To: President Hamilton
We find it perplexing, if not disturbing, to see that the opinion of a single, non NYU individual, and a highly controversial one at that, is being used to cast aspersions on the conduct of NYU faculty in this manner. To label our correspondence as the operations of an “outlier” is a time-honored tactic employed to marginalize and demonize a set of beliefs. For the record, our chapter has not taken a position on BDS. Its members hold a variety of views on the topic, as do AAUP members nationwide, and so we support their right to express these views and act on them.
Moreover, it should be obvious to all that the NYU-AAUP voice on this matter is hardly a marginal one on this campus. Other sectors of the NYU community are expressing their views. Our graduate teaching assistants issued a statement earlier this week, and we understand that dozens of undergraduate clubs are doing so too. Maligning the faculty members of the AAUP chapter is neither collegial nor is it going to eradicate the widespread sentiment, on this campus and others around the country, to address the issues at hand.
Nor, we should add, does the position taken in our recent correspondence appeal directly to BDS principles. As we have pointed out, and as Professor Nelson (who only speaks for himself) appears to neglect entirely, we are seeking here to defend and protect fundamental campus principles of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity, and to stand against racial profiling and the suppression of political viewpoints. We would expect the same of every member of the NYU community. At a time when NYU is struggling to pursue its “diversity goals,” any charges regarding the violation of nondiscrimination policies ought to be taken very seriously.
While we take a dim view of the use of an outside voice to disparage our own advocacy work, we do not, of course, believe that faculty and student conduct around NYUTA is a wholly internal NYU matter, nor do we think it should be adjudicated through a closed process. We trust that the NYU community as a whole is resourceful enough to approach the topic in a respectful way, and in a manner that preserves the basic principles of academic freedom.
Marie Monaco, president, NYU-AAUP
Jim Uleman, vice-president, NYU-AAUP
Molly Nolan, secretary, NYU-AAUP
Anna McCarthy, treasurer, NYU-AAUP
Paula Chakravartty, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP
Rebecca Karl, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP
Vincent Renzi, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP
Andrew Ross, immediate past president, NYU-AAUP