Candidates in the New York City mayoral election named their priorities for the City University and affirmed their commitment to public higher education last night at a forum hosted by the Professional Staff Congress. John Liu and Bill Thompson attended, Thompson arrived late.
View a photo gallery of the forum.
We will post video clips from the forum shortly.
Five candidates agreed to participate: Adolfo Carrión, Bill DeBlasio, John Liu, Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson. Three dropped out at the last minute. The forum had been scheduled, after much negotiation, to accommodate Quinn’s calendar. But with little notice, she claimed a conflicting political commitment. DeBlasio’s office called regretting that he could not participate because of a “personal emergency.” And Carrión, once he heard that Quinn and DeBlasio would not appear,cancelled.
Tom Robbins, former award-winning columnist and staff writer at the Daily New, the Village Voice and the New York Observer and now the first “Investigative Journalist in Residence” at the CUNY School of Journalism, moderated the event with wit and probing follow-up questions.
Held at the Hunter School of Social Work in East Harlem, the forum was well attended. The auditorium was filled to capacity, so much so, that an overflow crowd of forty had to be accommodated in an adjoining room with a video and audio hookup.
Less than two weeks before the forum, University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced his plans to step down from the position he’s held for 14 years, The newly elected mayor will have a significant role in filling the chancellor’s post and influence the direction of the university for years to come. So the event was well timed.