Establishment of State University and Enactment of Anti-bias Laws Urged in N. Y. State
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Establishment of State University and Enactment of Anti-bias Laws Urged in N. Y. State

Establishment of a state university in New Tark which would include graduate and undergraduate schools as well as a network of ##ior colleges in communities throughout the state, was urged today by spokesmen for the American Jewish Committee, Ameican Jewish Congress and Anti-Defamation League, ?estifying at the first public hearing of the Temporary Commission on the Need for a State University.

The three organizations, which were represented by former Gov. Herbert Lehman, Dr. Stephen S. Wise and Justice Meir Steinbrink, respectively, also called for legislation to outlaw discriminatory practices by existing privately endowed institutions ## higher learning in the state.

Among the barriers which prevent qualified persons in this state from obtaining a higher education, Governor Lehman stressed, are “widespread economic handicaps, over ##dened educational plants, the inaccessiblity of centers of education to persons re##tely situated, and discriminatory practices.” The denial of higher education to ##lified students, “whether the denial is based upon economic handicaps or racial ## religious discrimination or upon geographic circumstances, is harmful to the welfare of society,” he emphasized.Dr. Wise urged the commission “to frame recommendations which will serve to ex##d the facilities for higher learning in this state; to make such education economically accessible to all sections of our population; and to shatter the practice of ##ial and religious discrimination in all institutions of higher learning.” He ##ted that the “Physical facilities” and economic accessibility to students without financial means “can be adequately met only through the establishment of a state university supplemented by a state-wide system of community colleges.”

Citing the City College of New York–now celebrating its 100th anniversary–as successful precedent, Justice Steinbrink argued that the duty of the state to pro## higher education for its citizens is an established principle. “This duty is not ##tic,” he said, “It is dynamic. A number of other states not as rich as our own ##ire State have state universities. Can we, the richest state in the Union, afford ## say that we can’t afford it?”