61 Columbia Professors Dissent

from the 70 Columbia Professors' statement criticizing Lee Bollinger; here's the 61 professors' statement:

Statement of Dissent From CU-FAC Statement

A group of faculty members in the Arts and Sciences has been circulating for signature a "statement of concern" to be presented to the Arts and Sciences Faculty meeting on November 13. The main accusation in the statement is that the university administration has failed to make a vigorous defense of academic freedom. Four specific issues are singled out. One of these relates to budgetary and enrollment decisions pertaining to the Arts and Sciences, about which which most of us have no business rendering judgment. The remaining three, however, deal with academic affairs relevant to the university as a whole:

1. That the administration has failed to make clear that interventions by outside groups "will not be tolerated": We agree that tenure reviews must be conducted exclusively by peer academics within the university and at other academic institutions. However, the university has responsibilities to its students, alumni, donors, and outside community. When nonacademics and outsiders encounter or hear about what they consider inappropriate forms of teaching, allegations of intimidation or harassment, or the distortion of basic historical or scientific facts, they are justified in expressing, and entitled by the First Amendment to express, their objections. No university administration has the power to prevent such expression.

2. That President Bollinger's introductory remarks to Ahmadinejad “allied the university with the Bush administration’s war in Iraq”: As the publicly available transcript confirms, these remarks addressed sequentially: 1) Holocaust denial; 2) Ahmadinejad's stated intent to destroy Israel; 3) Iran's funding of terrorism; 4) Iran's proxy war against US troops in Iraq; and 5) Iran's nuclear program. Only the fourth item refers to the war in Iraq, and only in the context of Iran's role in financing and arming terrorist attacks against our troops.

3. That "the President has publicly taken partisan political positions concerning the politics of the Middle East, without apparent expertise in this area or consultation with faculty who teach and undertake research in this area” : We follow President Bollinger’s public statements closely. The only one that may be characterized as concerning the politics of the Middle East is his denunciation of the British University and College Union’s proposed boycott of Israeli academics, which he described as “antithetical to the fundamental values of the academy." This statement is actually not about the political problems of the Middle East; it is precisely what President Bollinger is accused of not providing: a vigorous defense of academic freedom, based on his recognition that denying such freedom to any individual or group endangers the entire academic enterprise.

We the undersigned therefore dissent from the CU-FAC statement.

Efrat Aharonovich / Kenneth Altman / Elizabeth Anisfeld / Paul S. Appelbaum / Marc S. Arkovitz / Jeffrey A. Ascherman / Mitchell C. Benson / Mitchell F. Berman / Bernard Berofsky / Nehama R. Bersohn / Joan Birman / Adam Heath Cannon / Charles Calomiris / Mark Cane / Myron L. Cohen / Jonathan David / Len Druyan / Barry A. Farber / Awi Federgruen / Scott A. Fink / Philip Genty / Michael D. Gershon / Michael E. Goldberg / Robert R. Goodman / Victor R. Grann / Linda Granowetter / Jonathan L. Gross / Jeffrey Helzner / Ralph Holloway / Barry Honig / Allen I. Hyman / Judith S. Jacobson / Sandra Kahn / Eric R. Kandel / Ran Kivetz / Oscar Lebwohl / Jonathan Levav / Moshe Levison / Nahum Melumad / Elizabeth Midlarsky / Abraham Monk / Alfred I. Neugut / Walter Neumann / Peter Ozsvath / Evan Picoult / Ruth Raphaeli-Slivko / Irina Reyfman / Jay Rothschild / Samuel Schacher / Alan F. Segal / Alan A. Seplowitz / Neil S. Shachter / Howard Shuman / Ethel S. Siris / Mervyn W. Susser / Robert N. Taub / Olivier Toubia / Warren D. Widmann / Eric D. Zarahn / Assaf Zeevi / Thomas D. Zweifel [EV: line breaks between signatures replaced with slashes]