President Bowen Responds to the Post's False Headline

Updated: May 2, 2017
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On May Day, hundreds of PSC members joined a nationwide university moratorium in resistance to assaults on knowledge and research by integrating into their classes an examination of the impact of President Trump's policies as relevant to the subjects of their classes. The NY Post published an article about the action with false headline: “CUNY professors will skip school to protest Trump.” President Bowen demanded a retraction in this letter to the editor and noted that the PSC explicitly called on professors not to skip class on May 1.

To the Editor:

The New York Post should publish a retraction of its headline, “CUNY professors will skip school to protest Trump” (April 30, 2017). The statement is a lie. It is contradicted by the Post’s own article. The leadership of the faculty union at CUNY, the Professional Staff Congress, explicitly called on professors not to skip class on May 1. Instead, we urged faculty to support the moratorium by including discussion of the impact of President Trump’s policies as they are relevant to the subject of their classes.

In doing so, we adhered to the national standard on academic freedom, to which CUNY explicitly subscribes. Adjunct instructor Joe Borelli should look at his own union contract before calling for his fellow adjuncts to be fired. The contract’s opening page pledges a shared commitment to “full freedom of inquiry” and academic freedom. I stand by my statement that college faculty have a responsibility to challenge “alternative facts” and to equip our students to do the same. Fulfilling that responsibility is a pretty good definition of what college education means.

Dr. Barbara Bowen