I've written about a similar topic before, but now the news in education circles is that a graduate student/instructor at CSU East Bay (formerly CSU Hayward) has been fired for not signing such an oath.
This instructor is a Quaker--of the same or similar faith as my great-great-great grandfather when he was drafted, at age 44, into the Union Army to fight in the Civil War. The instructor wanted to add the word "non-violently" into the oath before signing it, but was not allowed to. She turned down the option of signing it but attaching a separate paper explaining her beliefs. She didn't take that route, and was axed.
Tough noogies. To a certain extent.
Joanne Jacobs has posted on this subject, and she thinks California should get rid of such loyalty oaths. I disagree. As I commented on her post:
One thing I *do* accept, though: no government agency should be compelled to hire or retain any individual who seeks seeks the destruction of that government...In this particular instance, since the loyalty oath didn’t say anthing about violence, I don’t see why this instructor saw fit to modify it. If she wanted to make a point, she chose a poor method of doing so.
Another commenter there pointed out that the Supreme Court has ruled that such "affirmative" loyalty oaths do not require a person to take active steps to support and defend the Constitution; rather, "they embody 'simply a commitment to abide by our constitutional system … [and] a commitment not to use illegal and constitutionally unprotected force to change the constitutional system.' "
I say, let's just change the wording of the oath to reflect that. The professors who have commented at the InsideHigherEd link above clearly don't agree with me, or with any type of loyalty oath, at all.
And you wonder why I always warn you about academia, the only place in America where communism is alive and well.
I'd recommend reading both the InsideHigherEd and the Joanne Jacobs posts, as well as the comments afterward. You'll get some interesting viewpoints, and quite a bit of knowledge about the subject matter.