Columbia's new look


To the editor:

I graduated with a doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1975 and taught at Columbia during the student uprisings of 1968.

Today, my alma mater is under attack from everyone, and it pains me.

Politicians eager to cast blame for ugly world situations they are unable to solve are happy to blame the university for uprisings and distract media from their political impotence. University professors upset by campus crackdowns attempt sincerely and unsuccessfully to defend academic freedom and blame the university administration for their own failure to teach the civil part of academic discussion.

Students with the hubris of youth and certainty of their moral purity are as obnoxious now as they have ever been trampling on the rights of those who disagree with them. They, at least, have the excuse of youth.

If one university managed through luck and timing to weather the conflict hundreds were unable to manage, can we not grant university administrations the grace to acknowledge the difficulty of the issues our society as a whole is unable to resolve?

I am deeply committed to academic freedom and the rigorous standards for truth upheld at Columbia. I know that the administration at Columbia did its best to manage a crisis, which reflects a world crisis no one else has managed to resolve. 

Helen Krim

Helen Krim