On Campus

Boycott us, says Columbia U president

I’m not sure what I like more about what Columbia president Lee Bollinger had to say about the proposal by a group of British academics to boycott Israel and Israeli academics: his stance, which I agree with, or the clarity and simplicity with which he expressed it. Academic administrators tend to manage best, or at least to survive longest, by offending the fewest number of people, and they usually accomplish that by speaking much and saying little. Bollinger’s letter is the opposite, a happy departure from the fuzzy, obfuscatory bureaucratese that is too often the language of politics and the academy’s officers.

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