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Marxist Attacks CUNY Trustees By: Phil Orenstein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Professor Mitchell Langbert posted a scathing reply to an extensively researched article, Look Who's Trusteeing at CUNY featured on the GC Advocate, the on-line student paper of the CUNY graduate Center. The writer excoriates City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Matt Goldstein, the CUNY Board of Trustees, and the Chairman of the Board, Benno Schmidt, as a “veritable rogue’s gallery of hand-picked business elite.” The anonymous write blames “CUNY’s ruling body” for “pushing to turn CUNY into ‘Walmart U,’” for hiking tuitions and fees, shoving minority and working students out the door, and for the failure of the big bankers JP Morgan Chase and Citibank to provide student loans while their friends at the fed bail out Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae.

The writer shows a relentless bias toward business interests and ignores the campus-wide renaissance due in large part to the diligent efforts of the CUNY Trustees. He reveals he is no different from a crackpot anarchist, when he says the Trustees and CUNY administration should be replaced by the “democratic” control of “students, teachers and workers.” The emancipation of the university is impossible in a society “enslaved…under the rule of capital. The task of freeing CUNY from the profiteers’ dictatorship is part of the fight to sweep away that rule, making education genuinely a right for all.” How does he intend to sweep away that rule, namely the Trustees and CUNY administration?

Dr. Langbert, a professor of business at Brooklyn College, writes about the significant improvements at CUNY and replies to this writer who hides behind a “Ku Klux Klan-like cowl, mask and robe of anonymity.” Langbert writes: “In the 1930s CUNY challenged Harvard for national eminence. In the 1970s, left-wing progressive educationists, in an effort to destroy the career prospects of minority and working class students, aimed to turn CUNY into a laughing stock by ending admissions requirements and introducing elementary school-level "remedial" classes. Schmidt and Goldstein, together with CUNY's stellar board of trustees, have raised standards, improved quality and made CUNY an attractive educational "buy" for many New Yorkers.”

Here’s my reply posted in the comments section:

The unidentified writer must have figured that the “ultra-right, racist, anti-working-class” “McCarthyites” and “Zionist witch-hunters” were too preoccupied bashing the chosen one, to notice his diatribe attacking the good work of the CUNY Trustees, who remarkably turned the failing system around to its former world class status and the higher academic standards it once boasted. The anonymous writer’s spineless condemnation of Chancellor Goldstein, Chairman Schmidt, and the Trustees is based solely upon their status at the “highest stage of capitalism,” quoting from Lenin to apparently demonstrate his revolutionary credentials to his far-left colleagues in the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the CUNY faculty union. The writer sounds like a raving lunatic and the GC Advocate has lost its credibility for posting such drivel.

The obsessive nit-picking research conducted to dig out dirt on the Trustees must have sent Google stocks soaring. However one notorious board member he alluded to but forgot to name, should have been prominently featured with pages of material readily available by searching on Google. That Trustee is Susan O’Malley, the former ex officio member from the University Faculty Senate (UFS). She was elected on May 14th, 2002 by a mere four vote margin and served four long years until the academic year 2006 as UFS chair, and thus ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.

I’m sure this writer would have found a wealth of information on O’Malley’s numerous exploits and adventures in political activism within the CUNY system, such as her attempts to land teaching jobs on CUNY campuses for convicted terrorist Mohammed Yousry and Weather Underground terrorist Susan Rosenberg. He would have found how O’Malley recently rallied in support of Syed Fahad Hashmi, arrested for providing material support to al Qaeda. She signed her name to a public statement for the freedom of this indicted prisoner, a high ranking recruiter in al-Muhajiroun, an extreme Islamist group closely allied to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Additionally he would have discovered that O’Malley filed a $2 million lawsuit to silence and censor Dr. Sharad Karkhanis for daring to publically criticize O’Malley for some of these outrages. He would have found the academic freedom that O’Malley holds so dear, she uses her offices of the University Faculty Senate to deprive others of the same.

Instead of calling for the revolutionary overthrow of the rule of the Trustees and CUNY administration to be “swept away” by the “democratic” control of “students, teachers and workers,” it’s the eccentric professors and CUNY officials running amok in radical politics and rallying for the defense of convicted terrorists and extremists, that have to be fired and directed to find a new line of work in a society “under the rule of capital.”


Phil Orenstein is a manufacturing systems manager at Orics Industries Inc. based in Queens, NY, and formerly an adjunct lecturer of Computer Aided Manufacturing at Queensborough Community College and Farmingdale State University.


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