The Journal Editorial Report | February 18, 2005 | PBS
February 18, 2005
Students protest the decision of college officials against activist professor Ward Churchill.
Harvard president Lawrence Summers is in trouble with the academic community for his remarks at a closed-door academic conference regarding "intrinsic" differences between the sexes. Summers has been on the defensive in recent weeks, emphasising Harvard's commitment to promoting the "crucial objective of diversity." Responding to media pressure, Summers has released the full transcript of his remarks here.
"In the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination."
Ward Churchill, longtime outspoken activist and Ethnic Studies professor, was uninvited to his scheduled speaking engagement at Hamilton College graduation, after the campus paper unearthed an essay by Churchill regarding September 11th. The essay contained passages in which he referred to the World Trade Center victims as "legitimate targets." Churchill has refused to back down or apologize for his remarks, but resigned his post as department chair at the University of Colorado.
"As to those in the World Trade Center: Well, really. Let's get a
grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But
innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very
heart of America's global financial empire--the 'mighty engine of
profit' to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been
enslaved -- and they did so both willingly and knowingly."
Columbia University president Lee Bollinger has formed a committee to investigate accusations of verbal abuse by professors regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Students have accused Columbia of creating a "hostile environment" for students and faculty who oppose the dominating anti-israeli sentiment at the university.