Another followup on the New York Times article, a weak follow on an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, about Hunter’s President. But this has more to do with a D:F/M Colleague.

When Ms. Anderson’s letter was released, Stuart B. Ewen, a professor who is an outspoken critic of Ms. Raab, tried to press the case against her with Matthew Goldstein, who was then CUNY’s chancellor. — From the New York Times story, “Amid Exits, President of Hunter College Is Assailed for Her Management Style,” by New York Times reporter Ariel Kaminer.

Actually, Colleague Stuart B. Ewen, not outspoken for quite awhile, has been pissed off at Raab ever since he got the news several years ago that she wasn’t planning to fund a digital center boondoggle that he had been planning.  It isn’t clear how his name ended up in Kaminer’s article. Or why.

Did she interview him? Not clear. Did Chancellor Goldstein suggest she contact him? What’s the relevance to the story? Not clear, since there is no reference information provided, no description that provides context, say, such as, what kind of influence Colleague Stuart Ewen yields (or yielded)  in CUNY or at Hunter for that matter, that would inspire a New York Times reporter to include his name in an article without attribution. It also isn’t clear about that case that Kaminer said he was pressing. That she bullied administrators? Professors?

Was Ariel Kaminer aware of talk about his management style and public persona when his name seemed ubiquitous in the comings and goings of years past at Hunter? Ever there was an opportunity for a side by side comparison, this was a moment. The Department of Film and Media Studies that he once chaired for many years  has assorted riffraff who indulge in serious bullying. More about that later.

He is a former department chair whose sun and moon have faded. Who really cares what he thinks now, or why the former Chancellor would have even considered listening to his lament, complaint, whine, whatever?

No mention in the article, one more time, that Colleague Stuart E. became a staunch adversary after he learned that Raab was not going to provide him goo-gobs of money — in the millions, mind you — to buy air conditioning equipment for a palatial digital center he expected the College to fund on the fifth floor of the Hunter North Building. He had grand plans for that space. She obviously didn’t think they were grand.

It was about that time PSC Chapter Chair Tami Gold, a member of the department, seen in the photo lower left, on a day when she lost her cool, and Ewen launched a campaign, so to speak, to get Raab. More about this later. [Although Ewen and former Colleague Peter Parisi did hit her with a Academic Freedom violation, generating a lot of news coverage in trade publications covering public relations.]

Picture right: The Hunter College PSC Chair trying to intimidate a colleague by poking her digital camera at him.

Picture right: The Hunter College PSC Chair trying to intimidate a colleague by poking her digital camera at him.

I recall Colleague Ewen at a department meeting describing his whine to former Dean Ann Cohen about an Op Ed I wrote in the WORD criticizing one of the members of the ersatz Student Liberation Action Movement. His name de guerre for the Op Ed column was  Jedu. I got the idea to teach him a lesson after reading Jedu’s ad hominem comments about me in the Envoy, the so-called student newspaper which, while he was there,  wallowed  in editorial ignominy and scandal. The one that got the most attention was, “Condom Use Made Easy: Let Jesus Show You How.”

I described him as a village idiot who could motor-mouth obscenities faster than I could form rejoinders in my mind — because of his distinctive style of motor-mouthing of expletives as he went about the campus, cursing and harassing faculty and students.

Colleague Stuart – what a wuss!!! – told Cohen, by his account, that I had attacked Brandt in the WORD. And he wanted her to do something about this professor who dared to write a punishing op ed about a malevolent student. She demurred, according to his account at the department meeting – wisely for her, according to my take — and she told him that this was a department matter. And, of course, Stuart and the PSC Chapter Chair, in cahoots with some SLAM members (who were not at the faculty meeting) came up with this plan to exercise control of the WORD.

[It was Colleague Isabel Pinedo who came to my office, explaining to me the concern, (as phoney as it was) about my alleged offense, which she described as abusing my position as a professor to attack a student.]

The plan called for me to be humiliated at a department meeting, shamed into cowardice, so that I would succumb to the ranting – one Colleague made a reference about me being in the gutter – and submit to their control. I didn’t, of course. More about this later.

There were rumors, which I have yet to confirm, that there had been a discussion with then President David Caputo, the words shared: About me using the WORD to attack students. SLAM whatnots had also complained to Caputo, I was told, that I had too much control of internships (when I had no control over internship franchise) but I was helping a lot of students win prestigious slots a publications through my own efforts. It was about that time that I was publishing students’ revelatory news stories about the wholesale corruption in student government, which at that time was being run by the Student Liberation Action Movement.

Regarding Colleague Stuart Ewen, I was always on full alert in my dealings with him. He once called me into his office, as I was coming up for tenure, to tell me that the dean back then believed I should take a one-year leave because my tenure package was weak. An one-year leave would restart the tenure clock, resulting in another chance to strengthen my tenure package, was his pitch. He told me to talk to the Dean. And I did. [I didn’t know at the time that my tenure package was the strongest of the lot coming up for tenure and that there was concern that if I got tenure, those with weaker packages might be sent packing when they came up for reviews.]

I listened patiently as the dean explained my options – he was under the impression that it was my wish to take-a-leave option – and, when he asked if I had any questions, I told him that I was never planning on taking a leave, that Colleague Ewen had told me that he, the dean, had suggested that option. A faint smile showed briefly on the dean’s face before he said that he had never made that suggestion and that he didn’t want to involve himself in department politics, but he suggested that I “call his bluff.”

And I did. More about this later.


Gregg Morris who teaches in D:F/M.

Gregg Morris who teaches in D:F/M.

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