Friday, September 7, 2007

`Non-Profit' Barnard College Paid Professor Who Wrote `Stand, Columbia' Official History Book A $170,000 Annual Salary In 2005

If you check out Barnard College’s Form 990 for 2004, you’ll notice that between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005 a male Barnard College Professor named Robert McCaughey was paid an annual salary of $170,220 by the Barnard College administration. Coincidentally, McCaughey (a former University of North Carolina Assistant Professor of Naval Science who served in the U.S. Navy between 1961 and 1965) was the author of the Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754-2004 “court history” book that Columbia University Press published in 2003.

McCaughey was also Barnard College’s history department chairman between 1983 and 1987, between 1995 and 1998 , between 2000 and 2003 and during the 2004 to 2005 academic year. Yet his Stand, Columbia book contains many historically inaccurate passages.

On page 474 of his Stand, Columbia book, for instance, McCaughey writes that the founder of the Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] chapter at Columbia University, David Gilbert (CC 1966), “was sentenced to twenty years in Attica State Prison.” Yet on page 17 of his 2004 book, No Surrender, Gilbert ( ) (who is currently imprisoned at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York) writes: “I was sentenced under New York State’s felony murder law (even with no allegations of doing any shooting, a participant in the robbery can be given full legal responsibility for all deaths) to 75 years to life, which makes my earliest parole eligibility in 2056.”

McCaughey also writes on page 427 of his history book: “It is at this point, on March 10, 1965, that a handful of Columbia undergraduates, including Ted Kaptchuk (CC 1968) and Dave Gilbert (CC 1967) established the fifty-second chapter of SDS.” Yet page 56 of Crisis At Columbia: Report of the Fact-finding Commission Appointed To Investigate The Disturbances At Columbia University in April and May 1968 states: “SDS received formal recognition as an official Columbia student activity in February 1966.”

McCaughey also inaccurately describes what happened on Columbia’s campus in April 1967. On page 431 of his history book, he writes:

“The second incident took place in John Jay Hall, on April 21, when Marine Corps recruiters had set up tables to talk with undergraduates. Antiwar protesters encircled the tables, and, before the afternoon was over, an estimated five hundred protesters were themselves confronted by a larger group of undergraduates demanding that they leave the building. Again, security officers were summoned, again deans took names, and again both groups dispersed after much pushing and shoving.”

Yet page 86 of Crisis At Columbia: Report of the Fact-Finding Commission Appointed to Investigate the Disturbances at Columbia University in April and May 1968 states:

“After gathering at the Sundial, a group of 300 SDS members and sympathizers moved into the lobby of John Jay Hall to confront the Marines…Anticipating an obstructive SDS march into John Jay Hall, about 50 `jocks’ had encircled the recruiting tables.”

Columbia SDS’s April 21, 1967 letter to Columbia Faculty members also contradicts the former Barnard College history department chairman’s inaccurate description:

“The Marines were granted space for recruiting in John Jay Residence Hall, even though the Executive Board of the Undergraduate Dormitory Council had voted against the use of dormitory facilities for this purpose…

“Yesterday a group of 500 students, many of them members of Students for a Democratic Society, marched to John Jay Hall with the intention of questioning the recruiters about Marine atrocities in Vietnam and United States military policy throughout the world. However, a group of self-styled `leathernecks’ sought to prevent any such peaceful confrontation. This violent group again and again attacked the anti-Marine demonstrators, who were trying to question the Marines and to keep an aisle open to their table. Several SDS members were injured by this group while trying to keep that aisle open. Since no University official sought to pacify those students whose violent intentions were openly apparent, a riotous situation ensued. One SDS member suffered a broken nose; many others sustained less severe injuries…”

The history book that Columbia University Press published in 2003 by McCaughey also states that:

“On February 18, 1968, heavy equipment moved into Morningside Park to begin excavation for the gym. Two days later, a demonstration by Columbia students and neighborhood groups at the gym site brought the work to a halt. Police were called to the scene, and several arrests were made. A fence was put up around the site, and a guard posted.

