More than 70 Columbia faculty members have signed a letter that criticizes university president Lee Bollinger for, among other things, taking "partisan political positions concerning the politics of the Middle East." The letter (reprinted by The New York Sun) also castigates Bollinger for failing to forthrightly reject the efforts of outside groups to influence tenure decisions.
That latter point echoes a petition circulating online from the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University, a group spearheaded, in part, by Columbia professor Jonathan Cole (who is also a signatory of the letter).
"This is no parody," writes Phyllis Chesler in response to the letter. "This is a seventy-gun opening salvo and the unmistakable sound of a bloody drumroll; the French Revolution has returned to Columbia's campus."