Friday, April 15, 2005

COLUMBIA UPDATE - 4 Billion But Have to 'Raise $$' for Israeli Studies

David Bernstein at Volokh provides this piece of information.
What's Wrong with this picture?

Columbia University has an endowment of approximately $4 billion (that's billion). Jewish and Israeli students in the Middle Eastern Studies Department report being harassed and harangued by their professors. Columbia, implicitly acknowledging problems with the department, and having already taken money from an evil Middle Eastern dictatorship for a chair named after the late Egyptian "Palestinian" propagandist and terror advocate Edward Said, decides to add a chair in Israel Studies to the department. But not yet. First the university has to raise money for the chair. Ahem. I can't speak to whether the Israel Studies chair is an appropriate step or not (don't know enough about why this is perceived as a good solution, but I'm skeptical that the way to deal with a disfunctional department is to try to add "balance"; why not instead start by punishing professors who, for example, refuse to answer questions from Israeli students?), but I'm pretty confident of this: if Columbia had been faced with serious claims of discriminatory harassment by professors against women or members of other minority groups (including Arabs), and the university establishment felt that a professorship would help resolve the situation, the university would dip into its $4 billion endowment and not wait until it raised additional money to try to rectify the situation. Instead, the university seems to expect that the Jewish community (who else?) will foot the bill for a new Israel Studies fellowship, paying for the privilege of having Columbia's Middle Eastern Studies Department perhaps become slightly more balanced. Kind of like the old days, when czars and other monarchs would tax the Jewish community to pay for their "protection" from the monarchs' own forces. Pahetic.)
Massad Defends Himself:
Massad, Continued:
Massad Update:
Prof. Joseph Massad of Columbia

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