What Ails Columbia?

Columbia University, a highly respected institution in the days when I was at college, reached what appeared to be a nadir of craven cowardice when it allowed the inmates to take over the asylum back in 1968.

Things these days don't seem to be on any higher a plane, what with the glorification of the likes of Edward Said and Khalid Rashidi, the lack of significant reaction against professors who browbeat pro-Israeli students, and the invitation to campus of Ahmadinejad.

But, it's just gotten worse, as President Bollinger chose to appoint an anti-Israel, pro-Castro, all-around disgraceful campus figure to the deanship of the university's School of Public and International Affairs.

What in hell has happened to New York's once fine educational institution when it becomes a venue for indoctrination and radicalization of its students -- in one direction, only, of course?
Were I an alumnus of Columbia, I'd be damned before I'd give the school a nickel when it comes around begging. But, as with the other Ivies, I fear the treasury has grown far too large for any of them to be held accountable by the  restraint traditionally exercised by the purse strings of its usual constituency of alumni and friends -- especially not in these days of enormous financial support from Saudi princes who seek -- successfully -- to influence the bias of curriculum.

The lead editorial in today's New York Post nails the point right on its head:

Columbia Errs Again


May 11, 2008 -- Columbia University has gone and done it again.

Still under fire for a host of outrages - offering a platform to Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; tolerating faculty members' harassment of pro-Israeli students and a blatant physical attack on a guest speaker; all but ignoring egregious plagiarism on the part of a tenured professor - the school has made a most unfortunate appointment to a key academic post.

John Coatsworth, who actually reached out and invited Ahmadinejad to the Ivy League campus last fall, has been named dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs by President Lee Bollinger. *     *     *

What a disgrace.

As my old friend Barry Farber used to say, "I second the emotion."

Columbia University, a highly respected institution in the days when I was at college, reached what appeared to be a nadir of craven cowardice when it allowed the inmates to take over the asylum back in 1968.

Things these days don't seem to be on any higher a plane, what with the glorification of the likes of Edward Said and Khalid Rashidi, the lack of significant reaction against professors who browbeat pro-Israeli students, and the invitation to campus of Ahmadinejad.

But, it's just gotten worse, as President Bollinger chose to appoint an anti-Israel, pro-Castro, all-around disgraceful campus figure to the deanship of the university's School of Public and International Affairs.

What in hell has happened to New York's once fine educational institution when it becomes a venue for indoctrination and radicalization of its students -- in one direction, only, of course?
Were I an alumnus of Columbia, I'd be damned before I'd give the school a nickel when it comes around begging. But, as with the other Ivies, I fear the treasury has grown far too large for any of them to be held accountable by the  restraint traditionally exercised by the purse strings of its usual constituency of alumni and friends -- especially not in these days of enormous financial support from Saudi princes who seek -- successfully -- to influence the bias of curriculum.

The lead editorial in today's New York Post nails the point right on its head:

Columbia Errs Again


May 11, 2008 -- Columbia University has gone and done it again.

Still under fire for a host of outrages - offering a platform to Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; tolerating faculty members' harassment of pro-Israeli students and a blatant physical attack on a guest speaker; all but ignoring egregious plagiarism on the part of a tenured professor - the school has made a most unfortunate appointment to a key academic post.

John Coatsworth, who actually reached out and invited Ahmadinejad to the Ivy League campus last fall, has been named dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs by President Lee Bollinger. *     *     *

What a disgrace.

As my old friend Barry Farber used to say, "I second the emotion."