Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
CUNY Trustees to Reconsider Kushner's Honorary Degree
Monday, May 09, 2011
An executive committee of the CUNY board of trustees is holding a meeting Monday to reconsider granting an honorary degree for Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner.
The full CUNY board voted last week to table the vote on the degree after one trustee, Jeffrey Weisenfeld, raised objections because he found some of Kushner's comments on an anti-Israel website.
But since then the CUNY board has received more than 400 emails to the board -- all but five in favor of Kushner's degree, according to trustee Sandi Cooper who chairs the University Faculty Senate.
And the union representing CUNY faculty is calling for Weisenfeld to resign his seat.
Wiesenfeld meanwhile is standing firm. In an e-mail, he said of Kushner that "I do not know of many people who support Israel and lament her creation." Asked about resigning, he wrote "My term concludes, by law, on June 30, 2013."
Kushner said he supports Israel's right to exist and his views taken out of context.