During recent months many college professors have been subpoenaed before congressional investigating committees. The questions and answers at some of these investigations were similar to the following:

Q: Are there any instructors on the faculty who are members of the Communist Party?
A: I refuse to testify on the grounds that I may tend to incriminate myself.
Q: Have you attended any Communist meetings?
A: I refuse to testify on the same grounds.
Q: Are you a member of the Communist Party?
A: I refuse to testify on the same grounds.

After considerable dissent from organized professor groups, at least thirty of these professors were discharged. With the exception of cases in New York City, where the city charter specifically provides that the exercise of the privilege automatically terminates employment, only one of these cases has reached the appellate courts.

In Faxon v. School Committee of Boston an instructor, while before an investigating committee, asserted the privilege against self-incrimination when asked questions concerning his affiliation with the Communist Party. Because of his assertion of the privilege, the school district discharged him. The court affirmed the action of the school district.

No doubt this case will stimulate substantial adverse comment since many writers have argued that an instructor should not be discharged for asserting the privilege. It is the purpose of this note to explore the other side of the argument and to present arguments which justify the discharge of a professor who asserts the privilege against self-incrimination.