Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Karkhanis Defends Against Professional Staff Congress's Attack on Academic Freedom

The latest issue of Sharad Karkhanis's Patriot Returns features a letter from Fred Brodzinski and Stephen Peter Russell alleging that the City University of New York's incompetent union, the Professional Staff Congress, may have violated union election procedures:

"It seems that the merry krew at Bowen's Broadway Bunker may have been tampering with pending elections for HEO alternate representatives to the Delegate Assembly. Rather than putting forward the names of candidates who took the trouble to attend a nominating meeting, the New Caucus seems simply to have made up their own slate. Another example of democracy, "Dear Leader" style, perhaps?"

Karkhanis writes an assuring letter to union President Bowen:

"Let me say that I am deeply, deeply sorry if there was any misunderstanding between us regarding my absolute and undying loyalty to the New Caucus Party and the Professional Staff Congress (not that I would ever imply of course that there should be ANY difference between the two)....And how can I NOT give monumental thanks to First Vice President Steve London, the modern day Prometheus of the American Labor movement, for his great gift of unwavering loyalty and dedication to the Party."

In response to Karkhanis's anti-Professional Staff Congress newsletter, the PSC leadership, via PSC lackey "Sue" O'Malley, has filed a law suit, O'Malley v. Karkhanis. Karkhanis notes that:

"The sum of $2,000,000 is being sought in monetary damages, as is a permanent injunction prohibiting Professor Karkhanis from "making, printing, publishing and distributing wrongful statements" regarding Professor O'Malley in the future."

"Karkhanis's supporters have set up a website, freespeechcuny,. According to the site,

"On Friday, November 9th, attorneys representing Sharad Karkhanis filed, on his behalf, a formal notice of appearance in the case, along with a demand for a complaint, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York. This filing compels Susan O'Malley and her attorney to file her formal complaint, setting out in detail the factual basis for her claims, within 20 days."

The Free Speech CUNY website also defends Karkhanis's allegation that "Sue" O'Malley has supported terrorists:

"Lest anyone assume that Emeritus Professor Sharad Karkhanis has pulled his comments from thin air, the records of CUNY’s University Faculty Senate provide ample evidence to the contrary. At the April 5, 2005 plenary session of the UFS, chaired by Professor “Sue” O’Malley, the following resolution was passed:

"...We deplore the denial of due process for adjuncts in two recent cases, which in effect denies them academic freedom:

"We deplore the decision by the Central Administration of CUNY to remove Mohammed Yousry* in April 2002 from his post as an adjunct in Political Science at York College. Our disagreement with the Central Administration's decision in no way trivializes the federal charges against him, but addresses the Chancellery's refusal to initiate formal proceedings and to accord Mr. Yousry due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and all legal processes are exhausted.

"We deplore the exclusion of Susan Rosenberg from any further teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a result of a decision in December 2004 by President Jeremy Travis in response to complaints by a police fraternal organization and without appropriate faculty consultation. President Travis offered no academic grounds for the exclusion, and his decision compromises the long-held academic tradition of faculty self-governance in selecting who shall teach and what shall be taught....

*On February 10, 2005 Yousry was indicted in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, along with attorney Lynne Stewart and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, of conspiring to provide, and providing, material support to terrorism and conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, and was convicted. According to an article in The Nation, Yousry was originally scheduled to be sentenced in September 2006, but he was actually sentenced on Monday, October 16, 2006 to one year and eight months, as reported by CNN in an article that has disappeared from their archives, but which can still be read in the version cached by Google.

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