Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Summers resigns ...

As I've explained to anyone who will listen to me, I'm just so sorry Larry Summers has resigned as President of Harvard. So I'm casting about for answers. Heard that he didn't get along with the Fellows of the College, but looking at the list, that doesn't quite ring true. The list includes a Houghton (traditional Harvard name, libraries named after this family), a Keohane and a Reischauer (both faculty related, but neither of them names you'd associate with the politicization of issues around grade inflation, African-American studies, or feminism. And to top it off, Robert Rubin is one of the Fellows. So go figure. I'm sure the answer's probably somewhere else entirely.

This is just me casting about for clues because I think Larry was one of the most dynamic presidents the university has had in my memory of presidents (Bok, Rudenstine, and Summers) ... notwithstanding that I had to field a question from a young woman I was interviewing for admission into Harvard about what I thought about his comments about women in the sciences, I really admired his energy and drive. Yes, he could have been more diplomatic, but there are plenty of diplomatic presidents that don't actually DO anything beyond reinforcing existing trends and platitudes.

Well, I was going to start with some musings about the Insititutional Investor article about HIID, but this sort of blew it out of the water. Actually, the energy I had around that article did translate to this, because I was worried that the whole HIID scandal had sabotaged more than the careers of Jonathan Hay and Andrei Shleifer, Dima Vasiliev ... and now Larry Summers. I'm surmising of course, the II article may have had nothing to do with it. I guess I'm just fulminating about how hard it is to do good.

And I didn't intend to start out this blog by being all about Harvard, either. Well, time enough to fix it all later.

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