October 3rd, 2007

University For Sale

By Kari Milchman
New York Press

Barnard College, which we guess could be dubbed Columbia Universityís little sister school, is whoring itself out to any major corporation or private sponsor with enough dough to facilitate the schoolís largest expansion yet. In a shameless push to raise $20 million, the womenís college is selling the naming rights for a 70,000-square-foot, five-story building currently under construction on Broadway in Morningside Heights. What are the chances someone deserving the namesake rises from the dead and offers the ungodly sum?

Of course, should someone make such a generous donation, the board of trustees would have to approve it, and reserves the right to reject a controversial philanthropist like, say, ďa convicted felon,Ē says Cameran Mason, the vice president for institutional advancement at Barnard. At least O.J.ís in the clear.

Questions have been raised as to how a university with corporate sponsorship can keep a straight face and at least pretend to be independent. But really, perhaps this is the most genuine way to teach the future what we hold most dear. First Shea Stadium gets christened Citi Field, now this. Good thing Columbia isnít going the same route with its Manhattanville expansion, lest Harlem be renamed Starbucksville (which may not be that off).

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