Harvard Faculty Discuss Embattled President

Ruth Wisse, a professor of comparative literature

hide captionRuth Wisse, a professor of comparative literature, says she believes Summers adds to Harvard's intellectual life.

Frank Langfitt, NPR
Business professor Jay Lorsch

hide captionBusiness professor Jay Lorsch says university presidents cannot dictate to their faculties.

Frank Langfitt, NPR

Harvard University President Lawrence Summers is fighting to keep his job. Since taking over in 2001, Summers has struggled with controversy, such as last month, when he said innate ability may help explain low numbers of female scientists and engineers.

Summers, who served as President Clinton's Treasury Secretary after the departure of Robert Rubin, is now often viewed on campus as being alternatively acerbic, challenging or ill-suited for the school's presidency.

While Summers' comments infuriated some students and scholars, his tenure at Harvard is also a lesson on leadership and style. A faculty meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and some professors may call for a vote of no confidence in Summers. Ultimately, his fate lies with the university's seven-member corporation.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: