Academic Irresponsibility, Immaturity, and Lack of Character

Many college administrators and faculty members are middle-aged adolescents who, no matter how qualified they are in their professions as academicians, are very poor behavioral role models for young men and women.

There is a very wide spectrum of misbehavior and misconduct for college faculty members and administrators. At the worst end of this spectrum, we have behavior like demanding sex from female students in exchange for higher grades, as well as academic dishonesty and research fraud. These actions are generally cause for dismissal, even for tenured faculty members. As an example, Michael Bellesiles, the author of “Arming America,” an anti-Second Amendment book that contended that firearm ownership was not common in pre-Civil War America, resigned from Emory University after a finding that he probably falsified some of the research in the book. The Federal Government has barred certain researchers from receiving federal grants after discovering that they had invented some of their results, and so on. This is not, however, the level of misconduct that we will discuss.

Somewhat less reprehensible, but still unacceptable, are practices like giving students lower grades for simply disagreeing with the professor’s politics, or being disliked by the professor. It is alleged that certain Duke University professors gave the students who were falsely accused of rape by Mike Nifong (later disbarred for his own misconduct) poor grades out of pure dislike. Willful misuse of grading authority reflects on the professor’s fitness to practice his or her profession, of which assigning grades is a part. While it might not merit the professor’s outright dismissal, it could bring disciplinary action. We would recommend, for example, intensive supervision of the professor’s grading practices for a probationary period of time.

The misbehavior that we we will now discuss is at a lower level that is not relevant to the professor’s qualification to practice his or her profession: imparting knowledge to others, conducting original research, and possibly supervision of graduate students’ research. The professor or administrator may be eminently qualified to do these things, and deserving of tenure and even a distinguished or honorary professorship. He or she may, however, be totally unfit to exercise any authority or responsibility whatsoever outside of this profession. Students should understand that criticism from one of these individuals does not reflect on them or their behavior, it merely shows that they are dealing with a middle-aged adolescent who has never grown up. The conduct we will discuss includes:

(1) Calling the victims of 9/11 “little Eichmanns” (Ward Churchill), spewing racial theories about racially superior Negro “sun people” versus racially inferior melanin-deficiant “ice people” (Leonard Jeffries), and publishing books like The Israel Lobby (John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University), and Norman G. Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry.
(2) Misusing authority over students or visual art exhibits to settle personal vendettas against political opponents, or to aid and abet same by other students
(3) Abusing university disciplinary processes to settle personal vendettas against political opponents
(4) Using platforms like university graduation exercises to settle personal vendettas against political opponents

We will begin with an example of misusing authority over students or exhibits to settle personal vendettas against political opponents, or aiding and abetting other students by using one’s authority in this manner. As stated by Penn State’s original alma mater:

When we stood at boyhood’s gate,
Restless in the hands of fate,
Thou didst mold us, dear old State
Into men, into men.

The behavior of Penn State Visual Arts professor Charles Garoian and, according to reports, several of his colleagues in 2006 was, however, in direct contravention of the university’s goal of molding high school graduates into gentlemen and ladies of character.

You may have read that Professor Charles Garoian Director of the Visual Arts Department of the College of Arts & Architecture at Penn State cancelled the exhibition about the effects of terrorism on both Israeli and Palestinians in the argot of Orwellian newspeak that it ‘did not promote cultural diversity’ or ‘opportunities for democratic dialogue’ that touched off the uproar of controversy.

We understand that Mr. [Joshua] Stulman has been verbally abused by some instructors in his program at Penn State and been told that “Israel has no right to exist.”

Verbal abuse from someone in a position of authority, or perceived position of authority, suggests that the individual is unfit to handle authority. The status of “Israel has no right to exist” depends on the context. If the context was “counseling” from an authority figure like a faculty member with grading powers over the student, it would be misuse of authority and possibly harassment. If, however, the faculty member simply said or wrote it in public, it would be free speech (no matter how disagreeable).

