Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lambasting Larry.

Lawrence Summers, the one time Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration and the current president of Harvard University is officially in deep you know what. After postulating that genetic differences may account for the scant numbers of women who are successful mathematicians and scientists, the faculty at Harvard has apparently had enough. On Tuesday, faculty from Harvard's school of arts and sciences hammered Larry for his comments and his inability to work well with faculty members.

I'm conflicted -- on one hand, I can't stand him and the stinky soft serve that comes out of his mouth. On the other hand I find it refreshing that a university president is willing to say what he/she actually thinks. However, I can't help but think that Harvard somehow serves as a symbol of higher education in this country. Thus, it's really disturbing that the leader of the "premiere" university in this country would make such ridiculous claims.

Should Larry be chastised for speaking his mind? I don’t know. Does he have a right to speak his mind? Yes. What do you think? Is it better for such a leader to err on the side of the politically correct?

By the way, Harvard's faculty is expected to deliver a vote of no confidence on Larry's lap by Tuesday. Such action won't cause him to lose his job, but will deliver a strong message. I'm glad that they're telling him to work with faculty more effectively. I'm just not sure that he should be rebuked for speaking his mind...


Blogger thc said...

Awhile back, I heard a tape of Summer's comments and they didn't seem too bizarre within their context. And, I agree, you must respect him for speaking what he believes.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

The only thing that troubles me is that he actually believes that women may be biologically inferior to men in science/math. If he really believes this, should be be running any academic institution?

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Summers is known for being rash and abrasive and blunt. In this case, I think his comments were less about his personal belief and more about causing controversy, albeit not to this extent.

However, it is puzzling that he would give such unthoughtful (if you read the transcript, parts of it seem very impromptu) statements without considering their effects on the Harvard community, or the greater academic community for that matter. It's bordering on neglect.

As for whether he should be running an academic institution -- let's see what he can do with the endowment, first.

1:45 PM  

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