Reviews | The Professor, the Donors and a Shock at Yale

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For the publisher:

Re “At Yale, Famous Power Program Gets a Lesson in Politics” (cover page, October 1):

As a historian, high school teacher, and Yale alumnus, I was dismayed to read that Yale appears to have caved in to donor pressure on its Brady-Johnson program agenda in Grand Strategy.

I am grateful to Professor Beverly Gage for standing up for academic freedom, academic integrity, and a commitment to excellent, unpaid teaching – core values ​​for the education I received as a student in story at Yale.

Peter Salovey, president of Yale, has since affirmed in a statement to the faculty “Yale’s unwavering commitment to academic freedom.” While this is much better than the previous dismissive statement by a Yale administrator you quoted, suggesting that an outside advisory board dominated by donor-selected members was just not the “cup of tea” of the government. Professor Gage, Mr Salovey’s broad generalizations seem to say the right things while failing to offer explicit assurance on how he will remedy the violations of academic freedom that Professor Gage has faced and ensure that ” free inquiry and academic freedom ”are not, in fact, for sale.

As an alumnus of hers, I know Professor Gage is a generous and inspired teacher, a brilliant scholar and committed to a diversity of voices and thoughts in the Yale classrooms. The critical questions it raises deserve better from a school whose ambitious motto is “light and truth”.

Emily pressman
Middletown, Del.

For the publisher:

Universities that accept donations for academic programs should come as no surprise when the worldview of donors inevitably collides with academic freedom.

The Grand Strategy program itself is the opposite of today’s diversity policy. Yale is naive to want to play both ways: take an endowment of $ 17.5 million from two Republicans, then shape Grand Strategy to match progressive leftist ideals.

A truly independent program cannot be endorsed by outside interests.

Betty J. Cotter
Shannock, RI

For the publisher:

Professor Beverly Gage has resigned as director of the famous Grand Strategy program at Yale, citing political interference from donors in the program. The Grand Strategy has traditionally focused on high-level political decision-makers and their theories of the art of governing. Ms. Gage paid more attention to national social movements, and some donors opposed it.

While such movements have some influence on foreign policy, they receive much more attention in domestic politics, where Congress listens much more to interests outside the government – as it does in current struggles over l ‘Biden agenda.

In matters of national security, however, policy making is tightly centralized. Presidents dominate, and they can usually act with input from a handful of cabinet secretaries and White House staff.

Opinion debate
Will Democrats face a mid-term erasure?

So Professor Gage is right, but in seeking to broaden Yale’s course she comes up against the elitist nature of foreign policy.

Laurent M. Mead
new York
The writer is professor of politics at New York University.

For the publisher:

Re “Sinema Stars in Her Own Film”, by Maureen Dowd (October 3 review):

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s self-indulgence goes beyond impenetrability; it is a form of narcissism that is destructive not only for her, but also for her constituents, the Democratic Party and the well-being of the nation as a whole.

His shenanigans increase the likelihood that Democrats will be deprived of House and Senate control next year. If the latter happens, I hope she will behave more responsibly as a member of the minority than she did while maintaining the balance in the slim majority.

Marshal H. Tanick
Minneapolis

For the publisher:

If Maureen Dowd thinks Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s behavior is “disturbing,” she should see it from here, the state that Ms Sinema allegedly represents, by people like me and my family, who campaigned for her, has wrote letters in his name to solicit donations and planted large lighted signs with his name engraved on it.

It might make a charming and interesting story within the Beltway to write about their unpredictable demeanor and clothing choices, about someone who could be called a colorful and just plain goofy iconoclast, but from there it was is nothing short of frightening and appalling.

What is most infuriating is not his flamboyance, as obnoxious and inappropriate as it has sometimes been. It’s that much of what she says and does is in direct contrast to what she told us she believed and would do while campaigning on issues ranging from minimum wage to minimum wage. systematic obstruction.

As a retired journalist, I am particularly angry that she refuses to do interviews because it is part of her job to explain to voters and the country what she is doing and why.

Greg joseph
Sun City, Arizona.

For the publisher:

Re “Bitter sexual assault charges more students against fraternity row” (news article, October 2):

Congratulations to the courageous students who finally ask for a change in the social structure created by the Greek organizations.

Your article details how students are taking a page of the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movement, and demanding change and the abolition of fraternities on campuses across the country. It is important to note that sororities have also been responsible for physical assaults and student deaths.

As a psychologist and hazing expert, I have seen cases of abuse in all areas of Greek life at various schools, including Ivy League institutions, public schools, and historically black colleges and universities. .

Peer violence, including sexual assault, occurs in all Greek organizations, regardless of race, gender, location or class.

Students across the country no longer want to be held hostage by institutions that protect perpetrators who have successfully hid behind “a code of silence”.

Susan lipkins
Port Washington, New York
The writer is the author of “Preventing Hazing: How Parents, Teachers and Coaches Can End Violence, Harassment and Humiliation”.

For the publisher:

Re “The new European cycling capital or a pedestrian’s nightmare? »(Dispatch from Paris, October 3):

The chaos between cyclists and pedestrians in Paris is evident every day in New York. The cyclists here seem to have an attitude that they are environmentally “green” and that the rules of the road do not apply. For them, a red light or a stop sign is something to ignore.

A lot of people I know think they are more likely to die from being hit by a bicycle than from Covid or any other illness. It is time for traffic control to do something about this growing problem.

Daphne Philipson
new York

For the publisher:

Re “Messi is worth every euro for PSG” (Column on football, September 29):

With all the bad news swirling these days, what a ray of light Rory Smith is giving us with his portrayal of this great artist known as Messi and his lens for the ages.

It’s not just a snapshot of a moment in time on a soccer field, but also a reminder that there is still beauty and magic in the world, and the grind can become. the spectacular in seconds, if only we propel ourselves forward with creative impetus and an eye to uplift our teammates (or fellow human beings) to achieve something big – and that sense of freedom and accomplishment that drives it. accompanies, this feeling that anything is possible.

Thank you, Mr. Smith, and thank you, Lionel Messi.

Andrew Sherman
new York


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