New York Legislature Takes up Academic Bill of Rights · 13 March 2006

Filed under: New York, Press Coverage

March 14, 2006
Contact: Elizabeth Ruiz
800-752-6562, ext. 202
Elizabeth@cspc.org

New York Legislature Takes up Academic Bill of Rights

Members of the New York State Assembly tossed their hats into the ring of the academic freedom movement on February 28 when they introduced a bill that would establish an academic bill of rights for students in state-funded colleges and universities.

Inspired by the Academic Freedom Campaign launched by Students for Academic Freedom and the Academic Bill of Rights written by its chairman David Horowitz, New York Assembly Bill #A10098 would ensure "an academic environment for both students and faculty members that allows freedom of political viewpoint, expression and instruction."

The Assembly Bill was introduced by Reps. Seminerio, Mayersohn, and Zebrowski, and was co-sponsored by Reps. Green, Hikind, and J. Levelle. It follows on the heels of nearly identical legislation that was introduced in the New York State Senate earlier this year.

The bill's sponsors are now gearing up for a showdown with the state's teachers unions who have publicly misrepresented the Academic Bill of Rights in a campaign to defeat it.

Dick Iannuzzi, President of the New York State United Teachers, has called the Academic Bill of Rights "an outrageous policy that would actually set quotas for the number of conservative faculty members on campuses," an accusation invented out of whole cloth and clearly contradicted by the text of the Assembly Bill which requires that "that faculty be hired, fired, or promoted on the merits of their work and not on their political or religious beliefs."

"My thanks goes out to the members of the New York State Assembly who had the courage to address these crucial issues despite the pervasive campaigns of disinformation on the issue that have been perpetrated by union leaders in this state," said David Horowitz, chairman of Students for Academic Freedom. "Assembly Bill #A10098 is a major step toward ensuring the academic freedom of New York's college students."

Students for Academic Freedom is a national movement to promote intellectual diversity and to restore educational values to America's institutions of higher learning. The organization recommends that colleges and universities adopt an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure that these principles are respected. The Academic Bill of Rights is available on the organization's website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

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