Trump Tweets Inflammatory Videos of Muslims and Touches Off a Media Firestorm!

Dear Commons Community,

Donald Trump again embarrassed the Office of the Presidency by retweeting three videos from an ultranationalist British organization showing Muslims committing acts of violence. Reaction from within the United States and abroad was swift and critical of Trump’s action.  As reported by the New York Times:

“President Trump touched off another racially charged furor on Wednesday by sharing videos from a fringe British ultranationalist group purportedly showing Muslims committing acts of violence, a move that was swiftly condemned by Britain’s prime minister as well as politicians across the spectrum.

The videos Mr. Trump retweeted were titled: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” But the assailant in one of them was not a “Muslim migrant” and the other two showed four-year-old events with no explanation.

No modern American president has promoted inflammatory content of this sort from an extremist organization. Mr. Trump’s two most recent predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both made a point of avoiding public messages that were likely to be seen as anti-Muslim and could exacerbate racial and religious animosities, arguing that the war against terrorism was not a war against Islam.

But Mr. Trump has shown little such restraint, targeting Muslims with a broad brush, including when he claimed on the campaign trail last year that “Islam hates us” and when he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims coming to the United States. Since taking office, he has sought to block visitors from select Muslim-majority nations and engaged in a long-distance feud with the Muslim mayor of London, whom he branded weak on terrorism.

The messages came at a time when Mr. Trump has been lashing out at an array of perceived adversaries, including the National Football LeagueCNNNBC and Democratic leaders. He referred to a senator as “Pocahontas” this week in front of Navajo veterans he was honoring. In a meandering speech in St. Charles, Mo., on Wednesday, Mr. Trump labeled North Korea’s leader a “sick puppy,” asserted that welfare recipients lived better than some people with jobs, noted that his wealthy friends “love their children” and insisted that he did not like some bankers even though he was making their job “easy for them.”

Mr. Trump’s unbridled talk of Muslim violence thrilled some conservative supporters who see him as a truthteller breaking from the shackles of political correctness, but it alarmed mainstream political leaders in the United States and Britain, who deemed it reckless and counterproductive.

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, who has broken with Mr. Trump, called the postings “highly inappropriate” and added, “I hope he takes them down and doesn’t do it again.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who lately has been an ally of the president, said Mr. Trump was “legitimizing religious bigotry” with the Twitter posts. “We need Muslim allies in the war on terror,” he said. “I can only imagine how some of our Muslim allies must feel when the president gives legitimacy to it.”

The reaction was sharp in London, where Prime Minister Theresa May, the leader of the Conservative Party, denounced the president for sharing material posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, the ultranationalist group. “It is wrong for the president to have done this,” Mrs. May’s office said in a statement. “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people.”

David Lammy, a Labour Party member of Parliament, echoed that on Twitter. “Trump sharing Britain First,” he wrote. “Let that sink in. The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. He is no ally or friend of ours.”

The American presidency continues to sink to new depths during the current administration.  More seriously, as was stated today on the MSNBC Morning Joe program, we have to question whether Trump has “the intellect or emotion to carry out his responsibilities.”


“Inside Education” Reports on Our Panel: With Great Technology Comes Great Responsibility!

Dear Commons Community,

At the OLC ACCELERATE Conference in Orlando, Florida, two weeks ago, I was on a panel with Chuck Dziuban, Patsy Moskal, Mary Niemiec and Karen Swan.  Mark Lieberman, a reporter from Inside Education, was in the audience and wrote an article, With Great Technology  Comes Great Responsibility, that was based on our discussion and that appeared in yesterday’s edition. Here is an excerpt:

“Chuck Dziuban, director of the research initiative for teaching effectiveness at the University of Central Florida, had a suggestion.

“Take two [different] earbuds, put one in each ear and play two different songs,” Dziuban said during a panel this month on the future of digital learning. “What you’re hearing is complexity. You’re experiencing much more than the sum of those two songs. You’ve got noise, you’ve got interference. It’ll blow your mind.”

Prepare to be bombarded: that’s the takeaway from the presentation at the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate conference. Panelists from several institutions offered theories and predictions about the effect of still-developing technologies on the academic experience, as well as the challenges institutions will face implementing and adapting to radical innovation.

