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Harvard Faculty Discuss Embattled President

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Harvard Faculty Discuss Embattled President

Education

Harvard Faculty Discuss Embattled President

Harvard Faculty Discuss Embattled President

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4507519/4508123" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ruth Wisse, a professor of comparative literature, says she believes Summers adds to Harvard's intellectual life. Frank Langfitt, NPR hide caption

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Frank Langfitt, NPR

Business professor Jay Lorsch says university presidents cannot dictate to their faculties. Frank Langfitt, NPR hide caption

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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.