[Marxism] Leftist scholar John Coatsworth named Columbia provost

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 17 11:20:51 MST 2012

John Coatsworth books:
Latin America and the World Economy Since 1800, edited with Alan 
M. Taylor (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).
The United States and Central America: The Clients and the 
Colossus (New York: Twayne, 1994).

Growth Against Development: The Economic Impact of Railroads in 
Porfirian Mexico (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 
1981); Spanish editions: Mexico, Sep Setentas, 1976; second 
edition, Mexico, Ediciones Era, 1984.

 From wiki article on Coatsworth:

In the now defunct newspaper The New York Sun one Cuban American 
scholar criticized Coatsworth's preface to a book on "The Cuban 
Economy at the Start of the Twenty-First Century" on the grounds 
that Coatsworth's claim that Cuba's economy was only one of two in 
Latin America that grew in the 1980s was based on false data 
supplied by Cuban institutions that Coatsworth ought to have known 
were mouthpieces for government propaganda. Coatsworth had 
actually cited data published by the OECD and the World Bank.


Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am writing to say that I have asked John Coatsworth, who has 
served as an extraordinarily effective interim University Provost 
since last summer, to continue on as the permanent Provost.

As Columbia's chief academic officer, the Provost is responsible 
for ensuring that the University's programs and faculty are of the 
very highest quality.  During the past seven months, John has 
demonstrated consummate skill in leading Columbia forward on a 
host of complex matters critical to our future, including the 
establishment of a Standing Tenure Committee; continued progress 
on the University's Initiative to Enhance Faculty and Pipeline 
Diversity; remediation of a structural budget deficit which had 
long burdened the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and coordination 
of Columbia's proposal to New York City for a new Institute for 
Data Sciences and Engineering.  These initiatives reflect John's 
determination to enlist the resources of the University for the 
purpose of strengthening partnerships between and among Columbia's 
distinguished schools and departments, with the goal of making the 
University and its reputation greater than the sum of its parts.

The many deans, faculty members and administrators who have worked 
with John in this capacity have found him to be an exemplary 
partner in advancing these and other initiatives to enhance 
Columbia's mission and values.  With a combination of great 
intellectual insight and personal grace, he has been able to focus 
on the critical intersection between academic excellence and the 
quality of life for faculty, students, and staff.  These are 
challenging tasks for anyone, and John has taken them on with 
enthusiasm and effectiveness.

John's distinguished background as both a scholar and 
administrator includes his successful tenure as Dean of our School 
of International and Public Affairs, a post from which he will now 
step down.  A highly respected expert on Latin American 
international and economic history, John taught at the University 
of Chicago from 1969 to 1992, and then joined the Harvard faculty 
as Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs, where he 
became the founding director of the David Rockefeller Center for 
Latin American Studies.  John is a former president of the 
American Historical Association and the Latin American Studies 
Association, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.

In a remarkably short time, John has been a transformational dean 
at SIPA, leading the school's transition into a fully 
self-governing unit of the University.  I am committed to ensuring 
that the progress he has made at the school continues and have 
therefore asked Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at SIPA, Robert C. 
Lieberman, Professor of International and Public Affairs and 
Political Science, to serve as SIPA's dean on an interim basis 
while an advisory group assists us in conducting a search for a 
permanent dean in the months ahead.  An expert in the areas of 
American political development, social welfare policy and race and 
politics, Robert has been honored with multiple awards and prizes.

I am, personally, very pleased that John will serve in this vital 
University role and as my colleague.  Columbia is such an 
extraordinary institution, with momentum on so many fronts, and a 
potential unmatched by any other university in the world, and it 
is a gift to all of us that John will bring his wonderful talents 
to bear the work ahead.


Lee C. Bollinger

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