Letter and Statement From Penn State Hillel Director, Tuvia Abramson On Art Exhibition Situation adds,

In my 23 years in Hillel on 3 different campuses I have not seen an act so blatant as the act of censorship, discrimination, and anti-Semitism like the one which applies to Joshua Stulman.

This was not a single act. This was systematic abuse and intimidation which was applied by the School of Visual Arts to coerce the student and force him to cancel his art exhibition all because of its political content. The message of Joshua’s exhibit was this: When you preach hate, teach hate, and indoctrinate children with hate… will have terrror. When you use the airways and the political system to reinforce hate, you create a mechanism by which these children will learn how and when to destroy innocent life.

This message was blocked by the director of the School of Visual Arts and its faculty without discussion or review of most of the artwork with the student Joshua Stulman. The director issued a statement canceling the exhibit stating the cancellation was based on Penn State’s Policy AD42 about Zero Tolerance for Hate and that Joshua’s work did not promote a democratic dialogue or cultural diversity.

Res ipsa loquitur means, “the thing speaks for itself.” It is eminently clear that, unless there is another side to this story (and our E-mail to Charles Garoian that asked for his side went unanswered), one or more members of Penn State’s faculty misused his/their authority to gratify his/their personal political beliefs–behavior that, if imitated by a Penn State graduate in most real world workplaces, would quickly get him removed from any supervisory position, if not actually fired. Furthermore, President Graham Spanier then had to use his valuable time and prestige to undo the mess that his subordinates’ actions had created for him. (This included a statement that Mr. Stulman could, contrary to Charles Garoian’s decree, display his artwork.) This is why it is often important for students to separate their professors’ academic knowledge from their personal behavior as role models.

As a side note on role modeling, Penn State’s football coach Joe Paterno is well known for molding high school graduates not only into sportsmen but also into high academic achievers. The graduation rate for Penn State’s football players is higher than that of the university in general, since Paterno won’t let someone play if his grades fall too low. On the other hand, Ohio State’s coach, Woody Hayes, had to resign after he took a swing at a Clemson player who had intercepted a Buckeyes pass. This again underscores the need for young people to think very carefully about which professors (and coaches) they want to imitate in terms of personal behavior, as opposed to those from whom they should learn only academic material. Hayes seems somewhere in the middle. There were plenty of things about him that are worthy of emulation, such as flying to another state to persuade one of his former players against dropping out of medical school, but his explosive temper was not among them.

Tufts University and The Primary Source
The behavior of Charles Garoian and his colleagues toward Joshua Stulman is unfortunately far from unique in academia. As reported by Tufts University’s Primary Source and backed up by Ben Shapiro of Town Hall,

Unfortunately, the SOURCE had a difficult task in defending free speech, as the hearing was turned into a kangaroo court once again by CSL chair, Barbara Grossman. Grossman displayed complete disregard for fair judicial proceedings, allowing both complaining parties to drastically exceed their time limits and slander SOURCE staffers on dozens of occasions, while silencing the SOURCE in the middle of our questioning and comparing our actions to the “spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue.” It became apparent throughout the course of the hearing that certain members of CSL had already made up their minds to prioritize students’ hurt feelings over freedom of expression and meaningful intellectual diversity.

Professor Grossman, a prominent Democratic Party donor, was asked for her side of the story but we never heard back from her. While The Primary Source was a party to the disagreement and cannot be considered impartial, Town Hall’s Ben Shapiro was not involved except as an observer, and his account backs up The Primary Source’s story.

Barbara Grossman, the radical left chair of the CSL, compared printing the carol to spray-painting a swastika on a synagogue. Another CSL member stated that labeling Islam violent was unacceptable in any way, shape or form.

The process was a mockery. After an initial request for silence, the crowd was allowed to cheer for the complainants and razz The Source. The CSL board allotted twice as much time to Dennis and Mohamed than they did to The Source. They granted Dennis and Mohamed extra time, while clocking The Source to the second. Dennis was allowed to slander members of The Source as racists, stating that the conservative agenda was “lower taxes, less government, hate black people.”

