Wanted: Adult Supervision at Columbia

Are there no adults in the Columbia administration? That's a rhetorical question that answered itself last week when the dean of Columbia College, Josef Sorett, put out a statement on Friday addressing a series of disparaging text messages he and several other top university administrators exchanged during a panel last month about Jewish life on campus 🤢🤮.

Sorett's statement—the university's only one on the matter to date—went to the university's Board of Visitors, a group of more than two dozen influential Columbia graduates that advises the dean, and he was doing damage control in the wake of a Washington Free Beacon report that revealed the content of those text messages.

One has to imagine that several of Sorett's colleagues reviewed the statement before it went out. And yet there he was, saying with a straight face that "our team prioritized attending this panel as part of our ongoing effort to listen to the range of experiences of our Jewish community." An adult would have pointed out that the deans were not doing much listening, they were texting like high schoolers behind the panelists' backs.

He went on. The text messages—captured in crystal-clear photographs—do not, he said, represent "the views of any individual or the team." An adult would have advised him not to insult the intelligence of his audience. "I have already spoken to each person involved," Sorett added, omitting any mention of his personal participation in the text exchanges. "We are looking carefully at this incident." An adult might have told him to take some personal responsibility.

Worst of all, though, Sorett accused the individual who took the photographs in question—and who bore witness to four university deans trading anti-Semitic barbs as Jews discussed their experiences on campus—of an "invasion of privacy." An adult would have told him not to blame the victim and to take his lumps.

One person from whom we have not yet heard is Columbia University president Minouche Shafik, who told Congress in April that anti-Semitism "has no place on our campus, and I am committed to doing everything that I can to confront it directly."

If this is what Columbia's confrontation with anti-Semitism looks like, we can only hope that next year the school will be unburdened of the taxpayer funding that requires their feigned concern for the Jews on their campus.