Letter to the Editor: Time is Ticking

John Beckman and Fred Schwarzbach

To the editor,

The editorial cartoon “Time is Ticking” is deeply offensive in its implication that Gabrielle Starr is a “token.” It is an insult to NYU, but most especially to Dean Starr, who entered Emory University at age 15, has a Ph.D. from Harvard University, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Science Foundation support and has just been named the president of Pomona College. Her intelligence, character, dignity, qualifications and achievements are above reproach, and certainly undeserving of this disgraceful cartoon.

The editors of the Washington Square News should apologize — promptly and unreservedly — for their belittling, condescending treatment of Dean Starr, and consider seriously whether they really want this cartoon to remain on their site.

John Beckman
NYU Office of Public Affairs



To the editor,

I was disappointed — indeed, shocked — by the cartoon in yesterday’s Washington Square News.

It was disappointing to see the unjust characterization of the university’s senior leadership as racist. It was shocking to see the offensive imputation that Dean Gabrielle Starr was a “token” appointment.

Dean Starr is an internationally recognized scholar and an educational leader — signaled, if in no other way, by her recent appointment as the 10th President of Pomona College.

I have had the privilege of working closely with Dean Starr for several years, and so I can say unequivocally that every CAS student has benefited greatly from her wisdom, her commitment, her passion and her creativity as an administrator. I know of no administrator at NYU more deeply dedicated to the education and well-being of our students, and more to the point, none more able to effect positive change.

WSN, as Dean Starr leaves us, you should be ashamed that you have impugned the achievement and the reputation of one who has contributed so greatly to our university.


Fred Schwarzbach
Dean, Liberal Studies
Arts and Science
New York University
726 Broadway
New York NY 10003




  1. I am really surprised that NYU administration keeps deploying the shame discourse in its engagement with WSN. If Dean Schwarzbach and Mr Beckman are not capable of expressing their views in a manner that is more respectful to the student journalists, maybe they should consider leaving their positions to people who are.


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