Welcome to the new (and now only) Fora!

Main Menu

Recent posts

According to The Gothamist, a private law firm has been appointed by the governor to monitor talks, classrooms, professors, and students.
QuoteInside CUNY's antisemitism probe: Campus talks, professors, students under scrutiny

The first few paragraphs:
QuoteMembers of a private law firm appointed by the state to investigate claims of antisemitism at CUNY have been interviewing faculty members, scrutinizing events calendars and materials, and appearing unannounced at faculty meetings, according to scholars, administrators and faculty union representatives.

Gov. Kathy Hochul stated that antisemitism had grown "most acutely" at CUNY and announced the inquiry on Oct. 31, weeks after the Hamas attack on Israel. Her office said at the time that the review would include recommending "actions for the CUNY Board of Trustees to bolster its antidiscrimination polices and help protect Jewish students and faculty."

Since then, lawyers with Latham & Watkins — who have also been tasked with assessing the campus environment, university policies, and how CUNY balances free speech and student safety — have been investigating students' and professors' activities, according to emails shared with Gothamist.

The inquiry's wide scope has some faculty questioning whether silencing dissent at the university — particularly that of pro-Palestinian voices — was its real objective. At the same time, critics — including elected officials and Jewish organizations — have long maintained that the school was a hotbed for antisemitism and said the inquiry was overdue. The governor's office said a report on the commission's findings and recommendations was expected in the coming weeks.

Reasons for the focus on the Law School:
QuoteThe Lippman-led investigators are tasked with examining the entire CUNY system, whose 25 campuses and 225,000 degree-seeking students make it the country's "largest urban public university," according to its website.

Among the schools, CUNY Law has a significant public presence.

The school bills itself as "the No. 1 public interest law school" and ranks at or near the top on metrics of diversity as well as the number of liberal students it draws.

Its progressive credentials have come under scrutiny following student graduation speeches in recent years that have generated outrage from conservatives and pro-Israel voices.

In her 2023 commencement speech, CUNY Law student Fatima Mohammed thanked the school for "defending the right of its students to organize and speak out against Israeli settler colonialism."

At the same event, students turned their backs on another speaker: Mayor Eric Adams. The ensuing uproar led the school to cancel student commencement speeches this year, a move that prompted one group of students to file a federal lawsuit against CUNY officials.

That history hung over a faculty meeting at the law school held on April 24.

QuoteTwo lawyers from Latham & Watkins attended that meeting, according to Deale and other faculty members. Although they did not make their presence known, Deale said students who were in attendance took pictures of the man and woman and identified them afterward from the law firm's website.

He said the meeting was tense. Faculty members were scheduled to vote on a resolution calling for a cease-fire and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel. The vote required a quorum, and Deale said the possible presence of investigators likely kept "a contingent" of faculty members away out of fear. Two other faculty members said they also knew of colleagues who avoided the meeting, despite the considerable buildup to the vote, which had been in the works for two months.

The resolution was ultimately approved by a vote of 38-4, out of a total of 67 voting faculty members.

The situation has prompted concern from union representatives of CUNY academics.

James Davis, the president of the Professional Staff Congress, said CUNY had helped foster a "climate of repression" and that "college administrators and politicians should confront antisemitism without curtailing free speech and academic freedom and without using police forces to repress peaceful student protests."
QuoteDartmouth's President Is Censured by Faculty Over Protest Actions
The president, Sian Leah Beilock, called in the police just hours after a pro-Palestinian encampment went up on campus. A bystander and a professor were injured.[/quote

From the article:
QuoteThe Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College voted on Monday to censure the university's president, Sian Leah Beilock, over her decision to summon the police to remove a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus, calling her action harmful to the community and disruptive to the university's educational mission.

The censure motion was adopted by a vote of 183 to 163, according to Justin Anderson, a spokesman for Dartmouth.

The close vote illustrated the division on campus over Dr. Beilock's decision on May 1, made just hours after the encampment had been erected on the college green. At the meeting, Dr. Beilock defended her actions, saying that she believed there was a reasonable and credible threat of violence.

QuoteIn a statement, the university noted that a censure vote had no practical effect. And the chair of Dartmouth's board, Liz Lempres, applauded Dr. Beilock for her "strong leadership" in nearly impossible circumstances. "The board unequivocally and unanimously supports President Beilock," she said in a statement.

Eighty-nine people were arrested, including two faculty members, as the police moved in to clear the encampment this month. One faculty member, Annelise Orleck, a labor historian, was knocked to the ground as she tried to grab her phone from a police officer.

It's never a good idea to grab anything from a police officer, let alone approach one when asked to leave the premises.

In other news,
QuoteAfter Anti-Israel Speeches, a Law School Curtails Graduation Traditions
CUNY Law School is known for its diversity and activism, and lately for strongly worded pro-Palestinian commencement addresses. This year, the administration canceled its annual student speech.

The first few paragraphs from the article:
QuoteFor the past two years, commencement speakers at the City University of New York School of Law have made support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel a focus of their speeches.

The backlash was intense.

So this year, well before other campuses across the United States faced upheaval over pro-Palestinian student demonstrations, the CUNY law school administration took a new tack. In September, before the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, the school announced that there would be no student speaker at all at this year's commencement ceremony.

The choice is now drawing its own backlash and has brought more controversy to the event.

