123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Old Blog

Sign Petition to Save Academic Freedom at Brooklyn College and CUNY!

Jerin

Please sign the petition from The Advocate in support of Professor Kristofer Petersen-Overton at Brooklyn College:
http://www.gcadvocate.com/2011/01/defend-academic-freedom-at-brooklyn-college/

Here is The NY Times article about it.

Petition to Defend Academic Freedom at Brooklyn College

by Advocate Staff

We, the under­signed, are writ­ing to express our deep con­cern for the pre­car­i­ous state of aca­d­e­mic free­dom at Brook­lyn Col­lege, CUNY and the City Uni­ver­sity of New York sys­tem more broadly.

Just a week before the start of spring semes­ter classes, Kristofer Petersen-Overton was fired from his posi­tion as an adjunct lec­turer of polit­i­cal sci­ence at Brook­lyn Col­lege. The move came fol­low­ing a com­plaint from a prospec­tive stu­dent in Peterson-Overton's sched­uled Mid­dle East Pol­i­tics course that the instructor's "pro-Palestinian" bias would pre­clude him from objec­tively teach­ing the sub­ject. After com­plain­ing to the school admin­is­tra­tion the stu­dent then con­tacted New York State Assem­bly­man Dov Hikind, who in turn wrote to the pres­i­dent of Brook­lyn Col­lege express­ing his con­cerns about the course read­ing list. In that let­ter, Hikind labeled Peterson-Overton as "pro-suicide bomber." Hours later, the provost of Brook­lyn Col­lege dis­missed Petersen-Overton on grounds that, as a doc­toral stu­dent, he was insuf­fi­ciently qual­i­fied to teach grad­u­ate courses at the col­lege. This move came despite the fact that many grad­u­ate stu­dents in sev­eral depart­ments cur­rently teach and have taught master's level courses at Brook­lyn Col­lege over the years. Given these cir­cum­stances, it is clear that Peterson-Overton's dis­missal had noth­ing to do with his qual­i­fi­ca­tions, but was the prod­uct of polit­i­cal pres­sure from forces out­side the university.

The college's actions are a clear vio­la­tion of aca­d­e­mic free­dom, includ­ing the university's own offi­cial pol­icy, which states that the "office of a chan­cel­lor, pres­i­dent, or other admin­is­tra­tor can­not be used to com­pro­mise the aca­d­e­mic free­dom of other mem­bers of the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity." There­fore, we demand that Peterson-Overton be fully re-instated in his posi­tion, and that his course on Mid­dle East Pol­i­tics be allowed to pro­ceed as orig­i­nally designed. More­over, we insist that Peterson-Overton not face any future sanc­tions, and that he be judged hence­forth solely on the basis of his teach­ing abil­i­ties and the qual­ity of his aca­d­e­mic work.

Fur­ther­more, we demand a for­mal, pub­lic apol­ogy from the Brook­lyn Col­lege admin­is­tra­tion, includ­ing Pres­i­dent Karen Lee Gould and Provost William A. Tra­mon­tano for their ille­git­i­mate actions and bor­der­line incom­pe­tence in deal­ing with this matter.

We also call for a for­mal pledge from the uni­ver­sity to pro­tect the aca­d­e­mic free­dom of all of its employ­ees irre­spec­tive of sta­tus, stature, and rank, espe­cially con­tin­gent fac­ulty like Petersen-Overton, who receive none of the pro­tec­tions of tenure despite the fact that they teach the major­ity of courses at the City Uni­ver­sity of New York.

We ask that all these demands be met imme­di­ately and with­out compromise.

James Hoff, EIC The GC Advocate
Michael Busch, Man­ag­ing Edi­tor The GC Advocate