Having embarrassed themselves more than was absolutely necessary in the eyes of many New Yorkers, trustees of the City University of New York are gathering Monday evening to undo the damage.
The issue is an honorary doctorate that a university campus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, wanted to give to the playwright Tony Kushner.
Out of nowhere, the university’s board of trustees blocked the honor last week after hearing one of its members carry on about how Mr. Kushner was not sufficiently pro-Israel — at least as defined by this trustee, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld.
The board’s action touched off gales of outrage from those New Yorkers who felt that Mr. Kushner, along with concepts of fair play and free expression, had been mugged. After all, he was to be honored as a giant of the American theater, they said; instead, he was punished because his politics did not meet the standards set by one trustee.