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六合彩开奖结果直播 college presidents open up about pressure of dealing with Israel-Hamas conflicts on campus

The college presidents (left to right) of The New School, NYU, Hunter College, Fordham University and Columbia University participated in a panel Wednesday on new higher education leaders for women鈥檚 history month. Courtesy of Hunter College's press office.
The college presidents (left to right) of The New School, NYU, Hunter College, Fordham University and Columbia University participated in a panel Wednesday on new higher education leaders for women鈥檚 history month. Courtesy of Hunter College’s press office.
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Following a听 in New York City, a new batch of school leaders ascended to the top post this difficult school year, pockmarked by campus tensions and high-profile probes.

Their early tenures were irrevocably transformed after the Oct. 7 Hamas’ attacks on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza, as a torrent of student protests and allegations of hate threw the newcomer college presidents into turbulent political waters.

“We’re supposed to be the place where difficult conversations take place,” Hunter College interim president Ann Kirschner said at a panel on听new higher education leaders for women’s history month at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute.

Hunter College interim president Ann Kirschner said college campuses are supposed to be where difficult conversations take place. Courtesy of Hunter College's press office.
Hunter College interim president Ann Kirschner said college campuses are supposed to be where difficult conversations take place. Courtesy of Hunter College’s press office.

“We are the most important institution to be able to model this kind of discourse, and I do not feel that we have lived up to it. I would say that I have not lived up to it.”

The Hunter president, joined by the leaders of Columbia University, New York University, Fordham University and The New School, reflected at the panel on the difficulties of meeting the moment. All but one, Fordham president Tania Tetlow, took the helm this school year. Tetlow assumed the role last school year.

In the months that followed, some Jewish students felt administrators were not doing enough to combat growing antisemitism and foster dialogue on campus. Pro-Palestinian peers accused university officials of bias against them at the behest of donors and free speech violations.

With the fall semester just underway at the City University of New York, Kirschner issued a statement the day after Hamas’ attacks, condemning the assault and 听and civility. broke out on campus, and Hunter made national headlines for canceling, then , a documentary film critical of Israel.

Almost half a year later, the newly minted school leader said Wednesday she would not give herself “high grades” for Hunter’s response.

Chairwoman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees Merryl Tisch moderated a panel Wednesday on new higher education leaders for women's history month. Courtesy of Hunter College's press office
Chairwoman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees Merryl Tisch moderated a panel Wednesday on new higher education leaders for women鈥檚 history month. Courtesy of Hunter College’s press office

“There’s no playbook for this,” said Kirschner, who will leave in August. “Nobody teaches you how you’re going to navigate this.”

Now, CUNY faces an ordered by Gov. Hochul, a Democrat, tapping New York’s former top judge and Rikers commission chair. Columbia and NYU are the targets of lawsuits听辞苍听bothsides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I think people don’t really appreciate the personal toll that this has had on people who are leading,” said NYU president Linda Mills, “and trying to do the best that we possibly can.”

Mills said the next steps for NYU this semester involve “retraining ourselves to listen, to talk, to rely on facts, to debate those facts, and all of those things.”

Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia, will go before a Republican-led House committee next month to push back against allegations of antisemitism. Two out of three college presidents subjected to a congressional hearing last year later resigned, from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik said she is trying to promote discussion and opportunities for students to learn facts about the Israel-Hamas conflict. Courtesy of Hunter College's press office.
Columbia University President Minouche Shafik said she is trying to promote discussion and opportunities for students to learn facts about the Israel-Hamas conflict. Courtesy of Hunter College’s press office.

Columbia, an Ivy League institution in the nation’s media capital, immediately garnered scrutiny over its response to the war.

Within days of Oct. 7, a Jewish student said he was assaulted during a feud over hostage posters, while others say they were targeted with slurs and swastika graffiti on campus. Pro-Palestinian student groups, including two that were kicked off campus, say they have been targeted for their advocacy, and the administration has not done enough to keep them safe from “doxxing” trucks, physical attacks and arrests.

“I have spent a huge amount of time at the receiving end of very upset people, and absorbing their anguish and pain and suffering and their, some of them, losing family members,” said Shafik.

The college president predicted that so long as there are hostages and an ongoing war, there will continue to be tensions on campuses. But she said university administrators are trying to promote discussions and opportunities for students to learn facts.

“We are very good at training students who go out and get great jobs and careers,” Shafik said.

“But at this particular moment in history, the role of higher education in creating citizens who are capable of dissent and debate and differences and compromise 鈥 and all the things we need in our world today 鈥 weighs heavily on me. And I think we neglect that at our peril.”

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