Monday, September 24, 2007

President Lee Bollinger

[scroll down past this post for the Andre Meyers/UF Taser Incident entry]

Well, on the same day I wrote an entry calling for more real-life social disruption, I think we got some yesterday afternoon. I'm sure it's because of this blog, right? right?

I was at U of Michigan during the tenure of Lee Bollinger. He left when his alma mater, Columbia University came calling and was replaced by Mary Sue Coleman. Well, I never really had an opinion about Mr. Bollinger until today. Now, he will forever have my respect for his engagement of President/Lunatic Ahmadinejad during an official welcome and introduction before a speech/rambling diatribe by the Iranian "leader".

It is so rare to see people in prominent positions speaking so frankly and so passionately in a direct and antagonistic manner. This is what our academic bastions of free speech should be doing right now and Mr. Bollinger is leading that cause with his manner of speech. Wow. This is the grown up version of the taser incident. Only, President Bollinger's position allowed him to cause important social disruption without a physically violent result unlike we, unfortunately, see result for many workers, poor immigrants/citizens, and, of course, Andrew Meyer.

Finally, my current medical school and university - USF - is certainly on the rise both academically (some top ranked programs in the medical school and on main campus, research 1 status, increased research dollars flowing in) and in national prominence (hello #18 AP and USA Today Football Ranking). But, can you imagine hosting such a controversial figure at the Sun Dome? Can you imagine President Genshaft delivering the message that was given by Bollinger? Can you imagine anyone caring if she did?

Nope, nope, and nope. We're getting there Bulls, but we still have a long way to go before we are nationally and internationally relevant on the big time stage of academia. I've been a part of the USF community as an undergrad in the mid-late 90s and came back in 2004 to a much improved place for medical school. I can see myself as a faculty member at this place in the future but I'm not sure if I can honestly see us ever taking a place on the world stage that places like my alma mater U of Michigan and Mr. Bollinger's current Columbia University certainly exhibit.

Anyway, if you somehow missed it, or just enjoy watching the intro again and again, follow this link:

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