Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tempus Fugit?

In the Professional Staff Congress’s archive of academic freedom resolutions one can find the following:

“Resolution in Defense of the PSC Leadership’s Stand on Dissent and Academic Freedom

Presented by Steve Leberstein, Manny Ness and Miriam Thompson, February 28, 2002

Whereas, the leadership has shown strength and resilience in guiding the union’s diverse constituencies’ efforts to influence the mission and course of the public university, and

Whereas, the leadership has steadfastly championed the right of the CUNY student body and its faculty and staff to academic freedom and uncensored public discourse about major public policy issues, and

Whereas, the leadership has been attacked for the principled stand in defending our members when they were vilified by the press, the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees and the Mayor for questioning government policy, and

Whereas, the leadership tried to temper the stance of the University administration at a time when questioning of the government and dissent were imperiled, and to protect the welfare of its students, staff and faculty by so doing; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the Delegate Assembly express its support for the PSC leadership’s defense of the First Amendment and our members’ and students’ academic freedom.”

The PSC’s Leadership included in 2002, as it does in 2007, Barbara Bowen and "Sue" O’Malley. If CUNY’s own Charybdis and Silly were so ardent in their defense of the First Amendment some five years ago, what has changed? If Professor O’Malley was an impassioned champion of “uncensored public discourse” some five years ago, where has that passion gone? Time flies, we admit, but memories and moral claims do linger.


No comments: