Law and Business School Deans Back ROTC’s Return

Written by

Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Business School, and David Schizer, Dean of the Law School, have issued public statements in favor of ROTC’s return. These are the highest level University administrators to have taken a stance on this topic. We expect Dean Hubbard’s statement to be posted on the BSchool website shortly, and Dean Schizer’s e-mail to the USenate Task Force (posted to their website in the last batch of e-mails), is reproduced below.

Update: Find Dean Hubbard’s email to the Task Force below as well.

From: David Schizer
Sent: Wed 2/23/2011 9:49 AM
Subject: ROTC

Now that “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has been repealed, the University should invite ROTC back to campus.  Columbia should strive to train leaders for every important sector throughout the world.  The U.S. military has a profound impact on our nation and on the world, and we should aspire to offer its future leaders the benefits of a Columbia education.

In addition, having students with a military background enriches our intellectual life.  At the Law School, we have been fortunate to host many students with military experience– including JAG officers, reservists, and veterans (from the United States and other nations) — and they contribute an invaluable perspective and relevant experience across many facets of our curriculum.  For example, in a class on national security law, having students with first-hand experience in applying the Geneva Convention, representing clients in systems of military justice, or making judgments about detaining prisoners on the battlefield raises the level of discussion for everyone.  There obviously are many examples from other parts of our curriculum as well.

I realize that the opportunity to be in ROTC will be of interest to only a subset of our students.  We are a diverse community, and opportunities that are of interest to some will not — and need not — be of interest to all. But for those Columbians who wish to be in ROTC, we should make the opportunity available.

I do not share the concern, expressed by others, that the military’s culture is incompatible with that of a university.  The premise of this argument is that military commands are obeyed without any critical thought.  This is an unfair (and an uninformed) perspective.  In fact, soldiers are required to disobey certain orders, and they are also called upon to engage in critical thought and to show creativity and initiative.  I have more sympathy for the concern, expressed by others, that transgendered students may not be eligible to serve in ROTC, or that the military is not always a hospitable atmosphere for women.  My view is that engaging with the military is the most promising way to ensure that our values are better reflected in its ranks.


David M. Schizer
David M. Schizer
Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
Columbia Law School

From: R. Glenn Hubbard
Sent: Mon 2/28/2011 1:27 PM
Subject: ROTC at Columbia

Dear Members of the Task Force on Military Engagement:

It is my sincere hope that Columbia University will quickly and unconditionally invite ROTC back to campus.

Veterans of the armed services bring invaluable experience to the classroom, and their ability to apply leadership, management, and decision-making skills, as well as the discipline and flexibility they learn as soldiers, position them superbly for success as business leaders, policy makers, or members of any number of other professions. The Business School has supported a number of military-focused initiatives, including the Yellow Ribbon Fund and customized recruiting for our MBA programs within the military community. The School’s student-led Military In Business Association has been a powerful component in making Columbia Business School a welcoming community for current and past members of the armed services.

Since becoming dean in 2004, I have made it a priority to increase the enrollment of veterans at Columbia Business School and to more closely engage our military alumni. I see no reason why Columbia should not similarly strive to provide the highest-quality education to future military leaders, as well. I hope that the University community will make the right decision in its current debate: To welcome ROTC back to campus after its 42-year hiatus.

With regards,

Glenn Hubbard
Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School
Professor of Economics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences



  1. Not surprising that

    Law and business deans would back ROTC. Still, don't think this will make a difference to the anthros.

  2. CC11  

    Makes me feel better to hear that Glen Hubbard supports inviting ROTC to Columbia. If the guy who wrote the Bush tax cuts and gave us a budget deficit bigger than PrezBo's ego supports inviting ROTC back, I know I'm on the right side of history when I speak out against it.

  3. Van Owen  

    These two statements are clearly written and reflect their genuine opinions. Those turds over in Anthropology ought to pull out their pencils and take notes, because this is how you convey a genuine argument, but those plebeians will probably cling onto their beloved form letters. Personally I don't care if ROTC comes back, but what I do care about is exposing the filthy smugness and hypocrisy which permeates those hippie-wannabe departments on campus. Eat a bag of crap lucha & anthropology, oh and choke yourselves.

    • CC11  

      Except that Hubbard's focuses on veterans, which doesn't really have a whole lot to do with ROTC. If we want more interactions with veterans, we should make sure to up GS's funds for financial aid.

      • CC11  

        Haha, love that actually giving scholarships to veterans of our armed services gets thumbs down.

      • Anonymous

        I think his point is the qualities that military service in general imparts upon those serving. According to his statement, these include: "leadership, management, and decision-making skills, as well as the discipline and flexibility they learn as soldiers." I don't see why we wouldn't want more of that at CU.

