How to ensure a favorable academic atmosphere. From the New York Sun, and RB:
Saudi Arabia has funneled tens of thousands of dollars into the “outreach” programs of Columbia University’s Middle East Institute, which until last week was training some of the city’s public-school teachers in how to teach students about Middle East politics.
Since 2002, the government-owned Saudi Aramco has given the institute annual grants of $15,000 for unspecified outreach activities. The institute’s outreach activities have included a 15-week teacher-training course on Middle East politics led by Columbia faculty members and graduate students.
In a letter dated April 27, 2004, a scholar of Arab nationalism who took over the Middle East Institute in 2003, Rashid Khalidi, wrote to a senior executive in public affairs at Saudi Aramco, Mustafa Jalali, thanking him for “your generous contribution to the Middle East Institute’s outreach activities in 2004.” The money, Mr. Khalidi wrote, “will enable us to be more proactive and seek out wider outreach opportunities.”…
“The faculty and a group of advanced graduate students are also an important resource for the dissemination of information on the Middle East for non-specialist audiences such as schools, colleges, and community groups,” the document stated. It then described the institute’s course for public-school teachers.
A Columbia spokeswoman, Susan Brown, denied the money from Saudi Aramco was used to finance the program that the institute coordinated for the city’s Department of Education. Rather, she said, the program – for which participating teachers paid tuition of $145 – was supported through federal funds. The institute must demonstrate a certain level of community outreach activity to qualify for federal funds.
Ms. Brown would not disclose how the Middle East Institute, which is part of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, spent the Aramco money. Other outreach activities carried out by the institute include a public lecture series and a one-day educational program in 2002 for New York public-school teachers that provided participants with a special “sensitivity” curriculum for teaching issues related to Islam….
Khalidi has also called the office of President of the United States “the costliest to buy.” He seems to be an expert on the ways and means of purchasing influence.
Mr. Khalidi has blamed Israel for carrying out “racist” policies and has argued that Palestinian armed “resistance” against Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank is legitimate. The day the article appeared, the city schools chancellor, Joel Klein, removed Mr. Khalidi as a lecturer in the course.
Mr. Klein’s decision infuriated Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, who wrote the chancellor a letter accusing him of violating First Amendment principles and suggesting negotiations to determine whether Columbia would continue to participate in the professional development program.
The New York Sun reported last year that Columbia had failed for years to disclose to the federal Department of Education the foreign gifts it received.
Yeah, right, never cooperate with Amerikkka. I almost forgot.
Columbia gave Washington an updated list of foreign gifts and later disclosed the donors behind Mr. Khalidi’s professorship, named after the Palestinian advocate and literature scholar Edward Said.
On the egregious Said, don’t miss “Edward Said and the Saidists, or Third-World Intellectual Terrorism” by Jihad Watch Advisory Board member Ibn Warraq, in The Myth of Islamic Tolerance.
Among the 22 foreign gifts of $250,000 or more that Columbia disclosed having received in 2003 was a contribution of $250,000 from an unnamed Saudi individual for “social science research.”
Among the donors of the $2.1 million Edward Said chair, Columbia reported, were the United Arab Emirates, which gave $200,000, and the Olayan Charitable Trust, a charity associated with a Saudi-based multinational corporation, the Olayan Group….
Read it all, if you have the stomach for it.