"Sad Lisa" cat stevens...
Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)
During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details
...or just being honest about your bigotry? Columbia Dean Admits Taking Saudi Junket:
Months before a Columbia University dean was named to a special committee convened to investigate student complaints about professors' hostility to Israel, the dean took a trip to Saudi Arabia that she acknowledges was ''largely'' paid for by Saudi Aramco, the kingdom-owned oil company.
The dean, Lisa Anderson of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, was one of five members of the committee named in December 2004. The committee for the most part cleared the accused scholars of blame, prompting critics to describe their report as a whitewash.
The March 2004 junket to Saudi Arabia is described in glowing terms on a Web site for former Saudi Aramco employees that details the ''delightful lunch'' enjoyed by the Columbia delegation, as well as a ''wonderful dinner'' during which ''guests watched the sunset over the sand dunes from the tent.''
The tour, which the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations helped organize, took a total of 10 Columbia faculty members and scholars to Riyadh, Dharan, and other parts of Saudi Arabia to tour facilities and meet with officials of the oil company.
Well, at least we do know her price; the damage done to the free exchange of ideas without political indoctrination at Columbia - and other achools - carries a much higher price tag, alas:
''Saudi money is borderline corruption,'' said a research associate at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, Martin Kramer, who has been a vocal critic of Middle Eastern studies in America.
Mr. Kramer said Western academics are constantly vying for Saudi money to fund their departments, whose message more often than not is that American support for Israel is the problem in the Middle East.
Mr. Kramer said he wonders if Ms. Anderson's trip was part of an effort to raise more funds from the Saudis.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, who recently gave $20 million gifts to Georgetown and Harvard Universities, told the New York Times Magazine earlier this month that several other Ivy League universities had applied for similar gifts, but that he had turned them down. In the interview, the prince declined to name the schools, saying: ''I'd rather not embarrass them.''
Mr. Kramer said he wonders whether Columbia might have been one of those schools, adding that it ''has a record of soliciting Arab donors.'' He cited Columbia's admission that among the donors of the $2.1 million Edward Said chair were the United Arab Emirates, which gave $200,000, and the Olayan Charitable Trust, a charity associated with a Saudi-based multinational corporation, the Olayan Group.
The New York Sun in March reported that Saudi Aramco since 2002 had given annual grants of $15,000 for unspecified outreach activities to Columbia University's Middle East Institute.
Remember this when next you hear some so-called ''objective scholar'' from Columbia spouting off as to why Israel - and America's support of it - are the only real problwms in the Mideast...
Your favorite shows are back!
Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!