With the rise of anti-Communist rhetoric reminiscent of the post-WWI Great Red Scare, the University of California system was accused in the late 1940s of harboring Communist infiltrators.
In 1949 the Regents of the University adopted a policy requiring all faculty and staff to swear a loyalty oath that disavowed membership in the Communist Party.
In October 1950 the Saturday Evening Post ran an investigative report by William L. Worden, entitled “UCLA’s Red Cell: Case History of College Communism.”
Worden claimed that the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was infiltrated by Communists, and student protests against racial discrimination were examples of their influence.
Worden labeled the 50 Communist Party members identified in the 17,000 member university a Communist cell. His report stimulated calls to investigate the entire California state university system.
By August 1950, 36 members of the faculty and 62 other UC employees were dismissed for refusing to sign the loyalty oath.