Education: Favorite Son

Columbia hails a new chief

For Columbia University the 1970s ended better than they began. The decade saw the campus marred by student antiwar protests and disputes with tenant neighbors in Morningside Heights. The university's cumulative deficit rose to a crunching $87.2 million, while the need for more space grew and reliance on federal dollars became burdensome. Some promising students and scholars shunned the Ivy League campus, and just talk of sharing the faculties of Columbia and Barnard colleges provoked anxiety at the distinguished sister school across the street.

Under the skillful presidency of William J. McGill, the future of the nation's 5th...

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