Friday, December 22, 2023

Suze: Harvard Is Learning Lessons the Hard Way

Flying the flag of personal political opinion has consequences

Influences at work during Covid twisted our thinking using irrational fear and withholding solutions that might have alleviated those fears; in the process revealing the absence of three big-ticket political items: genuine political opposition, a properly functioning fourth estate and academic institutions exhibiting fair and open debate.

The pursuit of zero-Covid was decided long before the nation was told about it. A fait accompli. No other option was offered and in hindsight we’d have been much better off socially, economically and health-wise had we followed the traditional practice of supporting natural immunity which works to protect the vast majority of healthy people.

Covid demonstrated just how easy it was to turn a nation into a mindless mass of individuals dutifully and wilfully misled into a particular course of action.

A lazy intellect? The pursuit of political ideology? Probably a combination of both resulted in a national complacency our more astute forbears would scarcely have tolerated.

The problem is worldwide. Traditional institutions have been rendered useless, learning institutions lost to corruption.

The president of the prestigious Harvard University, Claudine Gay, was figuratively in the job five minutes, (actually less than six months), when Harvard was accused of covering up investigations into alleged plagiarism by Gay in three of her published articles.

Gay claimed simple mistakes and offered up corrections to two of her writings, claiming, “Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure my scholarship adheres to the highest academic standards.”

Once upon a time, morality was de rigeur in people appointed to important positions and a candidate’s word was reliable. Today there are too many liars and bad performers out there and decision makers are appointed using unreliable standards such as diversity.

But plagiarism isn’t Gay’s only failing. Her personal politics led her to tolerate pro-Palestinian students calling for Jewish genocide through the “From the River to the Sea” chant on campus, drawing accusations of antisemitism.

The resignation of Liz Magill, president of the University of Pennsylvania, following similar accusations drew a belated apology from Gay, but it wasn’t enough. Gay refused to step down for using her public position to support personal political opinions.

The failure of the three presidents of the Universities of Pennsylvania, Harvard and MIT to clearly express their displeasure with the rise of antisemitism and hostility towards Jews on campus had very real consequences for their prestigious institutions.

A degree from Harvard, Penn or MIT, to take three examples, is a meal ticket to a lucrative job on Wall Street or a corporate law firm and to the richest and most influential people in the land.
The Guardian

Sitting on top of the pile does not make them immune to a fall from grace should they be seen condoning unacceptable behaviour. The arrogance displayed in offending the business communities their graduates are being trained to work in was naïve at best.

Even before the hearing, a campaign had been launched by some of Wall Street’s most powerful figures to oust all three university presidents for failing to adequately condemn Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel.

The influential board of advisers of Penn’s Wharton School’s, chaired by Marc Rowan of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, called on alumni to withhold donations to Penn.

The billionaire investor Bill Ackman, Harvard alumnus and head of New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, called for the three university presidents to be fired.

Allowing antisemitism a toehold met a predictable backlash.

One law firm signatory, Davis Polk & Wardwell, previously rescinded job offers for three law students from Harvard and Columbia universities after the students signed open letters supporting Hamas against Israel. 
Fox News

Wealthy university donors withdrew funding and a dozen Wall Street firms warned they wouldn’t hire students engaging in antisemitism. Harvard was blacklisted by law firm Edelson PC following Gay’s refusal to resign.

Edelson PC law firm founder Jay Edelson penned a letter to Harvard Law’s director of recruitment and operations saying that the firm will not be participating in the university’s upcoming Spring Interview Program.

The Spring Interview Program, which begins Jan. 29, facilitates opportunities for employers to interview prospective students on campus.

The firm added that it will also skip a larger on-campus interviewing event in August, according to Reuters. Edelson told Reuters in an interview that the event is where major law firms often hire many of their summer associates.

The reputation of an educational institution is only as good as the public opinion of it. Lose that, and you fall to the bottom of the heap, taking very unhappy graduates with you. There really couldn’t be a more appropriate punishment.

Suze sees herself as a New Zealander whose heritage shaped but does not define, and believes unless we protect our rights and freedoms they will be taken off us by a few powerful people. This article was first published HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Suze, great work highlighting this, well done. Hey, didn't ardern get recruited by one or more of hese universities? Sort of tells you everything you need to know, their reputations will be in tatters once she's finished with them. Deserving.