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The Columbia University Report on Its Middle Eastern Department's Problems: Methodological Paradigm for Obscuring Structural Flaws

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Publication Date: April 2005

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Noah Liben

Series: Web Publications No. 1, 13 (April 13, 2005)

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Education (Colleges and universities)

Keywords: Film; Higher Education; Anti-Israel Sentiment; Discrimination

Type: Other

Coverage: New York


The author discusses alleged structural problems within Columbia University's Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department (MEALAC), which include, but are not limited to, biased teaching, intimidation of pro-Israeli students and inadequate grievance procedures. He argues that the documentary "Columbia Unbecoming" exposed dozens of cases of faculty misbehavior and led to the appointment of an ad hoc faculty committee to investigate the charges. The author contends that the committee's report served to obfuscate structural flaws within MEALAC. He concludes that Columbia University is a paradigm for a large, prestigious institution that ignores deep-rooted problems and then tries to save face rather than correct them.