Barbara Grossman and Tufts University: here is that swastika you were talking about.
Censorship at Tufts University

Note that one of Grossman’s colleagues proclaimed at this hearing that “Labeling Islam violent is unacceptable in any way, shape or form.” We are sure that the families of the 9/11 victims, Danny Pearl, Nick Berg, and Theo van Gogh will be delighted and amazed at this truly fascinating research finding from Tufts University.

Tufts WTC

Cornell University: President Hunter Rawlings III smears conservative student paper during Commencement
One would think that, by the time a man in his forties or fifties worked his way up to President of an Ivy League university like Cornell, he would have learned to deport himself like a dignified gentleman. Students Complain of ‘Police State’ at Cornell suggests, however, that former Cornell President Hunter Rawlings III’s behavior at a commencement ceremony was more like that of an adolescent who cannot refrain from throwing temper tantrums, even with thousands of parents and potential donors in attendance

The university administration had previously condoned Review burning. In April 1997, at a rally where hundreds of copies of the paper were also burned (and the protesters again were not punished) by minority activists, university President Hunter Rawlings called the Review “exceptionally despicable.” In his commencement address a few weeks later, Rawlings said that the Review was “offensive” and characterized the students’ response as “rapid and robust.” In the Wall Street Journal, Vice President for University Relations Henrik Dullea also praised the arsonists’ response as furthering to promote “civil, albeit energetic, dialogue.” These comments prompted U.S. News and World Report columnist John Leo to cite Rawlings both in 1997 and 1998 as a runner-up for his “Sheldon Hackney” award, given annually to the university president who exhibits exceptional pusillanimity in the face of newspaper destruction.

In fact, Davis told several administrators, including Dullea, of his intentions prior to burning the paper. Rather than trying to prevent Davis from engaging in censorship-by-fire, administrators stood by, instead choosing to lecture Review editors on the paper’s content. Dean of Students John Ford attended the burning and smiled approvingly.

We remember this quite well, as we subscribe to both The Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report. It is quite obvious that President Rawling’s use of a forum like a graduation ceremony to attack a student newspaper with which he disagrees was inappropriate. It was also an an embarrasment to the university that could have easily cost it substantial donor support. Henrik Dullea’s statement in a paper like the Wall Street Journal that it was acceptable for someone to appropriate and burn hundreds of copies of a student-run newspaper also was an embarrasment to the University, and the same goes for the alleged behavior of Dean of Students John Ford. Archives adds,

On April 28, 1997, radical student protestors were allowed to run amok on campus. The afternoon began when students stormed a meeting of the Board of Trustees and rushed the stage. Ironically, it was during the presentation of the James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial Harmony. Several copies of this newspaper [Cornell Review] were then stolen, carted down to the intersection of University and East Avenues, and set ablaze. For many hours, the traffic was blocked while hordes of chanting students warmed themselves by the fires. The only thing missing was a swastika. The reasons: someone objected to the Review’s position on the teaching of Ebonics. Interestingly enough, it was the same one taken by Jesse Jackson during the controversy. The other reason was President Rawlings’s statement that no freshman would be allowed to live in racially-segregated dormitories. (The policy was rescinded after this incident). The actions of the student-run rabble were in clear violation of the Campus Code of Conduct as well as local law. The Administration’s response? Rawlings’s lackeys were dispatched to urge the Ithaca Police to ignore civilian complaints while Cornell Police were instructed to stand down.

Following the rampage, the Administration opened up a systematic cover-up campaign to hide President Rawlings’s dereliction of duty. So egregious were the acts of April 1997 that the president’s chief spin doctors were working overtime lying to the national media. One example occurred on August 16, 1997 when Dean of Students John Ford told a Washington Post reporter that he had “no evidence” that any copy of the Cornell Review had been burned. Campus conservatives would later unveil a large photograph that showed Dean Ford standing beside the blaze. When learning of this, free-speech advocate and Village Voice writer Nat Henthoff refocused attention upon the matter. Ford persisted in his denial, but the Henthoff piece prompted a speedy letter to the Washington Post by Vice President of University Relations Henrik Dullea indicating that papers were burned, but only a “handful” as a “symbolic gesture.” Rather than say it was a calculated effort to cleanse the campus of the Review, Dullea framed the issue as one where the radicals were exercising their own rights.

