Letter from Dr. Katherine M. Conway on the Policy on Freedom of Expression and Expressive Conduct

June 17, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

We believe the creation of a policy affirming CUNY’s strong support of free speech is particularly important at this point in time, when the environment is fraught with examples of political interference in the process.  This view has been articulated already in a number of list serve messages.

However, we also heard your concerns regarding the creation of “designated areas” for demonstrations, and while we felt we had worked to ensure protections for the faculty and students, we want to be responsive to the issues you raised.  Working closely with VC Schaffer, he responded quickly to our requests both to eliminate the “designated areas” language and to reiterate in the policy the protections inherent in the first amendment.

Attached are two copies of the revised policy, a clean copy, as well as a copy showing the changes that were made.  The UFS Executive Committee voted yesterday to endorse the policy and hope you will support it as well.

Lastly, we have communicated to the VC, as well as to the Chancellor, our desire to be partners in creating policy and setting a direction for the future.  Towards that end we have asked that we be given more lead time on items that are going to the BOT, and that the Administration be cognizant of the academic calendar.  At the UFS Executive level, we will endeavor to better communicate with you on the various items under consideration.

My thanks to all of you who took the time to read the policy and to send us feedback.


Dr. Katherine M. Conway
Business Management Department
Borough of Manhattan Community College