CUNY President Responds to Idiotic Attacks on Academic Freedom
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CUNY President Dr. Barbara Bowen just laid the SMACK.DOWN on those idiotic politicians (including rez-lez Chris Quinn) who called for the cancellation of the BDS event this coming Thursday at Brooklyn College. Below is her email response in full.
February 5, 2013
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
NY City Comptroller John Liu
NY City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
NY State Senator Kevin Parker
NY State Senator Daniel Squadron
NY State Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs
NY State Assemblyman Karim Camara
NY State Assemblyman James Brennan
NY State Assemblywoman Joan Millman
NY State Assemblyman Walter Mosley
NY City Councilman Brad Lander
NY City Councilman Stephen Levin
Mr. William Thompson
Dear Elected Officials:
I write as president of the union that represents the faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York—a union whose collective bargaining agreement begins with a commitment to academic freedom. On behalf of the 25,000 professors and staff in the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, I call on you to retract your call for the Brooklyn College Political Science Department to withdraw its co-sponsorship (which you mis-label “endorsement”) of the forum on Israel scheduled at the College for February 7.
Your letter attempts to veil a direct challenge to academic freedom as a defense of academic freedom. Academic freedom, as defined in the most influential statement of the principle, is “the indispensable quality of institutions of higher education. . . . [It is] the free search for truth and its free exposition.” Academic freedom is not “balance”; it is not the requirement that departments support only forums that advocate equally strongly for two “sides,” as you misleadingly put it, of an issue; it is not a requirement that departments insist that student organizers accept “legitimate offers from prominent individuals willing to simultaneously present an alternative view.” Would you demand that a forum on evolution accept an offer from “a prominent individual” to argue for creationism? Would you write a letter insisting that a forum organized by the NRA include an