7/28/2008

New York Universitesi başkanı/rektörü John Sexton'un, üniversitenin Abu Dhabi'de açacağı kampüs üzerine ilginç ama yazarın batıcıl ayrımcılığını örtmesini beceremediği bir yazı. Bu ayrımcılık doğallaşmış bir biçimde zikredilmekte, beyaz türklerin araplara bakışı kadar sıradan. Paralı "öteki" orkutuyor çünkü ötekiyi aşağılayacak ekonomik, sınıfsal araçlar yok artık, bir de kültürel araçlar paylaşılırsa, hatta geliştirilirse...

...But perhaps most striking is not how far Sexton has strayed from the conventional values of higher education but how faithfully he has crafted New York University in the image of today’s New York City. Like Glenn Lowry, who has doubled the size of MoMA during his time as director, and Thomas Krens, who invented the idea of the global Guggenheim, Sexton has grown his institution in lockstep with the boom times of the last few years. And like Vikram Pandit of Citigroup and John Thain of Merrill Lynch, he’s demonstrated a homegrown knack for sniffing out foreign wealth eager to acquire blue-chip New York property. There are risks in running an academic institution like a multinational corporation, but losing one’s New York City sensibility doesn’t appear to be one of them.

Sexton himself acknowledges as much: “Our strategy arises organically from New York City itself, which is the first miniaturization of the world.” In fact, to hear him talk, NYU’s expansion to the Middle East is almost a moral imperative: the logical extension of his quest to make NYU “the university of the other.” His pitch is an astonishingly brash conflation of destinies, as if the fate of the modern world, as well as that of higher education, is hitched to the success of this Abu Dhabi expansion, which, though he might deny it, is insuperably intertwined with the vision of president John Sexton. Or, as he puts it in his characteristic bravado: “Stymieing the project would be missing an opportunity to transform the university and, frankly, the world...”

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