Michael Eisen (UC Berkeley professor and Public Library of Science co-founder) makes clear, strong comments about access to faculty scholarship in “UC Research Should Be Free.”  Read it and replace every instance of “University of California” with “CUNY”: just as maddening, just as true.

Don’t have time to read the whole article?  Start with this:

That the public does not have unlimited access to the intellectual output of academic scholars and scientists is one of the greatest-ever failures of vision and leadership from the men and women who run our research universities — all the more so at a publicly funded institution like the University of California.

And then think a bit about this:

No single action would accelerate this process more than a clear endorsement from university leaders that free public access to the works people produce is not just a good— it is a priority. The university should take the lead by making such a declaration and openly altering the criteria for hiring, tenure and promotion to emphasize the value and importance of public access and ultimately require it.

Here at CUNY, we all need to act.  Read.  Discuss with your departments.  Discuss with your administrators.  Discuss with your campus’s faculty governance bodies.  Discuss at University Faculty Senate.  Vote.

Some of us are doing this already.  Here are some of the open access resolutions already passed by CUNY faculty:

Departmental policies are important and meaningful, and I very much hope more departments will pass them soon.  But, ultimately, departmental policies are not enough for university-wide change.

No, some of us is not enough.  Everyone at CUNY needs to be tackling this problem.

Yes, that means you.