Carol Platt Liebau: Just Right

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just Right

Brit Gerard Baker understands exactly what's going on in the forced resignation of Larry Summers. Read his piece.


Blogger HouseOfSin said...

I couldn't agree more that the behavior of some of the faculty was reprehensible. Summers should still be president, I agree.

That said, just to be devil's advocate (read: a pain) a story. Once in undergrad school, in debate, this one guy cleaned everyone's clock. Speaking of clocks, his face could stop one. He looked and acted just like "Spaz" from Meatballs, and was looking at his prepared notes some 2/3rds of the time. (Normally in L/D debate, you should look at the judge, your opponent, or the audience.) We had a guy on our team who was exceptionally handsome and had enough mental firepower to stand his ground against Spaz. (More than one person compared it to JFK-Nixon.)During their contests, our "JFK" guy usually won.

The lesson I took is that in positions of enough visibility, style and manner do count as much as substance.

Then we have Summers. By all accounts, he didn't do smooth. He didn't do fancy talking or metro-anything. For us who are tired of ultra-PC presidents, he was a wonderful breath of fresh air.

That said, a position of visibility does make certain demands of one's self. I would assume that a university president, the most public face of the most prestigious university, would have to make regular public appearances, hob-nob, and bring in the money. Intellectual merits alone wouldn't cut it, or else Spaz would by now be a senator.

I fully await the wrath of the awesomeness that makes this blog to tell me I'm wrong.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Tedhumphreville said...

I am Harvard '75 as is my wife-though we didn't know each other in college, same class!, but met 19 years later. Lucky me.

I heard Larry talk in Pasadena two years ago, at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills, at my Harvard 30th reunion, and at the recent Santa Monica get together.

I have a Princeton Economist friend who gave me four questions to ask Summers in Pasadena-Guess what? It was as if President Summers knew the questions beforehand and answered each one fully. Talk about being blown away. I think Princeton has a better undergraduate education.

I agree with President Summers vision. What hurts me so much, is that I feel my ideals are being stomped on. I took notes at each of the meetings.

Moreover Summers recognized that Harvard has a lousy undergraduate education. What a concept-professors that teach. No wonder the undergrads are riled.

My opinion: Harvard got ROLLED.

Ted Humphreville '75-Chertoff, Bernacke and Judge Roberts former law partner are in our class.

Fie on the faculty. I'm taking names and numbers.

12:16 PM  

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