Yale has refused admission to a degree program for the former Taliban official, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi. The New York Times reports:
The student, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, apparently can continue to take courses at the university as an untraditional student in a non-degree program, as he did during the past academic year, said Tatiana Maxwell, the president of the International Education Foundation, which was created to raise money to send Mr. Hashemi to Yale.
It was uncertain yesterday whether Mr. Hashemi, who is 27, will do so; he is in Pakistan visiting his family and could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Hashemi became the focus of a contentious political and cultural debate this spring, after an article about his experience at Yale appeared in The New York Times Magazine on Feb. 26.
Yale was sharply criticized by conservatives in opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal and in other newspapers and magazines, as well as on cable news shows and blogs, for opening its classrooms to a former representative of the Taliban, who harbored Al Qaeda and are trying to destabilize the government of Afghanistan.
At the same time, a number of Yale students and professors supported Mr. Hashemi's presence at the university. They argued that he would benefit from a Yale education and from the culture of tolerance and open inquiry that prevails at a university in the West; they also said they would benefit from having him at Yale.
Yale officials declined to comment yesterday on the decision on Mr. Hashemi's application.
They indicated in a prepared statement, however, that admission into the degree-granting program for untraditional students had been made much more rigorous this year, more closely mirroring the difficulty of gaining regular admission into Yale's undergraduate college.
Mr. Hashemi was admitted a year ago to the nondegree program, which allows nontraditional students to take courses at the university part time.
Ms. Maxwell said Mr. Hashemi had informed her in the last few days that he had been denied admission into the degree track, which is known as the Eli Whitney Program.
"Rahmatullah found out that he was not accepted," Mrs. Maxwell said, "but we believe that he is still allowed to continue in the nondegree program."
Mrs. Maxwell said she did not know whether Mr. Hashemi wanted to remain at Yale after the outcry over his presence there last spring and after being rejected for the Eli Whitney Program.
Clint Taylor, one of the founders of the Nail Yale blog was interviewed for the story.
But some critics of Mr. Hashemi's presence at Yale applauded the decision. Clint Taylor is one of four alumni who created a blog, Nail Yale, that questioned why someone who was part of a regime they described as a "terrorist-abetting tyranny" was allowed to attend one of the nation's most selective universities.
"They involved themselves in politics when they admitted Hashemi, and now they are trying to find their way out of it," Mr. Taylor said, adding, "I can't say I'm very surprised."
He said he was aware that the Yale administration had spoken of tightening up the admissions regulations for the Eli Whitney Program. "I don't think anyone thought it was unconnected to the controversy over Hashemi," he said.
Actually this is probably completely typical of the way a university gets out of a situation they caused themselves.