N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi: A Sectarian Bargain

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New York Times: In October 2007, New York University announced an ambitious plan to open a “portal” campus in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. John Sexton, N.Y.U.’s president at the time and the project’s champion, promised that the new branch would adhere to the same practices as the main campus in New York, “including our standards of academic freedom.”

Ten years later, Mr. Sexton’s promise of academic freedom has proved to be largely worthless. I am an American citizen and a tenured professor at N.Y.U.’s main campus, and I was scheduled to teach a journalism class this fall in Abu Dhabi.

But a few weeks before the semester started, an N.Y.U. administrator told me that the United Arab Emirates government had denied me the security clearance necessary for anyone teaching there to get a work visa. The university appealed; the Emirati security officials rejected the appeal.

Emirati officials did not give N.Y.U. a reason for denying my application. They rarely do. It is usually easy for American citizens to get a work visa for the U.A.E.

Why was I denied?  Read more.

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