Protests of Petraeus teaching gig will continue, professor says

Story highlights

  • Some at the City University of New York don't want David Petraeus as a visiting professor
  • On Monday, students, faculty, activists protested his arrival at Macaulay Honors College
  • They reject his record, but dean says complex issues and points of view should be respected
  • The retired four-star Army general's attorney had no comment Thursday
City University of New York students and faculty plan to continue protesting the arrival of retired four-star Army Gen. David Petraeus, who is a visiting professor at the school, said a professor who helped form a committee aiming to oust the former CIA director.
On Monday, CUNY students, faculty and other activists, led by the newly formed Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY, used signs and chants to protest Petraeus' arrival at Macaulay Honors College.
Amateur video shot by Brian Hudson, who tells CNN he was among the protesters, shows a group of young adults approaching Petraeus as he walks near Manhattan's Central Park West, calling him "disgusting" and a "war criminal." It is unclear if these protesters are CUNY students.
A flier from the committee lists several student groups and professors who support banning "this mass murderer" from teaching at the CUNY school.
Hunter College adjunct professor Sandor John, who teaches Latin American history and helped organize Monday's protest, says it should come as no surprise that so many diverse groups support the committee's effort to oust Petraeus.
"A lot of our students are from countries that have been targeted by the United States," John said. "We don't want someone like him on campus."
In a prepared statement, Dr. Ann Kirschner, dean of Macaulay Honors College, said that the university must strive to connect students with "remarkable leaders and thinkers" and that complex issues and points of view should be respected.
"While the college supports the articulation of all points of view on critical issues, it is essential that dialogue within the academic setting always be conducted civilly."
Robert Barnett, Petraeus' attorney, had no comment Thursday.
The next protest is scheduled for Monday, John said.
Petraeus is teaching a once-a-week course titled "Are We On the Threshold of the North American Decade?" It's an interdisciplinary seminar in which students "examine in depth and then synthesize the history and trends in diverse public policy topics with a view towards recommendations for America's leadership role in the emerging global economy," a course description says.
In April, Petraeus said he was pleased to have the opportunity to work with Macaulay's talented and diverse students, a news release said.
Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA in November 2012 after admitting to an extramarital affair with his biographer.