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Over 100 Heads of U.S. Colleges, Universities Denounce Head Tax

October 27, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The heads of more than 100 American colleges and universities have denounced the Soviet Union’s policy of demanding exit fees. The presidents and chancellors of 86 institutions of higher learning issued a joint statement just released by the Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry decrying the Soviet Union’s “exorbitant head taxes” as a “stunning blow to fundamental human rights and to academic freedom.” The statement noted especially that Jewish scientists and academicians “are the clearly implied focus of the new taxes” making the Soviet action “blatantly discriminatory.”

Separate statements in the same vein were issued by the presidents of Harvard, M.I.T., Massachusetts University and Boston University; the presidents of 12 Pennsylvania universities and colleges; and by the presidents of the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa.

The statement prepared by seven American educators and released by Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau, chairman of the Academic Committee on Soviet Jewry, urged that the head tax be rescinded and observed that “All citizens must be allowed to exercise the fundamental right to leave a country, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The 86 signatories, all but six of them non-Jews, included Malcolm Moos, president of the University of Minnesota, who was a top advisor in the White House during the Eisenhower administration; Terry Sanford, president of Duke University, a former Governor of North Carolina and a leading contender for the Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination; Dr. Alexander Heard, president of Vanderbilt University who prepared for President Nixon the principal administration report on education; and Frederick Seitz, president of Rockefeller University and a former high official of the National Academy of Sciences.

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