Lee Bollinger—president of Columbia University and friend to the Bush administration? We were not aware such an oxymoronic existence was possible, but it seems Bollinger's little performance during the recent visit to the school of a certain Iranian dictator has his faculty all atwitter.
Seventy faculty members have signed a letter protesting the president's tantrum, which "sullied the reputation of the University with its strident tone," according to the letter, which was obtained by the New York Sun.
"You don't invite someone and then take him apart in the introduction," said Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand, who teaches at Columbia and signed the letter. "I don't understand it ethically, and I don't understand what it accomplished—that was my justification for signing the letter."
They're also more than a little pissed that Bollinger hasn't come to their defense against "outside groups" (like, for instance, the New York Sun!) who attempt "to vilify members of the faculty and determine how controversial issues are taught on campus." The irate academics will present their letter to a larger faculty meeting tomorrow. No letters denouncing nooses and swastikas on campus yet though!