Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections
Series: 2) GENERAL SUBJECT FILES. 1928-1991, n.d. [1958-1968]
Box 55 Folder 48 Complaints - Vietnam Project [and Ramparts article] 1966
(Partially scanned folder | 18 records)
(Partially scanned folder | 18 records)
Campus Cloaks a 'Spy' Operation, Raises a Dispute in the Midwest, National Observer article, April 18, 1966
A reporter from The National Observer in Washington, D.C., writes about the dispute that occurred over the presence of CIA agents in the Michigan State University Group (MSUG) during their time in Saigon from 1955-1962. This information came to light when an independent magazine, Ramparts, accused MSU of hiring the CIA agents "to engage in counterespionage and counterintelligence". The Observer articles states that MSU denies the allegations, citing quotes from various MSU faculty.
Ralph Smuckler, former Michigan State University Group (MSUG) Chief Advisor, writes about the Vietnam Project, and the effect it had on university cooperative efforts abroad. Smuckler gives a history of the project, from its inception in the mid-1950's through to present day, reflecting on areas where the project proved useful, and areas where the project might have been improved.
The Agency for International Developement (AID) responds to allegations made by the independent magazine 'Ramparts' regarding Michigan State University's employment of CIA agents in South Vietnam. MSU President Hannah denied knowledge of the employment of these agents. This public statement was prepared as a result of news coverage implying that the CIA's association with MSU was funded by the AID.
WMCA radio talk show host Barry Guy moderates an interview/debate between Murray Baron, a member of the Executive Committee of American Friends of Vietnam, and Warren Hinckle, executive editor and associate publisher of Ramparts magazine. The main topic of the discussion focuses on the April 1966 Ramparts article, and the magazine's claim that the Michigan State University Group's (MSUG) involvement in Vietnam was a cover for covert operations by the CIA. The interviewed aired on May 6, 1966 at 11:00pm.
Ralph Smuckler, Dean of International Programs, informs MSU President Hannah of the impact on overseas project offices the April 1966 'Ramparts' magazine article on the CIA's involvement in the MSU Vietnam Project has had. Smuckler includes memos from offices in Brazil and India, to keep Hannah informed of reactions from project leaders.
MSU President Hannah responds publicly to the allegations made by Ramparts magazine that MSU was knowingly employing members of the CIA during its US aid program in Vietnam. Hannah indicates that, upon an initial scan, no fewer than 53 errors of fact were discovered in the article. Hannah addresses a few of Ramparts' major areas of criticism pointed at the university.
Frank Senger, Chairman of the MSU School of Journalism, responds to MSU President Hannah's request for suggestions from MSU faculty in response to the April 1966 Ramparts magazine article which implied that MSU knowingly employed CIA agents during its US aid project in Vietnam. Senger attaches a list of suggestions from one of the journalism faculty members, John Murray. In his list, Murray makes suggestions with regards to public relations and media coverage.
Wilson Tennant, minister at the University Methodist Church in East Lansing, MI, writes to MSU President Hannah to offer support in response to accusations made against the university from the magazine "Ramparts". Tennant praises Hannah's leadership, and wishes him health and strength. Hannah responds in kind in a June 1, 1966 letter.
Henry Beechem, a 1932 graduate of the Michigan State College School of Science, writes to MSU President Hannah in protest of MSU's "real interest in Vietnam". Hannah replies in a May 20, 1966 letter, asking Beechem to clarify on his remark.
Andres Abejo, President of the University of the Philippines (UP) Faculty Association, writes to MSU President Hannah with support after negative publicity recently received by MSU's involvement with technical assistance in Vietnam. President Abejo refers to an included newspaper clipping of an article involving UP President Carlos Romulo, and the publicly-made resignation of the UP's Department of History Chairman, Teodoro Agoncillo, due to a member of the Chairman's staff being promoted without his prior knowledge. Hannah replies in kind in a June 13, 1966 letter.
The Philippine Collegian, in a May 22, 1966 article, publishes the May 7 resignation letter of Teodoro Agoncillo, Chairman of the Department of History at the University of the Philippines (UP), to UP President Carlos Romulo. Agoncillo indicates his reason for resignation as being the fact that he was not give prior knowledge of the promotion of a member of his staff, Guadalupe Fores-Ganzon. In a letter to the editor, Andres Abejo, President of the UP Faculty Association, responds to allegations made by Agoncillo against President Romulo. A final April 21 clipping from The Manila Times shows Abejo addressing the World Conference of Latin Literature Professors and Scholars.
Robert Nisbet, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside, writes to MSU President Hannah, requesting a copy of Hannah's official statement regarding the alleged relationship between the CIA and MSU during its time aiding Vietnam. Nisbet indicates that he is writing an article for The Public Interest, and that he plans to make a brief reference to alleged relationship.
Michael Parrish, Reference Analyst in the Bureau of Public Discussion at Indiana University, writes to MSU President Hannah requesting a copy of Hannah's recent report on MSU's Vietnam Project. Parrish indicates that his bureau provides a reference loan service consisting of materials on contemporary problems.
MSU President Hannah writes to Jack Faxon in the House of Representatives at the State Capitol in Lansing, MI. Hannah suggests that Faxon acquire a current copy of the newspaper The National Observer, and read the article regarding Mr. Scheer of Ramparts magazine and his hopes to attempt to wreck the Democratic Party.
Harold Herman, Editor of the Chicago-based publication College and University Business, writes to MSU President Hannah, thanking him for sending a statement about MSU's Vietnam Project.
William Whitehouse writes from Albion, MI, to MSU President Hannah. Whitehouse offers Hannah his support after negative criticisms against the university, and indicates to Hannah that his grandson is a junior at MSU. Hannah replies in kind in a May 24 letter.
Bernice Tucker, MSU staff member, writes to MSU President Hannah to offer support in the way he has handled negative press and criticisms regarding the MSU Vietnam Project. Tucker refers to an enclosed envelope from a Mr. Nisbet at the Constitutional Convention, which she included. Hannah replies in kind in a May 26 letter.
Harold Herman, Editor of the publication College and University Business, writes to MSU President John Hannah, commenting on the article in Ramparts magazine about the allegations made regarding the work Michigan State University had done in Vietnam from 1955 to 1962. Herman indicates that he is not certain that as many college and university administrators have seen Hannah's official reply to the allegations, and requests a copy of Hannah's statement. In a reply letter dated May 24, Hannah sends a copy of his statement in the hopes providing the educational world access to the facts.