Watch CBS News

Rutgers Professor Explains To Stigall Why He's Opposed To Condoleezza Rice Speaking At Commencement

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall talked with Dr. Rudy Bell Tuesday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

Click below to listen to the podcast...

Dr. Rudy Bell

Dr. Bell is a professor of history at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ who helped organize a petition and faculty protest against the school's decision to offer their commencement keynote address to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"Rice we feel is a particularly inappropriate choice because the controversy about the degree to which she actively is involved in interrogation techniques which were declared by international courts to amount to torture. She brings no positive merit," Bell said, explaining why he's against Rice speaking.

He went on to state that the faculty is not against bringing Secretary Rice to Rutgers but against offering her the commencement address.

"She would be very welcome to come the day before or any of other of the 364 days in the year and engage in an academic debate or forum. Commencement is a day when we honor the graduates, who have accomplished so much. It's a day when there should not be controversy," he said.

Bell said he feels Rice's actions as a member of the Bush Administration far outweigh her important accomplishments.

"They are highly significant, unfortunately, in a negative sense. She accomplished a great deal in implementing a war that lasted ten years and took 100,000 lives for no purpose," Bell said.

Late last week, Rutgers President Robert Barchi re-affirmed the school's decision to have Rice speak at the graduation ceremony. She will also receive $35,000 and an honorary doctorate.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.