Derided Goldman Boss Backs Out of Barnard Speech
Scheduling conflict cited as protests loomed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 4:58 AM CDT
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee last year,   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has pulled out of a controversial lecture at Manhattan's Barnard College. Students at the Columbia University-affiliated institution had planned protests and workshops to coincide with Blankfein's visit, declaring the week to be "School the Squid" week, in reference to Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi's description of Goldman as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."

Activists were "planning a teach-in outside the Barnard gates to explain why he is not a responsible citizen nor a role model," an organizer tells the Columbia Spectator. Barnard, whose president was elected to Goldman's board this summer, says Blankfein won't be appearing at its "Power Talks" lecture series because of a scheduling conflict. "Whatever the cause of Mr. Blankfein’s no-show, the college may want to consider retitling its lecture series 'Power Talks, Except When It Doesn’t,'" quips Kevin Roose at the New York Times.