Tony Picciano outlined the evolution of online courses from the first wave of asynchronous, text-based offerings in the 1990s to a second wave around 2000 with blended and hybrid models and a couple more waves culminating in the current post-MOOC landscape. The latest wave is on its way, Picciano argues, and could include:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Early artificial intelligence
  • Massive cloud computing
  • Low-cost, high-quality and digital media animation

Once those developments take hold, Picciano said, even more radical ones are on the horizon for the 2030s and beyond. Quantum computing could transform the typical data storage capacity from terabytes to zettabytes and yottabytes. Biosensing could place computers inside people’s minds and make decisions based on interpretations of thoughts. Artificial intelligence will become fully developed, and robotics will become commonplace.

Mary Niemiec, associate vice president for distance education at the University of Nebraska and director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, sees money as a primary concern as digital learning expands its reach. Though technology in theory improves efficiency and reduces long-term costs, short-term investments can be daunting.

“The concern is, how do we move forward, use these innovations, create and take advantage of machine learning and AI and virtual reality, without increasing the cost of an education at least initially?” Niemiec said. She’s looked at reallocation of existing funds as well as public-private partnerships, such as several taking place to enable virtual reality initiatives at her campus’s medical school. Other solutions will need to emerge, she said.

Scale can be difficult to achieve, especially when instructors want to maintain control of a ballooning volume of course content, according to Patsy Moskal, associate director for the research initiative for teaching effectiveness at the University of Central Florida. Some institutions — particularly smaller privates — won’t have easy access to the kinds of partnerships that can make scale a reality, Niemiec said.

“We may end up seeing more consortium-type work and more collaboration,” Niemiec said. “There are solutions. It takes creativity. It takes being strategic to look at how we’re going to pay for it. We have to make sure it’s mission consistent, and that we’re not just doing it because we’re chasing that shiny little brass ring.”

It’s also conceivable that technology from overzealous vendors could distract from the essential mission of higher ed as the line between virtual and reality blurs, said Karen Swan, professor of educational leadership at University of Illinois at Springfield. Adaptive learning, for instance, has existed since the 1970s, but the speed and interconnectedness now possible change the game, she said. The goal should always remain focused on students, particularly when they need remedial attention.

“The technology should not be driving what you do in instruction. We should look at them as resources,” Moskal said. “What is the problem or the issue or what you are trying to achieve in your instruction, and then go look for appropriate technologies that can help you most efficiently and with the highest level of instruction achieve some of those improvements.”

Thank you Mr. Lieberman for this coverage!



Vera Shlakman is Dead: Last Survivor of Faculty Fired from NYC Board of Higher Education during Red Scare in the 1950s!

Dear Commons Community,

Vera Shlakman, an economics professor who was fired by Queens College after she refused to tell Senate investigators whether she had ever been a card-carrying Communist — a punishment that brought an apology three decades later — died on Nov. 5 at her home in Manhattan. She was 108.  Dr. Shlakman was the last survivor among more than a dozen faculty members at New York City’s public colleges who were ousted by the Board of Higher Education during the Red Scare wrought by Senators Pat McCarran and Joseph R. McCarthy.  As reported in her New York Times obituary:

“Dr. Shlakman was a 42-year-old assistant professor when she was fired in 1952, Dr. Shlakman neither taught economics again.

Thirty years later, 10 of the fired professors, including Dr. Shlakman, were indemnified with pension settlements after receiving an apology from college officials.

“They were dismissed during and in the spirit of the shameful era of McCarthyism, during which the freedoms traditionally associated with academic institutions were quashed,” the trustees of the City University of New York declared in a resolution adopted unanimously in 1980. The trustees had succeeded the Board of Higher Education.

No one doubted Dr. Shlakman’s political leanings.

She had been named for the Russian revolutionary Vera Zasulich. Emma Goldman, the anarchist, was a regular guest in her family’s home. Dr. Shlakman was vice president of the college division of a Teachers Union local that was rebuked for being dominated by Communists.

But when she was summoned before a public hearing of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator McCarran, a Nevada Democrat, Dr. Shlakman invoked her constitutional guarantees of free speech and privilege against self-incrimination when asked about her membership in the Communist Party.

