Monday, March 28, 2005

 

Columbia Faculty Puts Pressure on Bollinger

According to the New York Sun, a "faculty rebellion is brewing at Columbia University against President Lee Bollinger over his handling of the university's investigation into the conduct of professors in the Middle East studies department." While "rebellion" might be a bit of sensationalist journalism on the part of the New York Sun (I know, it's hard for me to believe either), needless to say there are a certain number of Columbia faculty who feel that Bollinger, who has done very little in terms of standing up for those professors who have come under fire from outside pressure groups, has done a disservice to the faculty and needs to either change the way he has been handling this or move on.

According to the Sun, "[l]eading the way is a former provost of the university, Jonathan Cole" who gave a speech last week that was very critical of Bollinger's spineless handling of the situation so far. The New York Sun also quotes:
a professor of sociology, Charles Tilly, [who] said in a telephone interview yesterday that the "vast majority" of faculty members "feel that Jonathan [Cole]'s position is correct," referring to the provost.
Obviously, Tilly's sentiment is hardly a scientific poll of the faculty at Columbia, but there is certainly some sentiment among the faculty that Bollinger is falling down on the job here. After all, his job is not to placate the public, but to run a University, and though one can appreciate his desire to stay "impartial" in this matter, by allowing these accusations and rancor to fester, he's probably having more of an impact on the Columbia community than he thinks.

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