Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Guenter Bischof

Second Advisor

Allan Millet

Third Advisor

Connie Atkinson


Dwight D. Eisenhower has been criticized as an anti-intellectual by scholars such as Richard Hofstadter. Eisenhower’s tenure as president of Columbia University was one segment of his career he was particularly criticized for because of his non-traditional approach to education there. This paper examines Eisenhower’s time at Columbia to explain how anti-intellectualism played into his university administration. It explains how his personality and general outlook came to clash with the intellectual environment of Columbia especially in the wake of the faculty revolt against former Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler. It argues that Eisenhower utilized the Columbia institution to promote a Cold War educational agenda, which often belittled Columbia intellectuals and their scholarly pursuits. However, this paper also counter-argues that Eisenhower, despite accusations of anti-intellectualism, was an academically interested man who never engaged in true suppression of free thought despite pressure from McCarthyite influences in American government, media and business.


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