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Academic Freedom Committee

Academic freedom is grounded in the faculty member’s qualifications for the position as reviewed by his/her peers. It consists in the freedom to teach, research, write, and to speak in our capacity as citizens without restraint by the administration. The PSC’s Academic Freedom Committee works closely with the University Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom.

Letters Defending Academic Freedom 2022-2024

These letters from the PSC Academic Freedom Committee seek to defend academic freedom as a professional right of all CUNY faculty.

Letter to John jay College – April 15, 2024:  Regarding the non-reappointment of Professor Danny Shaw, a long-time adjunct faculty member in the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program and a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, who has been teaching at John Jay since 2007. It has been reported to our committee that President Mason actively intervened in the reappointment process, calling for Professor Shaw to not be reappointed based on his social media activity.

1st Letter to Lehman College – February 23, 2024, 2nd Letter to Lehman College – March 1, 2024: Cancellation of a panel, “Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine from the Streets to Our Classrooms,” to have been presented at the conference “Engagement, Equity, and Antiracism” organized by the Writing Across the Curriculum program at Lehman College in collaboration with Hostos Community College.

Letter to Baruch College – December 20, 2023: Cancellation of a faculty teach-in, titled “The Gaza Crisis” organized by members of the Baruch College History Department.

Letter to Hunter College – November 28, 2023: Cancellation of a screening of the film Israelism and failure to act in the face of “doxxing” attacks by outside groups against Hunter College faculty and staff.

Letter to Kingsborough Community College – October 17, 2022: Refusal to use an image from the cover of the book Raising Racists: The Socialization of White Children in the Jim Crow South, written by Professor Kristina DuRocher and published by Kentucky University Press, in an announcement for the panel discussion “From Parent to Child? – Intergenerational Transmission of Hate.”

Letter to John Jay College – May 31, 2022: Cancellation of a student- and faculty-organized conference, “Palestine Lives 2022,” intended to be “a day-long conference to educate on Palestinian culture and speak to the issues of colonialism, imperialism, and Palestinian liberation.”

Published: March 21, 2024 | Last Modified: April 15, 2024

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