Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is to receive a much contested Stanford University fellowship, and to offer one.
Much of Stanford University’s faculty as well as numerous students and alumni were outraged after it was announced that Donald Rumsfeld would be receiving a one-year fellowship from the school. The appointment would entail Rumsfeld examining and advising a university panel on issues of national security and the aftermath of September 11th.
Like most Ivy League schools, Stanford is known to be campus of liberal thinkers—the same can’t be said of its public policy research center that extended the invitation. It is unsurprising that a former high-ranking staff member of the Bush administration, one who resigned amidst accusations of Iraq war mishandling, was immediately deemed a campus misfit.
A petition with, as of now, 3,483 students, alumni and faculty signatures has been created in the hopes of withdrawing the offer. As stated in the petition, “We view the appointment as fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, disinterested enquiry, respect for national and international laws, and care for the opinions, property and lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed.”
Donald Rumsfeld also had something to say on the topic of fellowships—that he will soon be awarding them. There are plans in store for a new Rumsfeld foundation that will shortly be awarding fellowships to students who plan to enter the field of public policy after graduating from college. Rumsfeld hopes that the award will encourage students to work for the government.
In addition to assisting graduates, the foundation will offer loans to micro-enterprises in developing countries and support Central Asian republics. It will likewise fund lectures on various topics, the kind of work Rumsfeld may be doing for Stanford.
According to the Washington Post, Rumsfeld has recently criticized both the press and Congress for “creating an environment that is not particularly hospitable to public services.” It was a comment in response to an advertisement that blasted Army General David H. Petraeus as one to, “Betray Us”. But that was the press. Who is left to blame for student and faculty criticism?
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