"I think the faculty want me out," Yale President Richard Levin told an emeritus professor glumly last spring after a faculty vote of "no confidence" in his and his trustees' move to establish a new liberal-arts college, bearing Yale's name, in collaboration with the authoritarian, corporate city-state of Singapore.
Levin's announcement last week that he'll resign effective in June -- and Fareed Zakaria's resignation as a Yale trustee only two weeks earlier -- were indeed driven partly by growing faculty resistance to the "world is flat" corporate expansion of American universities that both men championed. But what now, and what kind of leadership should succeed them?
Not so subtly, the liberal arts at Yale are being reinvented "from the ground up," as one Yale publication put it -- instrumentalized, I fear, not only to benefit Asia's future capitalist leaders but also in a "parallel university" that has been emerging at Yale itself outside of the faculty's deliberation and control.
On Levin's watch, that parallel university bestowed upon President George W. Bush an honorary doctorate at the 2001 Yale commencement, where Bush told "the C students among you" graduates that this proves that "you can be president." Levin's parallel university installed Stanley McChrystal as a professor only a few months after Barack Obama fired him. It has hired Charles Hill, Ryan Crocker, John Negroponte, Tony Blair, and, most recently, David Brooks as instructors for undergraduates who thirst for celebrity, authority, and connections from eminences fighting old wars in Yale's classrooms.
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