There has been a failure to understand the real issues behind the Columbia uprising. The press has put forth a variety of misleading theories to explain the rebellion: the generational gap, the plotted leftist putsch, the failure of the university to respond to current and changing student needs, breakdown in communication, impatience, a sort of Rite of Spring, general anxiety over the Vietnam war ... theories which obfuscated the truth.

This pamphlet has been produced to clarify and explain the central issues. It will attempt to show concretely how Columbia University is set up not to service the needs of its own constituency -- faculty and students -- but rather to service outside interests which, by controlling Columbia finances, effectively control its policy. These outside interests, represented on the Board of Trustees, have organized the university as a "factory" designed to produce the skilled technicians and management personnel which the U.S. industrial and defense apparatus needs. The millions channeled into the university coffers by the agents of these interests are, for them, essentially an investment in people which, like any investment, is expected to yield certain returns.

The concept of the university as an investment determines the nature of grading systems and scholarship mechanisms which provide the rewards and punishments that channel human talents into specified occupations. The examination system does not test learning as such. Creativity and originality are sacrificed; testing is geared to show the ability to perform under pressure and to function in an hierarchy which channels instructions from the top down.

Our analysis focuses upon two sources outside the university from which Columbia trustees and key, administrators derive their power: 1) the control of money (we will show how Columbia's dependence on outside sources of income effects its internal policy); and 2) the control of strategic decision-making positions maintained by their corporate, defense and foundation connections (we will examine the organizational associations of the trustees to show that the interests they represent are those which the university curriculum and finances are manipulated to serve).

This control by non-indigenous and non-academic interests is the crucial issue behind the student rebellion. The student contention that the trustees represent illegitimate power is based on a concept fundamental to democracy: that the authority of the rulers is legitimate only insofar as it represents the ruled. By seizing the university buildings, the students sought to dramatize the illegitimacy of the authority of the trustees and to effect, if only briefly, a redistribution of power. The student action shattered two fundamental aspects of control: property was seized, violating one of the most sacred of ideas; and, with the exposure of Kirk's files, the veil of secrecy was torn away (secrecy has always been one of the strongest weapons of control).

Heretofore, we have derived our analysis from open sources: Standard & Poor's Directory, Who's Who in America, The New York Times, financial magazines and corporation prospectuses. We assumed that major power decisions were made at board meetings and that from an analysis of the interests represented therein, we could predict what would happen in a given situation. The documents liberated from Grayson Kirk's office clearly substantiate our theories. They are in fact the proto-textbook which negates everything the students were being taught at Columbia; the courses were irrelevant or themselves a form of pacification; what they taught was abstract, misleading, calculated to conceal the roles for which students were being trained.