Phi Beta Cons

More on Columbia’s ‘Faculty Action Committee’

Yesterday I wrote of an attack on Columbia University President Lee Bollinger by a group of left-wing professors – many of whom signed a petition two years ago calling on Columbia to divest from companies that sell arms and military hardware to Israel.
Today, as The New York Sun reports, they are to present their gripes at a closed-door session of the Arts and Sciences faculty. No doubt they will want Bollinger’s head for, as they state in their letter, having
 

  • “sullied the reputation of the University with [the] strident tone” [of his introduction of President Ahmadinejad]
  • “allied the University with the Bush administration’s war in Iraq,” [thus] taking “partisan political positions concerning the politics of the Middle East”
  •  and, [under pressure from outside groups concerning “controversial” curricular and tenure decisions], having “failed to make unequivocally clear that such interventions will not be tolerated.” (See full Text of the Faculty Group’s Letter.)

A university spokesman responds that “freedom of speech on campus means that faculty members have the right to express their views, including about the University itself.” The feeling is not reciprocated, as Bollinger’s freedom to speak is an alien concept to these academics.

It’s time for a showdown with these prima donnas, who want everything their way. As the Sun observed earlier, for them “autonomy” consists in “at total lack of responsibility or accountability to trustees, students, parents, alumni, or America.”

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