Playwright Kushner Likely to Get Honorary Degree After All

CUNY will reconsider controversial move
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2011 4:48 PM CDT
CUNY Will Reconsider Decision to Balk on Honorary Degree for Playwright Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner in a 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

(Newser) – CUNY officials will meet Monday to try to end the PR disaster that has erupted in a normally uncontroversial realm—the awarding of an honorary degree. The board of trustees at City University of New York made the surprise move Tuesday of withholding such a degree from Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner after one of the trustees argued that Kushner held anti-Israeli views, reports the New York Observer. Kushner said his views had been distorted.

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The decision opened up CUNY to a barrage of criticism and prompted the board chairman to call Monday's emergency meeting, notes the New York Times. "I would not ordinarily ask for a reconsideration of a decision so recently taken," wrote Benno Schmidt. "But when the board has made a mistake of principle, and not merely of policy, review is appropriate, and indeed, mandatory." The Huffington Post has background on Kushner's comments on Israel. (Read more Tony Kushner stories.)

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