February 13, 2013 | The University
“I have always been a fierce advocate for free and open exchanges of ideas, and no place better to expect that from happening is at a University. I am also aware that sometimes views are deeply uncomfortable to others; sometimes those views are not fully informed; and sometimes those views are inflammatory by design. It is important that exchanges of views take place, whether they are in a forum, a conference, or merely an invitation by members of a college or university community. There needs to be appropriate opportunities for the expression of counter viewpoints.
“At last week’s event at Brooklyn College, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the College’s Department of Political Science, allegations were made by members of the college community who attended that they were impeded from expressing views either orally or in writing. There were reports that some said they were asked without cause to leave the event. If this were true, it was wrong and we need to understand exactly what the circumstances were. At the request of President Karen L. Gould, I have asked General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Frederick P. Schaffer to quickly investigate these allegations. This investigation will be coordinated by CUNY’s Office of Legal Affairs, working with an independent consultant, and charged with reporting directly back to me.”