A tale of two academics
The Washington Post has further details on the resignation of Larry Summers from the presidency of Harvard.
The marathon power struggle with the powerful Faculty of Arts and Sciences -- which runs the undergraduate program -- has been closely watched by institutions of higher learning as a case study in the ability of college presidents to exercise management control in a historically collegial and decentralized environment. ...
"It says that one group of faculty managed a coup d'etat not only against Summers but against the whole Harvard community," said Alan M. Dershowitz, longtime law professor at Harvard and a Summers ally. "He is widely supported among students and in the graduate schools."
David Gergen, an adviser to presidents who now teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, likened the effort to oust Summers to a negative political campaign. "There were people quite determined that he should leave, and they pursued a long campaign to realize this goal," said Gergen, a friend of Summers.
By a 3 to 1 margin, undergraduates polled online by the Harvard Crimson newspaper this week did not think Summers should resign, with only 19 percent supporting his departure.
From the website of DEFEND (Dissent and Critical Thinking on Campus)
The Churchill case is not an isolated incident but a concentrated example of a well-orchestrated campaign launched in the name of “academic freedom” and “balance” which in fact aims to purge the universities of more radical thinkers and oppositional thought generally, and to create a climate of intimidation. While the right-wing claim that the universities are “left-wing dictatorships” is specious beyond belief, it is unfortunately true that the campus remains one of the few surviving refuges of critical thinking and dissent in this country. This is something to defend and strengthen.
On Feb 22nd, Lawrence Summers announced his resignation as president of Harvard but remains a faculty member. On January 31, 2005, Churchill resigned as chairman of the Ethnic Studies department at the University of Colorado, but remains a tenured professor.
Shortly before Summers' resignation, the Harvard Crimson conducted a poll on the subject of whether Larry Summers should quit his post as university president.
By a three-to-one margin, undergraduates do not think that Lawrence H. Summers should resign his post as University president, according to a poll conducted by The Crimson this past weekend. Just 19 percent of undergraduates in the survey said that Summers should resign, while about 57 percent said he should not. The online survey polled 424 students and carried a margin of error of approximately 4.6 percent.
In the spring of 2005, Ward Churchill won a teaching award (in the 25-75 class size category), receiving 54 votes among the 2,085 students at the University of Colorado at Boulder who voted for its annual Teaching Recognition Award. The University of Colorado Alumni Association, which sponsors the award, announced that they would withhold the award from Churchill until the investigation on the charges that he committed research misconduct had been concluded. Given annually for 44 years, this is the first time the award was withheld from its winner.