ALBANY, N.Y. (Mar. 5)
Bills to create a state university system and outlaw racial aid religious discrimination in all schools of higher education in New York State were submitted today to the Legislature by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, who urged strongly that the proposals be approved. The bills were introduced under bipartisan sponsorship, following their recommendation by a special commission which studied the problem of discrimination in the state’s colleges and universities for 18 months.
In a message accompanying the proposed legislation, Gov, Dewy said: “It is important that not only economic barriers to higher education be removed, but also that barriers “baaed upon distinction of race, color, creed or nationality be removed.”
Under the proposed measure, the Governor would appoint a board of trustees to establish a state university system comprising: 1. Four-year liberal arts, professional and graduate collages in various sections of Hew York State; 2, Two medical centers, one in New York City and one upstate, which could include schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and public health: 3. Two-year community colleges, and 4. Already listing state colleges, Dewey estimated that the initial cost would be $125,000,000, with annual operating expenses coming to $50,000,000.
SCHOOLS GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION WOULD BE SUBJECT TO PENALTIES
The bill would make it “an unfair educational practice,” subject to penalties, for any post-secondary school In the State, except religious and denominational Institutions, to refuse admittance to any applicant because of race, color, creed or nationality, beginning next Sept. 15.
Under the proposed legislation, the State Commissioner of Education would be empowered to adjust an alleged grievance by persuasion, conciliation or mediation, but if those methods failed, the case would be referred to the State Board of Regents, which, if it found the school guilty, would issue an order requiring It to cease and desist from such unfair educational practices,”The order would be enforceable in the State Supreme Court.
Failure to comply with the order would make the offending school subject to punishment for contempt. Review of the order in appeals courts, however, would be permitted.
Religious schools wishing to obtain exemption from the measure would be required to certify that they are “operated, supervised or controlled by a religious or denominational organization.”
One section of the bill allows all colleges la the state to set up geographical quotas by which they would be permitted to restrict the number of students from as part of the state or country. This provision in the bill reads: “It shall not be unfair educational practice for any educational institution to use criteria other than race, religion, creed, color or national origin in the admission of students.”