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Wise Charges Columbia University with Bias; Challenges School’s Tax Exemption

March 17, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress, yesterday charged Columbia University with violation of the anti-discrimination clause of the state tax law in an application filed with the New York City Tax Commissioner to cancel the University’s tax exemption.

Dr. Wise, suing both as a tax-payer and as chief executive of the Congress, said, “an institution claiming to be nonsectarian, which selects students not solely and exclusively because of their intellectual ability and moral character, but for the avowed purpose of serving racial or religious prejudices, does not devote its property exclusively to educational purposes and is not an educational institution within the meaning of the tax law.”

Dr. Frank D. Fackenthal, acting president of Columbia University, asked to comment last night on Dr. Wise’s charges, said: “There is no such discriminatory practice at the university.”

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