“Do you believe that a member of the Communist Party can be a college teacher?” Robert J. Morris, the subcommittee counsel, asked Dr. Shlakman at the hearing, held on Sept. 24, 1952, at the United States Court House in Foley Square in Manhattan.

She replied, “I think that any teacher must be judged on the basis of his performance in the classrooms; that if a teacher follows professional standards in the classroom, and is a scholar, he is entitled to teach as any citizen.”

As an economist, Dr. Shlakman seemed to suggest that “communism” had become an overwrought term. She cited one example of what, by her reckoning, had once been branded radical but became an accepted staple of American life while leaving democratic institutions intact.

“When the United States Post Office began to carry packages,” she said, “this activity was viewed as a challenge to private enterprise’’ and “a kind of socialistic or communistic activity.”

Pressed about whether being a Communist would close a teacher’s mind to any deviation from the party line, she replied that similar speculations had been raised against devout Roman Catholics.

“We don’t condemn people now — at least I assume we don’t — on the basis of guilt by association,” she said.

As far as the committee and college administrators were concerned, though, by refusing to respond to the question about party membership, Dr. Shlakman became a “Fifth Amendment Communist.”

She was fired from her professorship 12 days after the hearing under two New York regulations. One, authorized by the State Legislature in 1949, barred the school system from employing anyone who belonged to what was deemed a subversive organization.

The other, a provision of the city charter enacted to thwart corruption, provided that a city employee’s refusal to testify about his or her official conduct, because doing so might be self-incriminating, was grounds for dismissal.

Both provisions would be declared unconstitutional in the late 1960s. But they were enforced in Dr. Shlakman’s case, and as she told her fellow professors after she testified, her firing had left the academic community with a choice.

“It must either grovel and accept the standards of orthodoxy prescribed by the McCarrans and the McCarthys, and those who have capitulated to them,” she wrote, “or it must resist.”

She recalled that educators had resisted earlier congressional inquiries into reading requirements for college courses. “Is the dismissal of teachers,” she asked, “easier to accept than the burning of books?”

But profiles in courage were few and far between during the McCarthy era.

The British economist Mark Blaug, a former student of Dr. Shlakman’s, wrote in an essay in 2000 that she had been “scrupulously impartial and leaned over backward not to indoctrinate her students” — which was why, he added, as a college tutor he had endorsed a student petition demanding her reinstatement.

Less than 24 hours later, he said, the Queens College president ordered him to resign or be dismissed.

“For a day or two, I contemplated a magnificent protest,” wrote Professor Blaug, who died in 2011, “a statement that would ring down the ages as a clarion bell to individual freedom, that would be read and cited for years to come by American high school students — and then I quietly sent in my letter of resignation.”

After leaving Queens, Dr. Shlakman was unemployed for a year.

She then worked as a secretary and a bookkeeper and taught intermittently. She was placed on an F.B.I. watch list because she was, as an F.B.I. file put it, “reportedly” a member of the Communist Party from 1944 to 1946 and had invoked the Fifth Amendment before the subcommittee, according to Marjorie Heins’s “Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge” (2013).

In 1960, Dr. Shlakman started teaching again at Adelphi University in its School of Social Work. In 1966 she was hired by the Columbia University School of Social Work, where she taught full time until she retired as professor emerita in 1978.”

A sad chapter in the history of our country and the New York City Board of Higher Education.


At Ceremony Honoring Navajo Veterans: Trump Mocks Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”!

Dear Commons Community,

It is amazing how often President Trump shows his lack of grace and dignity and he was at it again yesterday during a ceremony honoring three Navajo World War II veterans.   Trump could not resist making a derogatory comment by referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”.  As reported by the New York Times:

“President Trump on Monday transformed a White House ceremony to honor Navajo veterans of World War II into a racially charged controversy, using the event as a platform to deride Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

Standing in the Oval Office alongside three Navajo code talkers, whom he called “very, very special people,” Mr. Trump dispensed with his prepared remarks and took aim at Ms. Warren without naming her, resurrecting a favorite nickname as the veterans stood stonefaced.

