Sarah May
January 14, 2024

Hillary Clinton blasted over lackluster course at Columbia University

In what is a tragic blow to Hillary Clinton's inflated reputation as some sort of intellectual force, a student in her Columbia University course recently slammed the former secretary of State for what she described as an utterly underwhelming experience, as Fox News reported.

According to a TikTok video posted by student Laalitya Acharya, Clinton's course on “decision-making” fell far short of what one would expect from such an offering at the Ivy League institution.

Disappointing discourse

Speaking about Clinton's class, Acharya said, “I would have really, really hoped that she would bring in some more unique insights...rather than her almost basically reciting passages from her book word for word during lecture.”

The course at issue, taught by Clinton and Columbia Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo, was titled “Inside the Situation Room,” and it clearly left a less-than-stellar impression on Acharya, particularly in terms of how the failed presidential candidate engaged with her pupils.

“[There was a] kind of of the divide between the students and the professors...I'd hoped that over the course of the semester, [Clinton] would start to loosen up a little bit,” Acharya said.

She went on expressing her hope that “We'd get to know more about [Clinton] as an individual and really be able to have...a professor/student relationship rather than just having [her] talk at us.”

Acharya further lamented, “This, however, wasn't the case, and pretty much for the entire semester, it felt very much like a one-sided speaking engagement where [Clinton and Yarhi-Milo] were just talking at us. And that was definitely frustrating because a big part of why we were in the class was to understand more about decision-making, why people made the decisions that they did.”

“Extraordinary talents and capacities”

It was in January of 2023 that Columbia University announced that Clinton had accepted a role as a professor in its School of International and Public Affairs and as a presidential fellow at Columbia World Projects, as The Hill noted at the time.

Outlining the impact Clinton was expected to have, university president Lee Bollinger said, “I have had the great pleasure of knowing Hillary personally for three decades, since her early days as first lady of the United States.”

“Given her extraordinary talents and capacities together with her singular life experiences, Hillary Clinton is unique, and most importantly, exceptional to what she can bring to the University's missions of research and teaching, along with public service and engagement for the public good,” he added.

Yarhi-Milo was equally effusive about what Clinton was expected to bring to the table, saying last year, “She is a remarkable leader who has been on the frontlines of virtually every critical challenge facing our world today –from the global fight to save democracy, her advocacy for women's rights, and her staunch defense of marginalized people everywhere.”

Though Acharya said she did not regret enrolling in Clinton's class, she noted that “there are definitely place where she could have been more honest with us because she wasn't in her role as secretary of state or politician. She was there as a professor to teach, and I wish that she had embraced that role a little bit more,” expressing sentiments that perhaps Bollinger and Yarhi-Milo might also now share.

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