SF Bay Area War Criminals Watch

| | TrackBacks (0)
John Yoo postpones his March 12th visit to UC Berkeley, but Condoleezza Rice returns to work at Stanford:


Stanford Daily File Photo

Condoleezza Rice stands in the Quad in October 1993, shortly after her appointment as Provost. In her early days, Rice handled dramatic budget cuts.
FEBRUARY 23, 2009

Former Secretary of State officially starts March 2 at Hoover

Condoleezza Rice will formally return to Stanford on March 2, said her chief of staff, Colby Cooper. Rice has been settling into her Hoover Institution office in recent weeks, and her staff arrived on campus Dec. 15 to prepare for her return.

The former Secretary of State will not immediately return to teaching but has publicly stated she expects to work on a book and eventually return to the classroom. She will also participate in Hoover task forces dealing with issues including national security, according to Hoover Senior Associate Director Richard Sousa.

Stanford administrators and some of Rice's oldest friends applaud her renewed relationship with the University, though others who oppose Bush administration policies or clashed with her as provost are less enthusiastic.

"Prof. Rice's return to Stanford will provide our students and the academic community with a great opportunity to learn from her experience in public service and international affairs," University President John Hennessy told The Daily in a statement. "We are proud and pleased that she has chosen to return to her faculty appointment and to pursue her future teaching and research interests here."

Future as a Political Science Professor

While Rice will not immediately return to the classroom, a number of professors look forward to her interactions with students.

Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at Hoover, believes Rice has a lot to contribute in terms of fostering policy debate, providing analysis and engaging students.

"Many people will want to find ways to discuss and evaluate her role as Secretary of State and, previous to that, as National Security Advisor, in an extremely controversial period and one in which the United States did things that were very troubling, frankly," Diamond said.

When Rice will resume teaching, however, is still unclear.

Coit Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute, is one of Rice's close personal friends and has known her for close to 30 years through teaching and writing together. He suggested that the former Secretary of State would need some time to decompress.

"She is at a point in her career where she can define her relationship with Stanford," Blacker said. "She's been on a professional treadmill that most people would find utterly exhausting for the last 15 years. So it's really up to her to define the nature of her relationship with the University going forward. She's just trying to catch her breath now. I don't think she's thought very hard about it."

Chair of the Political Science Department James Fearon said he had not spoken to Rice personally about teaching, but added that Rice would be able to return to teaching should she wish to. He said that if she resumed her role as an active faculty member in the department, she will have teaching obligations, as all faculty do.

Blacker explained that it was difficult for him to think of Rice on campus for any period of time without going back to the classroom.

"She considers Stanford her home," he said. "I don't think she would ever leave Stanford in that sense. I don't think she would ever resign her professorship. She loves this institution."

Blacker added, however, that Rice has always been a bit restless.

"If there is a really interesting challenge that comes her way, I have no doubt that she would seize that opportunity, as long as she can take another leave of absence from Stanford," he said.

Enthusiasm for Her Return

Though Rice has made enemies in the political sphere, the professor has many friends and supporters on campus, particularly at Hoover.

George Shultz, former Secretary of State under President Reagan and distinguished fellow at Hoover, was pleased to hear of her return to campus and is looking forward to interacting with another high-level policy-maker.

"She's a gifted person -- intellectually, musically and in terms of capacity of friendship and good conversation," he said.

Political Science Prof. Stephen Krasner arrived at Stanford the same year that Rice did (1981) and is glad to see her return. He explained that over the years, the two spent a lot of time together, sharing similar interests in everything from political theory to tennis.

"She's a good tennis player; she hits the ball hard," Krasner joked.

Krasner went on to work for the National Security Council and then reported directly to Rice as director of policy planning at the State Department. He believes Rice was successful in her time as Secretary of State.

"She was very proactive about linking the U.S. with the Europeans in terms of negotiating with Iran," he said. "She was very committed to the Six Points talks with North Korea."

Thinking back to their time together in Washington, Krasner pointed out that Rice was an excellent athlete and musician. He noted that Rice played the piano regularly with a small group of musicians in Washington and was very talented.

"As Secretary of State, she decided to take up golf," he said. "She actually got to be a decent golf player, which is not something you expect given the demands of the job."

He added that Rice had an active social calendar in Washington, making time for her friends despite her near around-the-clock schedule.

"She's kept her friends through all her stages of her life," he said. "The people that she knew when she came to Stanford, when just a research scholar in 1981 -- many of those people are people she's still friendly with."

Opposition to Rice

But Rice's return will not be celebrated by all. She made a number of enemies during her tenure as provost, and some of those wounds have yet to heal a decade later. Her role in the controversial administration of President George W. Bush has only exacerbated feelings of ill will among some professors.

Few of her objectors deny Rice's right to return as a tenured professor, but some are dismayed with her choice to come back.

Political Science Prof. Emeritus Hubert Marshall said that, although he personally liked Rice, he believes professors should not mix policy-making with teaching because it precludes objectivity. Rice's case, he said, was exacerbated by her involvement in the controversial Iraq War and accusations that the Bush administration endorsed torture and the denial of habeas corpus in Guantanamo Bay.

"People who've been working at Washington at that level are going to be preoccupied with their place in history," Marshall said. "Almost all of them write books and almost all of their books are defensive. I've never known the highest-level person to say, 'Well, I was wrong.'"

"I know that nobody who teaches in the social sciences is absolutely objective, but I do think that the rank and file of those people who teach in the social sciences really make an effort to be objective," he added. "People who have really been policy-makers just really can't meet that test."

Political Science Prof. Emeritus Charles Drekmeier similarly believed Rice's image had been compromised by her time in Washington, though he admitted she has the right to be at Stanford.

"Why she didn't extricate herself [from the Bush administration] I can't understand," Drekmeier said. "She compromised her integrity in ways that will make it hard for her to be trusted . . . There is no question that she colluded in the denial of the use of instruments of torture."

Even though Rice has the right to return, Political Science Prof. Emeritus John Manley said students and faculty should not keep their objections quiet.

"The fact that she's tenured and that the administration would welcome her back is no reason for people at Stanford who object to her return to stifle themselves," he said. "People have a right to speak out whether she's tenured or not."

"I cannot think of Condi as my former colleague without her hands stained by the blood of over 4,000 American soldiers and untold numbers of Iraqis," Manley added.

Blacker, however, emphasized that he hoped the Stanford community would give Rice time to readjust. He said that regardless of what one thinks of the policies and the conduct of the Bush administration, the mental, emotional and physical demands that were placed on the former Secretary of State were extreme.

"I hope people will suspend judgment about what Condi's return means until Secretary Rice has time to figure out what her return means," he said.

The Daily is scheduled for an exclusive interview with Rice next week.

See also "Rice's history marked by conflict" and "Few equate Rumsfeld, Rice".

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: SF Bay Area War Criminals Watch.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.firejohnyoo.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/410

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on February 26, 2009 9:57 PM.

conditions inside Guantanamo continue to deteriorate was the previous entry in this blog.

weak as water is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.