Following the controversial appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University this Monday, questions have been raised about the University’s decision to host such an appearance.
NJ Voices asked several NJ academic instituions about their take on the event. Dr. Susan A. Cole, President at Monclair State University responds:
“The opportunity for students to have direct contact with a sitting head of state, especially under circumstances where the individual can be engaged in discussion, constitutes a powerful educational experiential.
Whether the particular head of state is viewed as a beneficent or a malignant force in the world, he exists, and the more students understand about the people who govern the world’s nations, the better prepared they will be, when their turn comes, to lead constructively and intelligently. In my view, an opportunity to learn should almost always trump most other considerations on a university campus.”
Now, Ahmadinejad has a invited Bush to speak at a university in Tehran. Polite retaliation? What kind of a welcome do you think he’ll get?