Lee Bollinger is Making a Huge Mistake

Lee Bollinger is making a huge mistake and should be dismissed as President of Columbia by the University's trustees immediately.

First, let me say that I found this article in Friday's Wall Street Journal to be completely on point. Unfortunately, the end is too deferential to Bollinger.

As an alumnus of Columbia University, I can say that I have known for some time that Lee Bollinger, the University's President since 2002, craves attention. The alumni magazine is always filled with pictures of the guy in places where he clearly doesn't belong - next to Nobel prize winners or G8 leaders.


It is also clear that Bollinger craves being in the center of controversy - from his earlier efforts to block the ROTC from returning to Columbia to his decision to let Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia tomorrow (which apparently follows a similar decision last year).


What is clear is that Bollinger has clearly gone to far to pursue his own desire to be in the middle of everything, and tomorrow he is going to allow one of the world's leading universities to become to pulpit for one of the history's craziest and most dangerous zealots.


Ahmadinejad is coming to the US to push his own agenda and part of his own agenda is to come across as human in the West and to come across as accepted. His primary goal is to be perceived to be engaged in a discussion with the mainstream. He perceives, probably correctly, that by doing such, he will increase his power in Iran (ironically, in repressing the free speech in universities that Bollinger claims to hold so dear) and his influence among all of the nutty folks outside of Iran who that the entire history of the modern world is a CIA and Israeli conspiracy.


Iran's President has tried this twice before and been rebuffed twice. Tomorrow, at Columbia he will be successfuul just by virtue of being given a stage. I am afraid that I don't see any way in which tomorrow's speech at Columbia is possibly going to work to Ahmadinejad's disadvantage.


As Ahmadinejad scores victory tomorrow, Bollinger needs to be handed a defeat. He needs to be removed by the University's Board at once. Columbia deserves better than this.


The government's policy, and its treaties with the UN allowing Iranian leadership 25 miles of free passage from Columbus Circle need to be changed at once (or the UN needs to moved to Iowa if we insist that it be in the US). This will make sure that fool's like Bollinger cannot ever hand the craziest man in the world what they want again.



Marsha Walsh
Marsha Walsh: Marsha Walsh is a 2009 graduate of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

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  • Alex

    September 25, 2007

    Bollinger claims that there is some important relationship between the invitation that was issued to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Columbia’s commitments to the free exchange of ideas. What is this relationship? Do the aforementioned commitments require the invitation? If not, and thus not inviting Ahmadinejad is also consistent with these commitments, then what was the reason for the invitation? Moreover, that ideas can be exchanged at all is an acknowledgement of the fact that ideas can be debated and analyzed without the presence of particular proponents of the ideas in question. Since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ideas can be debated, analyzed and otherwise exchanged without him, what was the reason for the invitation?

  • BALLSY BOLLINGER ~ Iran / Usa relations now WORSE

    September 25, 2007

    Regardsles of what Bollinger thinks, diplomacy is always the better err than aggitation when dealing with foreign relations (maybe a bit hostile?).

    Does BALLS-inger expect any better relations with his rhetorical aggitation?

    Government puppet like actions aside BALLS-inger, you just made things a little worse for Israel.

    Tsk tsk.

  • Jerry Green

    September 26, 2007

    I too graduated from the University many years ago and have always thought of it as one of the best (not an impartial view, granted). After this silly performance with Bollinger and the ridiculous dean of SIPA, I believe that Columbia about as poorly run as that want-to-be ivy, basketball school in NC - Duke.

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