I HOPE MICHAEL DOLAN gets on the A-list for Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s famous parties (“Biggest Man on Campus,”10/14). He’s earned it. Dolan’s overlong suck-up piece on George Washington University’s president did no service to Washington City Paper or its readers.
I was amazed at the space devoted to comparisons of Trachtenberg and American presidents, writers, and corporate CEOs. There was only a one-sentence mention of the fact that Trachtenberg’s expansive plans are made on the backs of graduate students like myself.
Most universities do subsidize undergraduate programs by taking a percentage of grad-school tuition. But a recent American Bar Association (ABA) review said the amount of money Trachtenberg skims from GW’s National Law Center is “perhaps unprecedented.” The law center is more expensive than Harvard. Yet the ABA says that the school’s library is grossly underfunded and its professors underpaid. According to the ABA, the law school’s physical plant is among the worst in the country. And the school is dropping in the rankings.
Dolan’s article mentioned students only to show what ungrateful, whiny toads the undergrads are to be dissatisfied with Trachtenberg’s lavish financial aid gifts. But Trachtenberg’s beneficence comes easy when it’s not his money. Dolan was simply wrong not to ask or mention where Trachtenberg gets the cash.
Takoma Park, Md.