“You were here long before any of us were here,” Mr. Trump said to the veterans, ages 90 and older, who wore their military uniforms for the occasion, juxtaposed with turquoise and silver, hallmarks of Navajo culture. “Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

He made the remarks while standing in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson — a favorite of Mr. Trump’s — who served as the nation’s seventh president and signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which resulted in the mass displacement and deaths of Native Americans often referred to as the Trail of Tears.

The comment made for an awkward moment during an otherwise uplifting event, organized to pay tribute to the contributions of the young Native Americans recruited by the United States military to create top-secret coded messages used to communicate during battles. And it was the latest instance of a president who relishes any opportunity to land a hit against a political opponent, veering sharply off-script with divisive speech and quickly setting off a furor.

Mr. Trump was referring, as he often has, to Ms. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, a former Harvard Law School professor who came under fire in 2012 after it emerged that, during her academic career, she identified herself as a minority, citing Native American roots.

The comment drew swift rebukes from Native American leaders, including one who was present for the ceremony. Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation, called the president’s mention of Pocahontas “derogatory” and “disrespectful to Indian nations.”

“This is something that unfortunately came up during the campaign and it seems to have stuck in the mind of the president, something that he continues to use, to take a jab at the senator,” Mr. Begaye said in an interview. “The campaign is over. The nation needs to move forward, and using Native Americans in this way, in this type of honoring setting is something that should not be happening.”

His comments again show Trump as an embarrassment to himself, the presidency, and the American people!


Latest Development in Alabama Special Senate Election: Write-In Candidate Lee Busby!

Dear Commons Community,

The media have been closely following the Alabama special senate race between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.  The interest in this election was sparked by allegations from eight women who have accused Moore of sexually preying on them when they were teenagers and when he was in his 30s. A number of prominent Republicans have called on Moore to step down which he has adamantly refused to do. With a little over two weeks before the vote on December 12th, former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Lee Busby, announced yesterday that he will launch a write-in campaign for the seat.  As reported by Business Insider and The Washington Post:

“Lee Busby, a 60-year-old retired Marine colonel from Tuscaloosa, told The Washington Post that he saw a route for a centrist candidate to win the seat being contested by Democratic candidate Doug Jones and Republican candidate Roy Moore — the latter of whom has been accused of extensive sexual misconduct.

“I think you can flip this thing,” he said. “If this were a military operation, the left flank and the right flank are heavily guarded. I think that gives you an opportunity to run straight up the middle.”

Busby believes both Jones and Moore are not qualified for the office and that while he wasn’t certain of the truth of the accusations against Moore, they had “created enough distaste in my mind.” Republicans have resisted a write-in campaign, believing it could split the GOP vote and help Jones, but Busby told The Post he thought he could attract supporters of both Moore and Jones.

Busby said he supports efforts to lower taxes, wants to repeal Obamacare, and believes life begins at conception (though he supports exceptions for abortions in some cases).

Busby served as a Marine officer in Iraq and later trained soldiers as a defense contractor in Afghanistan. Before retiring in 2013, he was vice chief of staff for Kelly when the latter was a three-star Marine Corps general in charge of that service branch’s reserve.

He said he plans to run as an independent, touting his past as a military officer, investment banker, and entrepreneur.

Busby — who said he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 Republican primary and for President Donald Trump in the general election — said he had not spoken to Kelly about running, but may do so if his campaign looks promising.

He has yet to set up a formal campaign, telling The Post he spent the weekend after Thanksgiving working on a logo and looking into campaign-fundraising requirements.

The special election will take place on December 12.

Good luck to Mr. Busby even though I hope that Doug Jones wins the seat.


Time Inc. Sold to Group Backed by Koch Brothers!

Dear Commons Community,

Various media are reporting that Time Inc., the publisher of the magazines Time, People and Sports Illustrated, will sell itself to the Meredith Corporation in a deal worth $2.8 billion. Meredith will pay $18.50 a share for the legacy media giant.  The sale, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, is backed by $650 million in financing from Koch Equity Development, the private equity group owned by billionaire brothers and conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. As reported by the New York Times:

“A long chapter in media history came to an unlikely close on Sunday night with a sale agreement for Time Inc., the publisher of once-prestigious magazine titles including Time, Sports Illustrated and People.

