New School University Alum New York Times letter sign now

Its time for faculty and students alike at the New School to join, in removing the biggest threat to their institution President Bob Kerrey. Mr. Kerrey is a venal and disgraceful reminder many managers take on their job for reasons of lucre, rather than out of respect for the institution they run.

Former Columbia professors founded The New School in the early twentieth century, because they believed open debate should flourish without limits. Later, European refugees such as the philosopher Hannah Arendt sought refuge from fascist persecution at the university.

The New School is today a school that polices and prosecutes its unorthodox thinkers. Calling the NYPD shouldnt be an option when dealing with reasonable student protests. Mr. Kerrey brought in over 100 police and a helicopter, after 20 students peacefully occupied a building for six hours last Friday.

The man who led a CIA secret military unit during the Vietnam War, which unleashed indiscriminate death on the Vietnamese population, now calls his non-violent students terrorists. For Mr. Kerrey, it is state terror by soldiers that is justified; but civil disobedience from civilians should result in jail time for the dissenters.

Earning a salary package of over 1.2 million dollars a year, Mr. Kerrey told a newspaper Sunday that hed only quit if his quality of life deteriorated. For the President, keeping his fancy townhouse on Eleventh Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue is grounds for his continued tenure.

His quality of life is also grounds for him to sack a third of Parsons design faculty two weeks ago; and for authorizing the police who assaulted students (in the square where the American labor movement was founded).

As alumni, were glad that our New School fees, our government loans and the work we did in minimum wage on campus jobs have paid for Mr. Kerrey to live comfortably even as he destroys the institution that employs him.

But Mr. Kerrey has lived well enough for long enough. We demand the Board of Trustees withdraws its confidence from Mr. Kerrey. If that is not done, permanent faculty at the New School must withdraw their support from Mr. Kerrey by withdrawing their labor from the school.

Bob Kerreys pleasant life in West Village simply does not justify the use of the university as a kleptocratic retirement scheme for the former Senator.

Faithfully,

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Bertha KimBy:
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