Carol Platt Liebau

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

So the majority of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences succeeded in its childish ambition to humiliate President Lawrence Summers by passing a lack of confidence vote.

In one sense, big deal. The vote has no binding authority -- it's the academic equivalent of a temper tantrum. Unless you've gone to Harvard, it's difficult to overestimate how seriously both its students and faculty take themselves . . . many of them think this really matters to the entire world. Needless to say, it doesn't.

To the extent that it has any lasting significance, the vote has probably achieved its desired effect -- that is, to curb Summers' zeal to implement much needed reforms of Harvard's curriculum and to demand greater excellence from its scholars. Now, of ocurse, Summers has been hamstrung, so he'll probably back off. Just what a generally arrogant, largely unaccountable and increasingly politically correct & mediocre faculty would hope for.


Post a Comment

<< Home