Friday, June 1, 2007

Columbia University's RAND Corporation Connection

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger currently sits next to RAND Corporation Board of Trustees Chairperson Ronald Olson on the Washington Post Company media conglomerate’s corporate board. The RAND Corporation think-tank was recently given a $210.6 million “cost-reimbursement plus fee-for need contract” by the U.S. Air Force “to provide for RAND Project Air Force,” which produces studies and analyses for the U.S. war machine. Coincidentally, Donald Rumsfeld was a Trustee of the RAND Corporation from 1977-1987, 1988-1998, and 1999-2001, before serving as the Bush Administration’s Secretary of Defense between 2001 and 2006.

Although Columbia’s president is a member of a mainstream media conglomerate’s board of directors, Columbia trains mainstream journalists and Columbia doesn’t publish an alternative newsweekly, Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism was allowed to join the “Association of Alternative Newsweeklies [AAN]” as “an associate member” in May 2007. According to a May 18, 2007 press release, “Columbia J-School” will also be “participating in” the June 2007 “annual AAN convention in Portland,” Oregon; and the Columbia journalism school’s Career Services Coordinator “will be on hand to talk about the school, its programs and how Columbia can better serve AAN and its members.”

So don’t expect your local alternative newsweekly to provide you with much critical alternative news coverage about Columbia’s 21st-century links to the U.S. war machine.

Next: IDA’s 21st-Century Urban Warfare Research Work