correctly. After all, the average studentngets only about three-quarters of thenquestions right on the last day of class. Innever implied that we don’t teach themnanything, only that what we teachnthem has to do with the explanation ofnthat which is observed, not with thenincorrectness of their correct observations.nOn The Institutenfor Advanced Study’nJacob Neusner’s fierce attack upon thenInstitute for Advanced Study at Princetonn(Cultural Revolutions, Decembern1990) is not as well-informed nor asnbalanced as one would expect from anscholar of his eminence.nNeusner claims that the permanentnfaculty of its schools of historical studiesnand social sciences “are not prominent,nthough they publish,” and he castigatesnthem for failing to conduct “collaborativenresearch projects with generationsnof IAS members, though they may chatnwith them from day to day.” During mynown period of residence at IAS, whichnwas contemporary with that of ProfessornNeusner, I was indeed privileged ton”chat” on a daily basis with a scholar ofnoutstanding brilliance and internationalnrenown who, though emeritus, wasnavailable for consultation in his officensix days a week and who gave asngenerously of his knowledge as anyonenI have ever met. Such “chats” wereninvariably illuminating, even if theynwere unstructured, though I have tonconfess to an inability to comprehendnwhy collaborative research in the strictnsense of the term is inherently preferablenor more intellectually valid thannthat which is undertaken on an independentnand individual basis.nTo establish as the criterion for sittingnon the board of directors of IASnthe ability to contribute “one millionndollars a year at a minimum,” as Neusnernrecommends, would no doubt improvenmatters financially — if that indeednis the overriding goal of anynacademic institution, whether it be devotednto teaching or research. But is it,nor should it be? Neusner also complainsnabout the “mostiy-male and lilywhitencharacter of the Institute.”nWhatever the composition of its boardnat present, it is hard to see that such anprescription would do anything moren6/CHRONICLESnthan to entrench further that elementnwhose influence he is, with some justification,nanxious to reduce. It shouldnalso be pointed out that Neusner whollynignores the quite extraordinary radicalndiversity of its visiting members atnany one session.nThe decision by IAS to declinenfunding from the National Endowmentnfor the Humanities was not ancase of telling the NEH “to take itsnmoney and shove it,” to use Neusner’snquaint terminology, but the result of andetermination to set and maintain itsnown standards of accountability. Suchna determination is not a manifestationnof dangerously irresponsible hauteur.nAny self-governing body has a rightnand indeed an obligation to refusenfunding from any source, whethernpublic or private, if it has reason tonsuspect that the acceptance of it wouldnbe prejudicial to its long-term interests,nassuming that these interests do notnconflict with the vision and ideals ofncontemporary society. Manifestly thisnis not so in the present instance.nVery considerable though my respectnis for Jacob Neusner as a scholar,nmy disagreement with his characterizationnof life at IAS is profound. Perhapsnthis is because what I regard as theninstitute’s greatest strength, namely itsnaccountability to scholarship and scholarlynexcellence, rather than to thenvested interest of one or other politicalnopinion, he seems to perceive as a fatalnflaw. As a British scholar who came tonthis country six years ago with littlenprospects of making headway in mynown university system, who now hasntenure and a full professorship, I amnimmensely grateful to the UnitednStates, not only for providing me withnan opportunity to practice my specializednskills, but, no less important, forngenerously funding my research projects.nI have also witnessed firsthand thendebilitating and near-terminal impactnof populist-style politics on British intellectualnand academic life. Such populismnshould not be allowed to prevailnin this country. Britain possesses nothingnremotely comparable to IAS fornthose working in the social sciencesnand historical studies, and for this reasonnI am perhaps more sensitive thannNeusner to the uniqueness of theninstitution that he would seek to reformnout of recognition. For myself, IASnpossesses a remarkable environment.nnncreated by outstanding scholars of internationalnrenown, some permanent,nmany visiting, and I wish to set my ownnconviction and experience alongsidenNeusner’s, lest his should prevail unanswered.nAmerica has every reason tontake pride in the uncompromising integritynof the institution that it hasnfostered.n— Robert GarlandnProfessor of ClassicsnColgate UniversitynHamilton, NYnDr. Neusner Replies:nThe Institute for Advanced Study isnmade up of a few buildings, a pile ofnmoney, and a permanent faculty burdenednby an enormously inflated opinionnof itself But my esteemed friend.nProfessor Garland, and I do not differ sonradically as would appear to be the case.nHe correctly points to Professor HomernThompson, but others at IAS do notnstrive to meet Professor Thompson’snhigh standard of civility and collegiality.nIt would be unseemly to narrate anvariety of anecdotal cases that convey andifferent picture. When IAS declinednNEH funding, it demanded that Congressnrewrite legislation to accommodatenIAS; that is not the same thing asndeclining funds. The rules that thenNEH applies to all research institutes innthe country, deemed fair and reasonableneverywhere else, were supposed tonbe suspended; that seemed to many tonbe arrogant. I understand matters havennow resolved themselves, for whichneveryone must be grateful. Turningnback the money, after all, did no harmnto the permanent professors, only to thenmembers who would lose their year ofnstudy because of local hauteur. IAS isndistinguished in some areas (math andnparticle physics) and mediocre in othersn(social science and some areas of history,nincluding art history). But ProfessornGarland and I concur that IAS providesna fine opportunity for sustained research,nand those who use the placenwell, as did he and I, can only be gladnfor it. But a research institute wouldnhave to be considerably more distinguishednthan is IAS to sustain andnjustify the extraordinarily high opinionnthat some of its permanent faculty havenof themselves. In the end, the place is asngood as the members of any given year.n