The Meredith Corporation — the owner of Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and All Recipes — agreed to purchase Time Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $3 billion. The deal was made possible, in part, by an infusion of $650 million from the private equity arm of Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for using their wealth and political connections to advance conservative causes.

Some Koch allies have suggested that the brothers would view their investment purely as a moneymaking opportunity. But others familiar with the Kochs’ thinking speculated that they could nonetheless use the media properties — which reach millions of online and print readers — to promote their brand of conservatism. The investment would also give the Kochs a way to combine the arsenal of voter information held by a data analytics company controlled by their network, i360, with the publishers’ consumer data.”

It remains to be seen whether and to what extent the Koch brothers might involve themselves in the Time Inc. publications.


“The Unfinished Palazzo: Life, Love, and Art in Venice” – by Judith Mackrell!

Dear Commons Community,

I have just finished reading Judith Mackrell’s book, The Unfinished Palazzo:  Life, Love, and Art in Venice (Thames & Hudson, 2017).  This book focuses on three women, Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse, and Peggy Guggenheim, each of whom lived in the Palazzo Venier in Venice. The 18th-century palazzo is nicknamed Ca’ Nonfinito, “the unfinished house,” because only the ground floor was built before the funding for the construction ran out.  In telling the stories of these eccentric women, Mackrell brings the reader into the turbulent times of 20th century Europe:  Marchesa Luisa Casati, from Milan, an exhibitionist who considered her life (and especially her person) to be a work of art; Doris, Lady Castlerosse, an Englishwoman whose lovers included both Winston Churchill and his son, Randolph; and Peggy Guggenheim, the American art patron who bequeathed the mansion to her family’s foundation as a museum of modern art.

Here is an excerpt from a review by Gabriella Coslovich:

“To this day, the exploits of Luisa Casati (the heiress), Doris Castlerosse (the mistress) and Peggy Guggenheim (the collector) have the power to shock, dismay and inspire in equal measure – each refused to conform to traditional female roles, and while their behaviour was not always admirable (and at times borders on the abominable) their courage in facing the misogyny and double-standards of their times and forging their own path is thrilling.

Much has been written about Casati and Guggenheim (who penned her own memoir), less so about Castlerosse – although her connection to contemporary English model and actress Cara Delevingne, herself no slouch in courting controversy, has prompted a revival of notoriety, with the tabloids excitedly pouncing on “Cara’s VERY naughty aunty!”, seductress of Winston Churchill.

Using the device of their shared palazzo on the Grand Canal, Mackrell seamlessly weaves together the stories of these three women, drawing parallels between their overlapping lives and cultural milieu, creating an account that is as much riveting social history as biography.”

I found the stories of these women most interesting partially because I have visited the Palazzo Venier which houses Guggenheim’s modern art collection but also because of the background of 20th century Europe during World War I, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, World War II and its aftermath.  Peggy Guggenheim’s story also provides insights into the New York City modern art scene in the 1940s and early 1950s.

A good read!


New York Times Editorial: Stop Exploiting Veterans at For-Profit Colleges!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times has an editorial today calling on Congress to stop the United States Education Department from dismantling rules that protect students generally, and veterans in particular, from exploitation by for-profit colleges. It specifically comments that despite efforts by Congress, the Obama administration and state attorneys general to stop the predatory practices of for-profit colleges, veterans and service members who rely on funding from the G.I. bill and the Defense Department to attend school are still being targeted by an industry infamous for saddling people with debt and useless degrees.  It is my opinion that with Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education, the rules governing for-profit colleges will continue to be loosened.  Below is the entire editorial.



Exploiting Veterans for Proift!

New York Times Editorial Board

November 24, 2017

Despite efforts by Congress, the Obama administration and state attorneys general to stop the predatory practices of for-profit colleges, veterans and service members who rely on funding from the G.I. bill and the Defense Department to attend school are still being targeted by an industry infamous for saddling people with debt and useless degrees.

Senate committee report sounded a warning on this problem three years ago, when it raised questions about deceptive practices in the industry. State attorneys general and federal agencies at the time were investigating seven for-profit outfits with significant revenue streams from the G.I. bill. Some of these schools have since been forced to shut down.

