Several weeks ago, in The Daily Standard, I commented on the report of the ad hoc committee investigating faculty intimidation of students at Columbia University. The intimidation, which the report mostly whitewashed, was directed at students who attempted to question the rabidly anti-Israeli teachings the University’s radical Middle Eastern studies professors. I argued that report should be understood as “a directive to Columbia students to take without protest the poisonous medicine being administered” by that faculty. I noted throughout the piece that the ad hoc committee seemed more concerned about protecting faculty members from challenges to their monopoly on discussion than with protecting students from intimidation.
Today, Martin Kramer provides a possible explanation for the report’s blatant one-sidedness. Kramer learned that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) submitted a letter to the ad hoc committee apparently defending the professors accused of intimidating students. The AAUP will not make its letter public, and neither will Columbia. Kramer hypothesizes that the AAUP “laid down the law to Columbia” and that its letter “framed” the report.
Kramer’s hypothesis is certainly plausible. However, I call it a “possible explanation” of what occurred because I don’t assume that Columbia on its own could not have produced a report as tilted in favor of the anti-Israeli faculty members as the ad hoc committee’s.
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