The newest university addition to global studies is an institute is based at Northwestern and funded by Warren Buffet with a gift of $101 million (Wow). Trustees found an ideal new director: aformer Ambassador to Afghanistan, three-star Army general who had lived in Korea (twice), China (three times), Italy, Belgium and Afghanistan. He is currently a distinguished fellow at Stanford’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, with two master’s degrees–from Standord and Harvard. So what’s the problem?
The deal, announced in November, fell through months later, after a surprising debate erupted about Eikenberry’s qualifications and his views on the value of the humanities and social sciences as elements of “soft power” in U.S. foreign policy. The dispute at the elite private university in north suburban Evanston reflected the power of faculty dissidents as a check on university administrators, as well as conflicting views on the value of military and diplomatic experience for advancement in academia.
Reasons behind the petition and faculty intransigence appear to arise from his lacking a Ph.D. It may also stem from perceived faculty view that “the Unviersity’s core mission of independent research and teaching becomes identified with U.S. military and foreign.” policy. More on the controversy, explained by North by Northwestern.