December 11, 2002

Dean Thomas Cooley
Stern Business School

Dear Dean Cooley:

I am writing to protest the appointment of Domingo Cavallo as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at NYU. Domingo Cavallo' s record in Argentina is very mixed, and many Argentines hold him largely responsible for the collapse of the economy in 2001. As you know, he was jailed recently in Argentina, and would not be welcomed back to his home country by many of his fellow citizens.

While your support for Cavallo, as attested by your signature on the letter to the New York Times asking for his release from jail, may be a laudable personal decision, his appointment to a position at NYU should have been the subject of a debate among departments, scholars, and students affected by his presence here.

Given his mixed background, it seems unusual at best to legitimate Cavallo' s record by appointing him to this distinguished position without prior and open debate. It also seems inappropriate not to give students a full and clear sense of the background he brings to the classroom. The short description of his merits on the Stern website sins by omission. Furthermore, NYU is an academic community, many of us feel deeply identified with this institution, and an appointment such as this one affects us personally. Colleagues from all over the world-- Argentina, Latin America in general, the U.S., and Europe have expressed their amazement that my institution would harbor Domingo Cavallo. The news has been published all over the world?Cavallo at NYU. This has a deep impact on my professional relationships, as all of NYU and its faculty as a whole is held responsible.

As you may know, NYU had opened a NYU-Buenos Aires program, a highly successful program that was suddenly closed (again, without debate) as soon as the crisis erupted in Argentina. Just as suddenly, the architect of the crisis, Domingo Cavallo, appears at NYU as a Distinguished Visiting Professor. The message seems clear, and very disturbing. I think those of us at NYU that care about how our institution interacts with other countries deserve a full and public explanation. I would respectfully request that you provide one.


Diana Taylor
Professor, Performance Studies and Spanish

Diana Taylor
Professor, Performance Studies and Spanish
Co-Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway,6th fl.
New York, NY 10003
tel 212 998 1620
fax 212 995 4571