CUNY reconsiders Kushner degree flap

May 7, 2011 at 1:53 PM

NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- The City University of New York says the board of directors reversed a decision to withhold an honorary degree from playwright Tony Kushner.

Kushner, a Pulitzer Prize winner who penned "Angels in America," angered one CUNY official by alleging Israel was engaged in a program of "ethnic cleansing" against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Board Chairman Benno Schmidt told The New York Times the board "made a mistake of principle" in voting to rescind the honorary degree, which would have come from CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Whether Kushner actually receives the degree will be discussed Monday by the board's executive committee. The Times said Saturday the committee has the power to reconsider any board decision it considers detrimental to the university.

Kushner had no immediate comment, but the Times said he has been lukewarm about the entire controversy.

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