Nevertheless, a new analysis of federal data by Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit that provides free legal services to student veterans, finds that the for-profit industry is still setting its sights on veterans and service members even as its nonmilitary enrollment has declined.

The problem lies in what is known as the 90/10 rule, created by Congress in 1998. The rule allows for-profit schools to raise 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid and requires them to raise the remaining 10 percent from other sources. The point was to prevent the government from supplying all of the revenue for low-quality schools that private citizens thought unworthy of their dollars.

But because of an oversight in how the law was worded, schools are allowed to count some federal money — from G.I. education benefits and Department of Defense tuition assistance — as privately raised. This has made veterans and service members a special target for high-pressure recruitment tactics and deliberate fraud.

The new report also shows that the schools that rely almost entirely on federal revenue — when veteran and Defense Department money is counted — are leaning more and more on veterans and service members. The number of schools that get more than 90 percent of revenue from the government grew to 192 from 133 between 2011 and 2013, the most recent year with available data — and such schools experienced a 60 percent jump in the revenue they received from enrolling veterans and service members.

This is worrisome because the industry is so closely identified with fraud. A new study by the Century Foundation that analyzes nearly 100,000 fraud complaints filed with the Education Department found that virtually all of those complaints were generated by the for-profit industry, which accounts for only about 10 percent of student enrollment nationally.

Veterans organizations that have seen servicemen and women exploited by this for-profit industry have repeatedly criticized the Department of Education’s recent decision to abandon Obama-era rules that held the industry more closely accountable and made it easier for students who were cheated by unscrupulous schools to erase federal loan debt. In a letter this fall, for example, a coalition of veterans groups complained that the 90/10 rule had led to veterans being singled out for fraud.

Congress needs to stop the Education Department from dismantling rules that protect students generally, and veterans in particular, from exploitation. It should also close the loophole in the 90/10 rule to ensure that all federal funds are counted as such. That way schools would actually have to attract private money, as the original law intended.


Medgar Evers College President Rudy Crew Interested in the CUNY Chancellorship!

Dear Commons Community,

Rudy Crew, the current president of Medgar Evers College, is interested in being chancellor of the City University of New York.  Crew, a former New York City public schools chancellor, isn’t ruling out the possibility of taking over the top job at the City University of New York.  Chancellor James N. Milliken announced last week that he will be departing at the end of the academic year.   According to an article in the New York Daily News:

 “…it would be an honor to be considered for one of the greatest jobs in the world,” Crew said in a statement addressing the speculation. “By the same token, I have not had time to even really think about the position, given that Milliken’s announcement is quite recent.”

Crew, 67, said he was mainly focused on his current gig — leading the Brooklyn college named for the slain civil-rights leader.

 “My primary focus for five years has been Medgar Evers College and its upward trajectory,” he said. “Medgar Evers College will remain my focus as we continue to rise and gain attention for our innovative approaches to the most pressing issues in urban education.”

Crew’s got a lengthy resume in education — he helmed the city’s massive K-12 public school system from 1995 to 1999, under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He is credited with creating the “chancellor’s district” concept that allowed his office to sink money and resources into struggling schools, but was eventually pushed out amid disagreements with Giuliani.

Crew has also led the Miami-Dade public school system in Florida, and spent a year atop the education system in Oregon before returning to New York for the Medgar Evers position.

Experience navigating the city’s rough-and-tumble politics while running a school system could come in handy at CUNY. Gov. Cuomo, who appoints the majority of the board’s trustees, has previously sparred with Mayor de Blasio, who appoints a third of them, in an effort to get the city to pick up more of the cost of running the system.”

If appointed, Crew would not be the first CUNY college president to become chancellor.  Former chancellors, Joe Murphy and Matt Goldstein, had been presidents of Queens College and Baruch College respectively.  However, both Murphy and Goldstein had left their CUNY positions prior to assuming the chancellorship and were presidents of other non-CUNY institutions.  Crew would be the first sitting CUNY president to assume the position.


Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2017!

Dear Commons Community,

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade yesterday was one of the best that the department store has put on in years.  The weather cooperated, the balloons inspired awe in the faces of young and old, and there were no incidents of violence.  We thank the NYPD for their vigilance and hard work to keep our traditions safe from those who seek to spread fear.

BRAVO and BRAVA to all!