Nat Hentoff supports the allegation that Dean John Ford was less than truthful when he said no papers had been burned:

Cornell’s dean of students, John Ford, told me when I was reporting the first mocking of the free press on the part of students that he was not aware that any copies of the Cornell Review had been set on fire. The second time it happened, I told him I had a photograph of him standing at the burning without stopping it. He then told me he saw no reason for disciplinary action concerning this theft of more than 500 issues.

Politically Correct Jim Crow At Cornell University by Kenneth Lee adds another anecdote about Henrik Dullea’s behavior, including displays of authority that allegedly left a female student “in tears.” It seems that there were some incidents of racist harrassment at Cornell, including threatening phone calls that were totally inexcusable and possibly criminal in nature. These were rightly condemned by Hunter Rawlings III and others. However, not all of the racism came from white supremacists.

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you know what kind of damage you’re doing to your school? Do not come here next time.” These were the words Cornell Vice President Henrik Dullea used to several students during a private meeting about racial apartheid on the Ithaca campus. Dullea continued to harangue one particular student until she left with tears welling up in her eyes.

…When notified of the NYCRC’s and NYCLU’s possible challenge to the [racially and/or ethnically segregated] dormitories, Henrik Dullea, the vice president of university relations, at first welcomed an inspection. “We have absolutely nothing to hide,” he coolly declared. But when Siegel and Michael Meyers visited Cornell, they sensed that something was rotten in the state of New York. Rather than being reassured, the two men became even more determined to do something about the Ithaca campus, especially after talking to students who opposed the politically correct Jim Crow situation created by the administration. It was during Siegel’s and Meyers’s visit to Cornell, in fact, that Vice President Dullea issued the stinging rebuke that left several students stunned and one of them teary-eyed.

…The meeting with Siegel and Meyers had been fairly placid until several students showed the two men anti-Semitic flyers that had been circulated by some members of Ujaama, the all-black dormitory. That’s when Dullea lost his cool and began to tongue-lash the students. …(Ujaama, the black dormitory, has invited virulent anti-Semitic speakers from the Nation of Islam on campus during Jewish holidays in the past).

While Ujaama certainly has not only the moral but also the legal right to be free of threatening phone calls and so on, it shouldn’t be surprised when the Cornell Review or someone else portrays it as less than civilized when it is caught circulating anti-Semitic material or inviting rabid anti-Semites to campus, because these behavioral choices are indeed less than civilized. Ujaama may have the First Amendment right to spew anti-Semitism, but others have the same right to call it and its members exactly what they are for doing this. The allegation that Mr. Dullea verbally assaulted the students who showed this hate material to the NYCLU simply reinforces the previous observations about his behavioral choices.

No “Hunting Terrorists” at Bucknell

On August 29th, the Bucknell University Conservatives Club sent out a campus-wide e-mail announcing an upcoming speaker: Major John Krenson, who had been in Afghanistan “hunting terrorists.” Those two words–“hunting terrorists”–resulted in three students being called to Bucknell’s Office of the President by Kathy Owens, the Executive Assistant to the President.

According to the students, when they arrived at the President’s Office for the meeting, Ms. Owens held up a print-out of the offending e-mail and said “we have a problem here,” telling the students that the words “hunting terrorists” were offensive. For the next half-hour, the three students were given a lecture on inappropriate phrasing.

(When contacted, Ms. Owens did acknowledge that the meeting took place, but refused to answer any questions about what transpired. She did not deny the account of the students.)

