Thursday, April 07, 2005

Columbia U.'s joke investigation

Today, Ryan Sager weighs in with his disgust at the Columbia report. Well worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

. . . even when pressed into dealing with the accusations, [Columbia Pres. Lee] Bollinger's administration decided to rig the process as much as possible. Out of five members on the committee, two signed an anti-Israel divestment petition, one was the thesis adviser for Joseph Massad (a professor prominently accused of wrongdoing), one has written that Israel is responsible for global anti-Semitism and one is a university administrator who ignored student complaints for months. The man who handpicked the committee for Bollinger, Nick Dirks, is married to a professor who co-teaches a class with Massad.

And so what did this fiercely independent and conflict-free committee conclude?

It concluded that when Professor Massad demanded at an off-campus talk that an Israeli army veteran disclose how many Palestinians he had killed, Massad may not have known the young man was a student.

It concluded that a Jewish student may have misunderstood when Professor George Saliba told her that "You have green eyes; you are not a Semite . . . You have no claim on the land of Israel."

And it out and out ignored another 50-plus complaints about rampant bias in the teaching of Mideast studies at Columbia, with charges ranging from professors canceling classes to protest against Israeli military action (and pressuring students to join such protests) and professors having a woefully inadequate knowledge of their subject areas.

We've blasted Columbia's anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Culture department (MEALAC) before, especially in discussing the accusations by Jewish students that they had been harassed by the professors for holding non-pro-Palestinian views or simply being Jewish. Wongdoer noted how the Bollinger Commission (which included outwardly anti-Israel professors in a body designed to investigate the students' charges) whitewashed the allegations here.

I also covered Columbia's anti-Semitism amongst its faculty here, here (which links to Sager's earlier pre-investigation piece), here, and here among other places.

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