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2.21.2006

A sad day for Harvard 

Larry Summers has resigned his position as President of Harvard University.

Personally, I'm very disappointed that the clash between Summers and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences came to this end. Summers had a clear vision for where he wanted to take the University in the 21st century, and he had accomplished many tasks towards this vision:



Alas, for all of Summers' positive accomplishments, he's gotten into a number of dustups with FAS, some small, some bigger:



It's clear that Larry Summers has stepped on a lot of toes (sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently) during his presidency. It's really too bad that he never mastered the art of picking his battles, as he was really committed to advancing scientific research at Harvard, making faculty more accessible to students and reforming the undergraduate experience at the College. The end of Summers's presidency is a real loss for Harvard.

UPDATE: This opinion piece from Slate is well worth reading.

Comments:

no mention of his comments on women and mathematics?
 


By now, I don't think many of the faculty hold it as a major gripe against him, especially after he apologized so obsequiously for it. I could be wrong, but the hysteria surrounding that remark was so ridiculous that I refuse to call further attention to it.
 


Perhaps he just tried to do to much. By overstepping the power that he had, he ticked too many people off, which lead to his demise. But I really don't know as I don't follow that university very much. I think of Harvard as being a place that doesn't rock the boat.
 


After reading the slate article, I have even more respect for Summers. Unfortantly, due to his attachment to science, he didn't have a vision of where Harvard fit in the culture wars.
 


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