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Palestinian Prof Back Up for Tenure?

Columbia’s still conflicted.


Joseph Massad, the Palestinian-American Columbia professor who was accused of dismissing a pro-Israel student from his class and asking another, a former Israeli soldier, how many Palestinians he’d killed, had his controversial tenure review shut down without a decision by the university’s provost last fall. But now it might be reopened, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on May 27. Massad wouldn’t confirm the change, and members of his department were reluctant to discuss the case. “One sentence can derail a career,” a colleague says. Says a grad student, “It would be kind of disastrous for him to be tenured here, but I think he probably will be. He’s not a nice guy. But 90 percent of professors are not nice people.” Columbia’s media-relations director, Robert Hornsby, didn’t elaborate: “It is consistent with our review process that cases sometimes extend beyond a single academic year or committee.”

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