When Students Complain About Professors, Who Gets to Define the Controversy?

The media storm around Columbia's Middle Eastern-studies department provides one of the few cases in which students' complaints about professors' classroom conduct have made it into the news. It brings to mind a case at Harvard, more than a decade ago, that offers illuminating contrasts. Together they raise the question of how the news media frame stories about such complaints.

The Columbia story by now is familiar: After students objected to what they saw as anti-Israel bias among