CUNY Faculty Union on Kushner: "What, Me Worry?"

Mitchell Langbert

A controversy is raging concerning CUNY Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld's objections to John Jay College's proposal to grant an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner. CUNY's board of trustees rejected Kushner after Wiesenfeld posed objections because of Kushner's outspoken anti-Israel views. Now, Chairman Benno C. Schmidt is rumored to favor rescinding the rescission and awarding the degree to Kushner after all.

I do not see the issue as one of free speech. In the first place, speech is not free in universities. Second, there is no right to an honorary degree.

On my blog I argue that universities are too ideologically biased to grant honorary degrees fairly. On cue, rumors are circulating that CUNY's far left faculty union is discussing an attempt to remove Wiesenfeld from the board. The reason: the union's insistence that Kushner's free speech rights were violated, and in doing so Wiesenfeld's speech was grounds for his firing.

  • Share

Most Commented

October 11, 2021


The Shame of MIT: Canceling Dorian Abbot

Professor Abbot was set to deliver MIT's prestigious Carlson Lecture—that is, until he was canceled for his views on DEI programs, earning him a prompt disinvitation....

October 5, 2021


NAS Statement on Gender Ideology in Higher Education

The National Association of Scholars opposes the proliferation of gender ideology in American higher education....

September 9, 2021


Winning the Cold Civil War

The threat from the illiberal left grows. How should we fight it?...

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 15, 2021


Tracking Cancel Culture in Higher Education

UPDATED: A repository of 194 professors, administrators, and students who have been canceled for expressing views deemed unacceptable by higher education ideologues....

May 26, 2010


10 Reasons Not to Go to College

A sampling of arguments for the idea that college may not be for everyone....