Columbia

Ahmadine-jabbing American Students

Central Connecticut State University is doing its part for international diplomacy.  The campus newspaper, The Central Reporter, tells us that in late September CCSU professor of political science Ghassan El-Eid brought a dozen CCSC students “to attend a dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran,” who was in New York for a meeting of […]

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Jacques Barzun, 1907-2012

“Full of years.” I am not sure I know of anyone who better qualified for that Biblical epithet than Jacques Barzun, who died last week at the magnificent age of 104.  Born in France in 1907, Barzun had been a presence on the American intellectual and academic scene since the 1950s. From his perch at […]

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Penn Is Cutting Back on White Male Faculty

Columbia is not the only elite university promoting exclusionary hiring in a big way. The University of Pennsylvania has just announced that it will spend $100 million over the next five years “on hiring and retaining more diverse faculty members.” George Leef asks a very good question: “Why does it cost so much money to simply screen […]

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What Columbia Is Doing Is Illegal

Just a few lawyerly thoughts to add to KC Johnson’s excellent post yesterday on Columbia University setting aside $30 million to hire female and minority faculty. It was clear enough all along that Columbia’s hiring would be racially discriminatory, if not racially exclusive; and, as Professor Johnson points out, even the pretext that sometimes a (politically […]

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Thirty Million for Race and Gender Hires at Columbia

In 2005, amidst the Harvard faculty’s ultimately successful effort to purge President Larry Summers, Columbia president Lee Bollinger announced that his university would launch its own “diversity” hiring initiative. Bollinger committed $15 million to “add between 15 and 20 outstanding women and minority scholars to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences over the next three […]

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A Questionable New Student

Tablet brings news of the unfortunate case of Sheherazad Jaafari, who was admitted to Columbia‘s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) despite her background as a public relations aide for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The admission raises important questions of standards and program policies.

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Bollinger: Free Speech, Except on His Own Campus

In a recent interview, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger was asked whether the Hazelwood standard of student speech should be applied to colleges and universities. (Hazelwood gave high-school teachers and administrators broad authority to restrict student speech, in the name of advancing “legitimate pedagogical goals.”) Bollinger issued a strong caution:

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Should Police Monitor Muslim Student Groups?

Universities have been expressing concern and even outrage over Associated Press reports that the New York Police Department spent six months in 2006-2007 keeping tabs on Muslim Student Associations at 16 colleges in the northeast, including Columbia, Yale, Rutgers and NYU. Some university presidents and spokesmen complained that the NYPD’s surveillance activities, conducted without clear […]

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Four College Buzzwords and a Shameless Plug

These days, the agenda of the academic elite can be boiled down to a few liberal buzzwords. The most important buzzword is “diversity,” which is usually nothing more than a code word for reverse discrimination and skin-deep identity politics. Recently, at Northwestern, they held a “race caucus” where 150 people gathered to discuss their experiences […]

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Sorry, Charlotte, I Only Wish I Were Wrong About Columbia

In her thoughtful and intelligent critique of my case against Columbia University, Charlotte Allen agrees with my basic concern when she writes that what’s wrong at Columbia is “the university’s continued support of professors who have turned their classrooms into bully pulpits for preaching religious and ethnic hatred.”  She disagrees, however, with whether OCR should […]

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You’re Wrong about Columbia’s ‘Steering,’ Ken

I disagree with Kenneth L. Marcus’s post here approving the Education Department’s pending investigation of Columbia University for allegedly “steering” a Jewish student at Barnard College away from a course taught by Joseph Massad. While I’m in sympathy with Marcus’s efforts to show up Massad for the unreconstructed ideologue and tiresome non-scholar that he is, […]

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“Steering” Orthodox Jews Away from Massad at Columbia

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has just opened a new investigation into anti-Semitism at Columbia University.  At this author’s urging, OCR is looking into whether a Jewish Barnard student was unlawfully “steered” away from a course taught by controversial Columbia Professor Joseph Massad.  Massad has been accused of anti-Semitism before.  This […]

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Bollinger Bows to the Diversity Radicals