        In addition, many CC, SEAS, and GS alums will end up in programs after graduation like Columbia Business and Law Schools. If the Deans of such schools place a premium on recruiting applicants with those characteristics, wouldn't encouraging (or at least not placing obstacles in the way of) undergraduate participation in these programs benefit the futures of CU alums?

  4. Anonymous  

    What truly annoys me about this statements is that even though David M. Schizer claims to have sympathy for the transgender and women issue he does not make an attempt to address these issues at all. And Glenn Hubbard does not even make a mention of the issue. If they both are truly committed to the return of ROTC then they should address these issues instead of brushing them under the rug. If ROTC returns while it still discriminate against transgender people, Columbia will be letting its transgender students that they do not matter as much as homosexuals did. Columbia will be letting transgender individuals that if a minority is small enough their rights can be ignored for the benefits of the many.

  5. Anonymous

    Both of these statements conveniently side step the difficult questions of 1) how Columbia's administration will incorporate a military administration within the university, a step that inevitably leads to the marginalization of administrative and academic freedom exercised by the university (as has been observed at several university campuses already), 2) how the institutionalization of ROTC will legitimate existing inequalities within the student population by asking low-income students to pay for their education with military service while high-income students enjoy an education without strings attached, 3) the problem of separation of state and academy: namely, that the military is a wing of the government, and in order to maintain non-partisanship and objectivity, a university must remain separate from the government, 4) the obvious ethical problem of institutionally joining with an organization that follows explicitly exclusivist hiring and treatment policies, and 5) the amount of money that certain faculty and deans hope to make by courting not only ROTC, but also military and military industry contracts.

    As both deans point out, military personnel (including ROTC trainees) are already present on campus in substantial numbers; there is no need to institute ROTC on campus to bring or support these students. The desire to institute ROTC has very little to do with these students' welfare.

    • Why don't you ask  

      The Deans of Teachers College, the Med School, etc., etc. those questions?

    • anon

      "as has been observed at several university campuses already"

      Which? And how has it done that?

      "asking low-income students to pay for their education with military service while high-income students enjoy an education without strings attached"

      No one is asking or forcing anyone to do anything. I don't think many low-income students will come to Columbia with no interest in the military, somehow not qualify for any of CU's other financial aid programs, and then decide to join ROTC. Rather, perhaps CU will now attract more "low-income students" who were interested in the military anyway and who will use ROTC's scholarship funds to augment other financial aid they receive. If any student, low or high-income, wants to volunteer to serve, they may do so. I know a couple of Princeton's ROTC cadets, and they certainly qualify as "high-income." To be honest, I'd probably fall into your characterization of a "high-income student," and I'd do ROTC if it were on campus.

      "the military is a wing of the government, and in order to maintain non-partisanship and objectivity, a university must remain separate from the government"

      There are already active duty officers and reservists enrolled at Columbia, and lord knows Columbia takes plenty of research money from the government and from DoD. Again, the Medical School and Teacher's College already have active partnerships with the government--these have been described elsewhere. Next question.

      "explicitly exclusivist hiring and treatment policies"

      It's true, but it's getting better. Is the transgender issue important? Yes. In my humble opinion, helping to rectify the civil-military divide that pervades this country is more important. Additionally, it is also not fair to students interested in a military career to make that choice exponentially harder for them, either.

      "the amount of money that certain faculty and deans hope to make by courting not only ROTC, but also military and military industry contracts"

      If you think that faculty will somehow be landing lucrative research contracts with Lockheed Martin because they happen to know a mid-level officer (of which there are thousands in the service) at an ROTC program, you're mistaken. Maybe I'm missing something--how would faculty make money by courting ROTC? You need to do a little more research on what ROTC actually consists of. You can check out the various service branches' ROTC websites, as well as Wikipedia and other publicly available sources.

    • Let me get this straight  

      So one "legitimate" argument against ROTC is that they prey on the low-income classes... by offering scholarships? Thereby "making" them pay for college instead of taking loans to supplement whatever financial aid they receive?

      And another argument is that we don't want to support an exclusivist hiring corporation, like highly selective universities?

      And my last question is how did you manage to spell hypocrite with only the letters you find in "anonymous"? - That was a neat party trick.

  6. LUCHA  

    you people who support ROTC ignore the pain that transgender soldiers endure and the predatory nature of the military. enjoy your militarism sheep

  7. Adam  

    Can someone sell some more coke so we can talk about something else?

  8. Anonymous

    The anthro trolls have arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.