Did you know that the Emory dental school has a history of anti-Semitism? A “New York Times” piece by Samuel G. Freedman sheds light on the horrific tenure of its former dean, John E. Buhler, who served in this position from 1948-1961. During this time, the anti-Semitic Mr. Buhler ruined lives by flunking out Jewish students with excellent academic records. The man also changed the application to Emory’s dental school so Jewish students could identify themselves clearly. These students would then not gain admission, regardless of their qualifications.
According to “The New York Times,” “The evidence of bias against Jewish students in Emory’s dental school under the reign of its dean, John E. Buhler, from 1948 to 1961 has been known for decades. Until now, however, the university had neither admitted the bias nor apologized for it.” Shame on Emory University for taking all of these years to admit the terrible missteps of their past. John E. Buhler, after all, couldn’t have acted alone. He was put in position to lead the dental school by Emory University. The university, which now boasts a Jewish population among students of approximately 20%, is thus equally at fault.
“The New York Times” piece on Emory’s dental school focuses in on Paul Brickman, now 80, who was disgraced when he learned that he had “flunked out” of the school. He had never failed a course in his life. He was a B+ student at Emory as an undergraduate and he had just earned admission to the dental school. He hadn’t even completed a course yet. And Mr. Brickman wasn’t alone. He also learned that summer that three other Jewish students had “flunked out” without cause. And all three classmates happened to be Jewish.
It’s good that Emory University is finally shedding light on the horrors of its past. If not for Mr. Brickman’s persistence in bringing this history to light, the university may never have acknowledged it. Shame on Emory University for its history of anti-Semitism and shame on Emory for taking all of these years to acknowledge its past wrongs. This should have been done years ago!