Even the most jaded observer of the contemporary academy can sometimes be stunned. Consider, for instance, an article last week in the New York Times, detailing faculty unrest toward Columbia president Lee Bollinger, on grounds that Bollinger is . . . insufficiently committed to diversity. Bollinger, of course, presided over the University of Michigan’s aggressive (and […]

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Columbia’s Ongoing Battle against ROTC

At Columbia, how is it that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could inspire such heated debate among students? The average student opposing the return of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to Columbia University might be fairly described as a left-wing “radical,” while the university’s tiny conservative contingent is surely among the program’s supporters. […]

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The Troubling Incident at Columbia

With “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed, Columbia University has quickly moved to re-examine whether it should once again formally participate in the Reserve Officers Training Corps program. At the second of three public hearings designed to gather input from the Columbia community, freshman Anthony Maschek calmly made his case for returning ROTC to campus, only […]

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A Feeble Statement from the AAUP

A few years ago, in the midst of the controversy over inappropriate faculty behavior in Columbia’s Middle East Studies department, more than 100 professors, led by former provost Jonathan Cole, signed a document demanding that the Columbia administration defend the faculty from outside criticism—without even determining the merits of that criticism. This approach essentially redefined […]

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No Labels = No Thinking, and No Fighting for Principles Either

What a different scene at Columbia University in the last month of 2010 from the glory days of the 1960s, when student radicals took over the campus! On December 13th, mild-mannered students with pleasant smiles nodded in agreement with establishment politicians and political strategists at the “No Labels” conference. As political analysts have pointed out, […]

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Summer School on World Threats

Matthew J. Connelly, a historian at Columbia, is busy preparing for a second summer of scholarly doom. Last May, he presided over “Nuclear Summer,” an intensive 12-week course of study, research and collaborative writing about coping with nuclear proliferation and various nuclear scenarios. Next week, he is scheduled to announce that his 2011 summer course, […]

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The Sad Transformation of the American University

This is the slightly edited introduction to the author’s new collection of essays, Decline and Revival in Higher Education ( Transaction Publishers ). Dr. London is president of the Hudson Institute, one of the founders of the National Association of Scholars, and the former John M. Olin Professor of the Humanities at New York University. […]

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Sustainability—More Cash and a Softer Side

With great fanfare Columbia University recently announced that starting this fall it will offer an undergraduate major in the new interdisciplinary field of “sustainable development.” That makes Columbia the first Ivy League school to offer such a major, which sounds as though it ought to be a practical mix of hard science, “green” technology, and […]

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Double Standards: Fresno and Columbia

Early February featured an interesting development from Fresno. Students of Bradley Lopez, a health instructor at Fresno Community College, claimed that Lopez was using class time to spread his personal anti-gay views. Lopez denies the allegation, asserting that all of his comments fell “within the scope of health science.” The students’ concerns attracted the attention […]

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Is Academic Freedom In Trouble?

The president of the University of Chicago, Robert J. Zimmer, spoke at Columbia University on October 21st on the topic, “What Is Academic Freedom For?” Minding the Campus invited several academics and other observers of the campus scene to post brief reactions to President Zimmer’s remarks. The comments are from Peter Sacks, Erin O’Connor and […]

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Massad Got Tenure (Don’t Tell Anyone)

Fourteen Columbia professors are protesting the university’s apparent decision to award tenure to Joseph A. Massad, a controversial anti-Israel professor of Arab studies. The professors are from the schools of law, business and public health. They expressed their concern in a five-page letter to the incoming Provost, Claude M. Steele. The letter asserts that the […]

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A Look At Real Diversity

I have been teaching a class at Columbia on Western Civilization since September. The class is highly diverse. By that, I mean that among the 21 students there is an Orthodox Jew, a child of Russian immigrants, and a couple of Korean-Americans. Plus a Chinese-American. And one of them grew up in France; just why […]

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Question Not The Columbia Underwear Party

A Columbia Spectator editorial recently criticized the allocation of resources and publicity for the school’s Queer Awareness Month activities. Here’s the nub of their editorial: ..the organization largely focused on promoting events that emphasized sex over awareness. The Genderf**k party—where attendees donned only underwear—bore more of a resemblance to a raucous First Friday Dance than […]

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