Virtually all of the elite higher education institutions in the United States have fallen into the hands of the left, but among them Columbia University may have fallen farthest. The New York Sun editorializes on a revolting appointment as the new dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, John Coatsworth.
Coastworth is a man who can only be described as an outspoken enemy of Israel and friend of far leftists, especially in Latin America, his area of specialization. The Sun details the problematic aspects of his history well. This is their summary:
No one, least of all us, is suggesting a political litmus test for the deanship of this school at Columbia. But a modicum of good judgment would be nice. The members of the search committee for the post included two of Columbia's foremost Israel-bashers, Rashid Khalidi and Mahmood Mamdani. The dean who preceded Mr. Coatsworth in the job, Lisa Anderson, is known for accepting a junket to Saudi Arabia from the state-owned oil company. The persons whose judgment is really called into question here is not just Mr. Coatsworth but the president and trustees of Columbia, who have now elevated to a deanship an Israel-hating apologist for the Communists who is on record as being willing to welcome Hitler to campus. They announced the decision just in time for Holocaust Remembrance Day. What an embarrassment for a university that has so many fine scholars and students associated with it and has so much to offer this city if it could only set its sights a little higher.
This appointment is tragic, in the Greek sense. The hubris of the Left in their domination of academia is leading to a debasing of institutions which took centuries to build. In the long run, the institutions will decline, and in the short run students and the public suffer. Apologists for tyrants and terrorists debase the ideals upon which Columbia University was founded. I feel this tragic appointment in my heart because for two years I was a Visiting Associate Professor of International Relations at Columbia in the 1980s. At the time, it was a much saner place. No longer.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman