander course.

Anderson applauded Rosse's effort to mollify both sides. "He's got to deal with all these people," Anderson said.

Stockdale, 62, remains far from soothed. He said he fell in love with Stanford and the demands of academic life while earning a graduate degree here in the early 1960s.

He named one of his four sons Stanford and credits lessons learned in Rhinelander's classes with sustaining him during more than seven years as a prisoner in Hanoi.

Stockdale and Rhinelander, 82, are finishing a book on moral philosophy, and another Stockdale book is in the works. The retired vice admiral said he has not responded favorably to a university suggestion that he teach another course for undergraduates.

"I used to feel like I had found a home," he said, "but now it feels like I'm in the enemy camp."