Bucknell Accusing Students of Lying? supports the above allegations

Ms. Owens did not respond to our E-mail to kowens “at”, cc: (5 December 2005):

Dear Dr. Owens (cc: Bucknell Conservatives, who are free to print these remarks anywhere they want, and I have also posted these comments on my anti-Islamofascism Web site and at Israpundit). says, “According to the students, when they arrived at the President’s Office
for the meeting, Ms. Owens held up a print-out of the offending e-mail and said “we have a problem here,” telling the students that the words
“hunting terrorists” were offensive. For the next half-hour, the three students were given a lecture on inappropriate phrasing.” (I also heard
about this incident on the radio, and it is documented at

In case you have forgotten, this is what happened on September 11 2001: I encourage you to watch
this video and then decide whether you owe the Bucknell Conservatives Club (and our country) an apology for calling them into your office to criticize their choice of words, and I will in fact go several steps further in choosing mine.

Although the Bucknell Conservatives Club used the verb “hunting” in the context of “locating” as opposed to killing, I want to see the terrorists hunted down and exterminated like cockroaches. If rabid animals, which certainly never wanted to acquire this horrific disease, must be put down for the protection of civilized society, why should terrorists who CHOOSE to slit flight attendants’ throats, fly airplanes full of innocent people into buildings full of more innocent people, set off nail bombs in public places, execute female aid workers (Margaret Hassan), throw handicapped senior citizens off ships (Leon Klinghoffer), saw off helpless prisoners’ heads, and commit similar atrocities be permitted to aggravate the (alleged) greenhouse gas problem by
continuing to breathe? They are not even entitled to the protections of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and any that we bother to capture alive
should, upon conviction by a court-martial– their engagement in hostilities while dressed as civilians is enough to condemn them by itself– be stood up against the nearest wall and shot.

Furthermore, if any students of Middle Eastern origin find the Bucknell Conservatives’ statements “inappropriate,” they are welcome to get out of MY country. This is not the Netherlands, where students were allegedly ordered not to wear clothing with the Dutch flag because it might offend Muslim students. There was a time when, if you told someone to haul down his country’s flag, you had to have more guns than he did and the willingness to use them. The likes of William of Orange and Admiral DeRuyter are no longer to be found in modern Holland but this is the United States, where Barbara Fritchie told the Confederate troops to “Shoot, if you must, this old gray head/ But spare your country’s flag.”

The United States does not have walls or fences to keep people in who don’t like our country and who don’t want to be here. Students of Middle Eastern origin who have a problem with statements about hunting and killing the perpetrators of 9/11 are free to get on the next airplane for home. When they do so, they should pay special attention to the cockpit security door that is there to prevent their more-militant compatriots from seizing control of the aircraft, crashing it into a building, and killing them with all the other innocent people involved.

I am sorry if you find my phrasing “inappropriate” but our country is at war with monsters who would be delighted to kill every last one of us and we are under no obligation to spare the sensitivities of those who object when someone uses the terminology of war.

This is generally the appropriate way of addressing politically correct ivory tower academicians and administrators. When one addresses them in this manner, there is not very much they can say in response. They almost universally tend to wilt, cringe, stonewall, dodge, and hide because they are used to impressing people in their late teens and early twenties with their impressive titles. Some, like the Cornell administrator described above, make the very serious mistake of assuming that they can impress the Wall Street Journal’s readers in the same manner. All they do is demonstrate a serious inability to function in the adult world that lies beyond the gates of their ivory towers.


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One Response to “Academic Irresponsibility, Immaturity, and Lack of Character”

  1. Tufts University Committee on Student Life Has Face Shoved in Own Excrement « The Husaria Says:

    […] Let’s be very blunt. Bacow’s message to the CSL is effectively, “Since you cannot be trusted to exercise your authority over students in a mature and responsible manner, that authority is being taken away from you.” This underscores our previous observation about many college faculty members and administrators being essentially middle-age adolescents who, no matter how well qualified they are for their profession of teaching and conducting original research, lack the maturity to serve as role models for young people. […]

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