Dear Commons Community,
The CUNY University Faculty Senate Executive Committee issued the statement below following protests against Visiting Professor David Petraeus at the Macauley Honors College.
From: The University Faculty Senate Executive Committee
To: The CUNY Community
Protestors, reportedly including CUNY students , have harassed new Macaulay Honors College Visiting Professor (and former CIA head and general) David Petraeus on his way to class, using epithets, shouting “You will leave CUNY,” and chanting “ Every class David,” expressing an intent to continue their verbal attacks. Because they disagree with Professor Petraeus’ views, these demonstrators intend to deprive him of his ability to teach and the ability of his students to learn from him.
CUNY has long-established policies to protect the academic freedom of faculty, which are essential for the University’s operation as a center of learning.
The Executive Committee of the University Faculty Senate deplores all attacks on the academic freedom of faculty, regardless of their viewpoint. In the past, we have been strong advocates for the freedom of Kristofer J. Petersen-Overton to teach at Brooklyn College without harassment or retaliation.
Professor Petraeus and all members of CUNY’s instructional staff have the right to teach without interference.
Members of the university community must have the opportunity to express alternate views, but in a manner that does not violate academic freedom.
William E. Phipps
The protesters don’t “disagree with [his] views”. They disagree with his actions, which is a different matter. As CIA head and commander in Afghanistan, Dr. Petraeus supervised activities illegal under international law and, most likely, war crimes. I support academic freedom, but that doesn’t mean CUNY should hire people with blood on their hands.