Saturday, February 1, 2014

Urgent Action Needed to Block Assembly Bill Attacking Academic Freedom

Dear PSC Members:

We need you to make calls THIS WEEKEND to help stop the passage of Assembly Bill 8392. This bill would prohibit colleges and universities in New York State from using state funding to support employees' participation in academic groups or associations that have passed resolutions or taken official actions to promote boycotts against certain countries or their higher eduction institutions. Further, colleges or universities that act in violation of this prohibition would not be eligible for any State funding for that academic year!

Last night, the PSC Delegate Assembly passed a resolution opposing this bill and a NY State Senate companion bill. Please see the attached resolution. These bills are attacks on academic freedom and constitutional rights, and are opposed by a broad array of higher education and civil libertarian institutions and organizations.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: the sponsors of this legislation (Speaker Silver is the main sponsor) are trying to sneak this through without public knowledge or even holding public legislative hearings. Right now, the Higher Education Committee has scheduled for this Monday an "off the floor" committee meeting (no announced time) in the Speaker's Conference Room (normally not open to the public) to consider Assembly 8392. The fact that the Assembly leadership is proposing such a bill is outrageous and the fact that they are trying to do so behind closed doors adds insult to injury.


1) Please read the attached PSC's Statement of Opposition. If you wish, go to the Senate and Assembly webpages and look up the bill numbers to see for yourself what they say.

2) Call or email Speaker Silver's offices to let him know of your opposition to Assembly 8392. Let him know he should pull A 8392 and he should not try to pass this behind closed doors. Speaker Silver's New York City Office: (212) 312-1420; Albany Office: (518) 455-3791; email:

3) Call or email Deborah Glick, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, to let her know that you oppose A 8392 and that she should not pass A 8392 out of committee. Chair Glick's New York City Office: (212) 674-5153; Albany Office: (518) 455-4841; email:

4) Attached is a list of all members of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. If you live in their district, please use the contact information to let them know of your opposition to A 8392. Also, please contact your Assemblymember to register your opposition to A 8392.

5) Finally, please forward this email to friends and colleagues and ask them to act.

We will do a more systematic outreach to all members next week if this legislation is still alive. Meanwhile, we are counting on you to respond to this call for urgent action!

In solidarity,

Steve London
First Vice President, PSC/CUNY
61 Broadway, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10006
(212) 354-1252

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