NEW YORK -- Columbia University's Middle Eastern studies professors did not engage in large-scale intimidation of pro-Israel students, but one angry professor exceeded ''commonly accepted bounds" of behavior in the classroom, a university report said yesterday.
A five-member panel criticized Joseph Massad, a professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history, for implying that a student should leave his class after she defended Israel's conduct toward Palestinians.
As a result of the long-awaited report, new procedures will be announced within weeks to address any lapses, said Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger.
''The committee was charged with looking into student claims of intimidation. They found one incident," Bollinger told The Associated Press yesterday.
Massad did not immediately return a phone call from the AP. He has repeatedly denied allegations that he intimidated the student during a discussion of whether Palestinians might be targets of Israeli ''atrocities."
The university has taken no action against him.
Bollinger ordered the investigation after a group of students made a video alleging that Middle Eastern studies professors had harassed them. The video was funded by the David Project, a Boston-based pro-Israel group.
The committee, appointed by the university, interviewed students, faculty members, administrators, and alumni, and received written statements from others.
But Bari Weiss, a 21-year-old student who cofounded the group Columbians for Academic Freedom, questioned the thoroughness of the report, which she said was compiled by a ''committee of insiders."
She added, ''It is clear that the university cares more about protecting the faculty and its own public image than about its students."