CUNY Board Postpones Proposed Policy on Expressive Conduct

Updated: June 27, 2016
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The CUNY Board of Trustees amended its calendar for the Board meeting on Monday, June 27, adding a note indicating that the proposed Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct policy will be considered at a later time. The note on the calendar read:

“It was clear from testimony at the public hearing on June 20, 2016, and other communications that there are questions and concerns about the proposed policy. The Chairperson and the Chancellor have determined that there should be additional consultation and discussion. Accordingly, this item is included on the calendar solely for informational purposes. A proposed policy will be considered by the Board of Trustees at a later time, following additional consultation and discussion.”

PSC President Barbara Bowen was one of many CUNY professors and students who testified against the proposed policy at a public hearing this past Monday. (Audio of the hearing is posted here.) President Bowen reaffirmed the PSC’s position against policies that limit speech, saying:

“Such a policy seems especially dangerous in a university whose students are already often silenced and marginalized by poverty and racism. And it is a poor response to a faculty and staff that was forced to organize for a strike authorization vote.”

President Bowen closed her testimony by demanding that CUNY bargain over this policy, as it directly affects a term and condition of employment in that it refers to the contractual procedures on discipline.