New York (Feb. 7)
Chancellor Harry W. Chase of New York University last night denied that there was any discrimination against Jewish students in the university’s dental college. The denial was issued in connection with the disclosure yesterday by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith that Dr. Harlan H. Horner, secretary of the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association, submitted a confidential report to Chancellor Chase, urging a reduction in the number of Jewish students to be admitted to the College of Dentistry of New York University.
“We have no quota system of admission,” said the chancellor, “and we do not contemplate any for Jews or Christians in dentistry, medicine or any other school in New York University. It will continue to be the purpose of our admission committees to accommodate the most able and promising applicants who come to us, regardless of their creed, color or origin. And, finally, any further shift in the general composition of our student body will depend entirely on natural tendencies in the company who may hereafter seek admission rather than upon any alteration of our own policy of admission.”
It was pointed out, also that the charter of New York University prohibits the institution from refusing admission to students on the ground of race, creed or color and that this also is one of the conditions upon which the state contributes its annual subsidy to this and other educational institutions.
DR. HORNER ADMITS HE URGED A REDUCTION OF JEWS IN UNIVERSITIES
Dr. Horner, reached on the telephone last night at his home at Evanston, Ill said it was true that the reports were prepared under the sponsorship of the Council of Education of the American Dental Association, and that they were sent to Columbia and New York University with the full knowledge and consent of the council. Asked whether he confirmed the references in these reports to the “imbalance” of racial groups in the dental schools of New York University and Columbia and the recommendations for their reduction, he said, “Yes, I made those statements. That’s all I care to say at this time.”
Dr. Horner is not a dentist. He was engaged by the Council on Education as an educational expert in 1940. Before that time he had been associated with the State Department of Education for thirty-five years. He was Associate Commissioner of Education for nine years before joining the dental council. The significance of the recommendations of the council was further emphasized by Dr. Horner, who explained that the council is a standing committee of the American Dental Association which has authority to grade dental schools and place them on approved or disapproved lists which have national recognition. Its recommendations, therefore are highly respected.
REPORT TO U.S. CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE SPEAKS OF “RACIAL IMBALANCE”
In a report which Dr. Horner submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Education, the text of which made public here today, he said: “The racial and geographical imbalance in the entire enrollment in the dental schools presents a more difficult problem. The accompanying outline map of the United States shows the state of residence of the 9,014 undergraduates enrolled in the thirty-nine dental schools as of Oct. 15, 1943. It will be observed the 2,170 students, or 24 per cent, were residents of New York and New Jersey. These students are largely of foreign extraction and belong mainly to one racial group. They come principally from the metropolitan area in and around New York City. So far as they are confined to one racial group they claim
“The council believes that determined effort should be made on a national scale to counteract the trend toward marked racial and geographical imbalance in the entire group of dental students and to elevate the broad common level of the intellectual capacity and fitness of the applicants for admission to dental study. A system of undergraduate scholarships, provided by continuing Federal subsidy, on a pro-rata basis to the approved schools, granted upon merit and limited in each case to the natural recruiting territory of the school, would, the council believes, be of immense help in the gaining of this desirable end.”
Dr. Harold B. Pinney, of Chicago, chairman of the American Dental Association, in a statement in connection with the report, said: “Any inference that the report condones or encourages regional, racial or religious intolerance is based on inaccurate interpretation of the facts involved. The report should be restudied for what it really is and really says. It is extremely deplorable that certain individuals have attempted to insert into the report and into Dr. Horner’s statement a significance that is denied by the report itself, and which is also denied by the representative cross-section of members and the past record of the American Dental Association. The American Dental Association does not now, nor has it any time in the past countenanced bigotry or intolerance.”