“SDS did not figure prominently in the gym site demonstration, nor had it made the gym issue part of its 1967-68 educational program…”

But pages 82-83 of the Crisis At Columbia: Report of the Fact-Finding Commission Appointed to Investigate the Disturbances at Columbia University in April and May 1968 states:

“On February 19, 1968, ground was broken without public announcement. The following morning approximately 20 protesters followed the work crews onto the site and blocked the construction equipment. Six students and six community residents, including Robert McKay and Joseph Monroe of the West Harlem Morningside Park Committee, were arrested…

“On February 28, SDS, the Citizenship Council, and the Graduate Student Council sponsored a rally in opposition during the course of which some 150 students marched to the construction site where they attempted to block the entry of a truck and tore down part of the fence. Twelve students and Reverend A. Kendal Smith, a Harlem pastor, were arrested…”

Former Barnard College history department chairman McCaughey also inaccurately characterizes the nature of Columbia University’s institutional relationship to the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA] and IDA’s continued involvement in secretive weapons research work for the Pentagon. On page 438 of his history book, for instance, McCaughey writes:

“President Kirk served as the university’s representative on the IDA board. Columbia trustee William Burden, an occasional adviser to the government on aviation and intelligence matters, was also a member. By virtue of a rotating arrangement, he was also chairman. There was nothing secretive about IDA’s mission: to serve as a forum where the leading research universities and the principal government agencies funding military research could discuss issues of mutual interest. IDA did not issue contracts, although its members viewed their participation as a means by which they assured that their universities were not overlooked by the agencies that did…”

Yet, as the North American Congress on Latin America [NACLA]’s 1968 pamphlet, Who Rules Columbia?, notes:

“Columbia President Grayson Kirk represents the University on IDA’s Board of Trustees, and along with Columbia Trustee William Burden, also serves on the Executive Committee of IDA. This select committee (members must have `Top Secret’ security clearance) must approve all IDA projects. Three years ago, the committee named Gen. Maxwell Taylor, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to replace ex-CIA official Richard Bissell as President of IDA.

“…On March 30, 1967, IDA’s Vice-President and General Manager, Norman L. Christeller, told reporters from the Columbia Daily Spectator that `We consider Columbia to be one of the three or four primary university sponsors of the IDA. President Kirk has always been an active member of our board’…Columbia has, in fact, held contracts for IDA; in 1964, for instance, the Electrical Engineering Department received a contract from IDA worth $18,950 for a study of missile-tracking radar (the project was conducted by Herbert Dern of the ERL staff under IDA contract no. 50-13).”

Page 89 of Crisis At Columbia: Report of the Fact-Finding Commission Appointed to Investigate the Disturbances at Columbia University in April and May 1968 also states:

“The Institute for Defense Analyses was established by the Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff…in order to obtain organized university research and counsel upon such matters as weapons systems and the conditions of warfare…

“…The Executive Committee, of which Mr. Burden was Chairman, approved all work conducted by IDA, including classified projects directly related to the prosecution of the Vietnam War…”

Besides paying Barnard College Professor McCaughey his annual salary of $170,200, the “non-profit” Barnard College also paid its president an annual salary of $301,000 in 2005. In addition, Barnard College Professor Rae Silver was paid an annual salary of $238,047 between July 2004 and June 2005 and at least three other Barnard College professors were paid annual salaries exceeding $147,000 during the same period. Administrators at “non-profit” Barnard College were also paid a lot more money than most women office workers at either Barnard or Columbia between July 2004 and June 2005. Barnard College’s Vice-President for Development, for instance, was paid an annual salary of $195,200, while its Vice-President for Finances and Planning was paid an annual salary of $165,300. In addition, the Dean of Barnard College was paid an annual salary of $153,000 between July 2004 and June 2005.

Next: Hillary Clinton and Arkansas’s S&L Scandal Revisited Again