This spring, several students at the school sued university officials, saying that the school was suppressing speech and infringing on their First Amendment rights by not allowing a student-elected speaker to give an address. Two guests who had been scheduled to speak — Deborah N. Archer, a civil rights lawyer and president of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Muhammad U. Faridi, a litigator — recently withdrew from the event.

The ceremony will now have no outside speakers and no keynote address, the law school said.

The plot thickens; campus talks, professors, and students are under scrutiny, according to an article in The Gothamist.
Quote from: Hibush on Today at 05:27:47 AMFor Columbia Univesity in particular, the uniquely bad police violence was instigated by outside agitators in the business community, who called the NYC mayor to have polcie come to campus and bash heads.

A university administration needs to stand against that type of invasion. It takes special awareness to recognize the "business leaders" in this role. It is not that uncommon for the police to be used by the powerful to suppress dissent and accountability, even in the US. That is what was happening at Columbia.

Scroll down to see the protestors with their faces and heads covered use a hammer to break a glass window so that they could enter the building.
General Discussion / Re: NYT Spelling Bee
Last post by Langue_doc - Today at 06:18:35 AM
Good morning!

Pangrams and above genius. Last word was moony.


Thanks, ab_grp. According to the therapist, the pain was most likely due to an inflammation, which seems to have subsided. I think the pain medication, which is also anti-inflammatory, helped. The last time I had a series of physical therapy appointments was in June last year, so it's been a while since I'd been to this facility. The two physical therapists who usually work on my back greeted me like a long lost friend! Is your husband's consult/appointment today? Sending you both good wishes.

Happy solving!
General Discussion / Re: NYT Spelling Bee
Last post by ciao_yall - Today at 06:15:33 AM

Back on schedule.

Yesterday was a day of /facepalm misses. QBwH for anatomy. LB needed a hint for baptize-exchange because in my brain it's spelled baptise.

Let's see how today goes!

Happy solving!
The State of Higher Ed / Re: DEI programs in the news
Last post by ciao_yall - Today at 06:09:53 AM
Quote from: apl68 on May 20, 2024, 12:57:22 PMThe DEI world just can't catch a break.  Now in the news--a former DEI program manager at first Facebook and then Nike convicted and sentenced for stealing $5 million through her work, using various kinds of fraud and kickbacks.

She has just handed those who write DEI in general off as nothing more than a boondoggle a jumbo-sized magazine of ammunition.  It's got to be enough to make DEI officers who are passionate about their work put their faces in their hands.

In my experience I have observed people who are a little on the outside and believe that all sorts of programs are really a racket for insiders.

So when they get on the "inside," they believe they are just doing what "everyone else" is doing.

I have had people get very upset with me when I try to explain that procedures are X, and we can do as they asked, still, we need to follow the procedures. Oh, you don't actually want to demonstrate you are doing what you are getting paid to do? That's... kind of a problem.
The State of Higher Ed / Re: Protests and police on cam...
Last post by Hibush - Today at 05:27:47 AM
For Columbia Univesity in particular, the uniquely bad police violence was instigated by outside agitators in the business community, who called the NYC mayor to have polcie come to campus and bash heads.

A university administration needs to stand against that type of invasion. It takes special awareness to recognize the "business leaders" in this role. It is not that uncommon for the police to be used by the powerful to suppress dissent and accountability, even in the US. That is what was happening at Columbia.
General Discussion / Re: Movie Thread
Last post by Sun_Worshiper - May 20, 2024, 04:40:41 PM
I spent around 20 hours on a series of flights last week, so watched a few movies:

Tar (2022)

Cate Blanchett is amazing in this and deserves the various awards that she won. It takes a while to get to the point, but it does follow through quite effectively. My only qualm is with the last 15 minutes or so - I would have left that on the cutting room floor.

Grade: B+

Bombshell (2019)

The story of Roger Ailes fall from Fox News, and the women who brought him down (especially Megyn Kelly). This is told in the same style as The Big Short and Vice, with lots of quick cuts and winks to the camera, which is perhaps not the best way to tell a story about sexual harassment. On the other hand, the performances are all good and they look nearly identical to the people they are portraying. Overall, it is watchable, but not good.

Grade: C+

Past Lives (2023)

Nice little film about immigration and culture and leaving things behind. It is well written, acted, and paced. And it has really stayed with me over the last few days.

Grade: A

The State of Higher Ed / Re: Cat awarded honorary docti...
Last post by Parasaurolophus - May 20, 2024, 04:22:43 PM
Quote from: secundem_artem on May 20, 2024, 01:30:49 PM
Quote from: Parasaurolophus on May 20, 2024, 10:27:20 AM
Quote from: Ancient Fellow on May 20, 2024, 03:36:51 AMConsidering the sacrifices made by post grads and their families to earn a doctorate, especially in the midst of such a terrible economy and job market, I think the university's granting a doctorate to a friendly cat is remarkably tone-deaf.

I don't know that that's substantively different from most other honorary doctorate recipients, though. Here, the default is just some civil servant who's done nothing more than their job for thirty years.

I thought that's how you get an MBE.

Not all that different from the Oxford MA, then!
Research & Scholarship / Re: May Research Thread
Last post by Parasaurolophus - May 20, 2024, 04:21:09 PM