Blog

January 29, 2017
Why does the distinction between a public and a private campus space matter? It matters because, as things currently stand, immigration officials use administrative warrants when they are looking to enforce immigration law. Processes outlined in an existing Homeland Security memo established that in so-called sensitive areas, like schools and churches, administrative warrants can only be enforced in public areas. A court order—another kind of warrant—can be used anywhere, but has historically not been the instrument of first resort for immigration officials. We may resist the… Read More »


December 21, 2016
Dear CCNY Community, I've been asked on several occasions and by several CCNY entities to make a public declaration of CCNY as a sanctuary campus. This issue is complicated, and deserves more than a simple declaration. In what follows, I would like to unpack those issues and lay out a clear understanding for what the campus can do to protect our students, and what lies beyond our power. First and foremost, the offices of this college—administrative, academic, security or otherwise—will not be used as an instrument for the enforcement of immigration law. We are a state office… Read More »


December 21, 2016
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Students, I don't know about you, but by this time of the academic year, I'm more or less running on fumes. There's so much to do, every day, to keep our college running, to make sure our students are well educated and cared for. If you're a student, I know that the last weeks of the semester were probably exhausting for you—replete with the rush to finish papers, tie up experiments and lab projects, and prepare for final exams. Our holiday break is upon us, and we have all earned the respite. Over the next few weeks, we'll all be enjoying some… Read More »


December 14, 2016
Dear CCNY Colleagues, The impact of the recent presidential election on immigrants, including those on our campus, is very much on everyone’s mind.  As part of our response, I have asked that a microphone be set up on the plaza in front of NAC at 3:30 this Thursday to give us an opportunity to stage a demonstration in support of our students, particularly those with reason to fear a shift in immigration policy or practice. I hope that students, faculty, administrators and staff will use the open mic to signify our resolve to protect our entire student body and our belief in a… Read More »


December 04, 2016
Last night, we discovered anti-Semitic graffiti on the CCNY campus. The New York City Police department is investigating this graffiti as a hate crime, and I fully support that approach. But I also wanted to say how heart sick this kind of thing makes me, and should make us all. There’s not a person on this campus who would not now, or in the recent past, have been vulnerable to something like an attack of this kind. Today it happens that someone wrote something hateful and nasty about Jewish people. Tomorrow it may be African Americans or people who follow the Muslim faith. But… Read More »


November 23, 2016
Dear Friends and Colleagues, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a happy and safe thanksgiving. I hope that this Thursday, and over the course of the holidays to come, you have the opportunity to spend time with people you love and who love you, enjoy the bounty of the season, and reflect on all that is good in your life. When I take that pause myself, I'll spend time thinking about all of you, and the work we do together on this campus. I'm so grateful to call CCNY my home institution, and to number each of you among the members of my community. I also hope… Read More »


November 23, 2016
At City College, our values demand that whatever the rhetoric in the larger society, our campus will be a place where all people are welcome, protected, and celebrated. Wherever you were born, whatever you believe, and however you came here: if you have the requisite talent, City College is a place where your experiences, perspectives and identity will be respected.  We embrace our differences as virtues rather than threats.  We have worked, for over 160 years, to nurture an academic community dedicated to the idea that a democratic and stable society needs the talents of each… Read More »


November 09, 2016
To many of you, the world today must feel a colder and more lonely place. Over the past months, we have watched the parameters of what is acceptable in our political and social life, and in the speech acts associated with that life, shift radically away from established norms of racial justice, gender fairness and basic equality before the law. I write these lines not as a partisan in our political process, but as someone who has been asked to steward, for the time being, an institution that is not neutral on these questions, and that cannot remain neutral. Our values demand,… Read More »


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