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It’s been nearly four months since Governor Hochul appointed former state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to review discrimination and antisemitism at the City University of New York, but it appears that New Yorkers will have to continue waiting for his report. Some CUNY schools are taking some measures to address the hate, even though Lippman’s report is still pending.
“The problem didn’t begin with the weeks following Oct. 7 attacks. It’s been growing on a number of campuses and seen most acutely in the City University of New York,” Hochul said when she launched the probe in October.
When will New Yorkers get some answers? Maybe before commencement season.
Lippman undertook a comprehensive review of all 25 CUNY campuses, not just the few with headline-making incidents. Some changes have already been made:
- CUNY Graduate Center President Robin Garrell stepped down in September after hiring pro-Palestinian professor Marc Lamont Hill, who faced criticism.
- CUNY recently canceled a Lehman College session on “Globalizing the Intifada!” that was controversial.
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bx.) expressed relief at the cancellation of the “Globalizing the Intifada!” event, stating that such events are an invitation to violence against Jews across the globe.
But the cancellation of the event came rather late, despite CUNY’s claims to have taken steps to combat hate, discrimination and intolerance.
Lippman believes that CUNY is making efforts to implement changes even before the release of his report and his recommended best practices.
However, Lippman’s last major public impact with the plan to replace Rikers Island jails with smaller borough-based ones, was impractical and has no apparent solution in sight. This raises concerns whether Lippman’s work on the CUNY report will be similarly ineffective.
Hochul’s order for the probe was timely after the rise in antisemitism at CUNY following the attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7.
Regardless, CUNY can integrate Lippman’s findings or ideas whenever they are made available, as the community expects transparency and action from CUNY’s board and school leaders to ensure the safety of students and faculty.
Living up to the school’s proud history as “the poor man’s Harvard” requires bold steps to prove that hate has no home at CUNY.