Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Politically Incorrect Democrat

UPDATE: Read this relevant post at The American Thinker, and this one at RedState.org.

Larry Summers, late of the Clinton administration, will relinquish the presidency of Harvard in the face of a pending (and second) vote of no-confidence by his faculty. Why?

Mr Summers’s brusque manner and characteristically aggressive form of questioning had turned some on the faculty against him. Resentment built into a furore last year when the president – a Harvard-trained economist – gave a speech suggesting that “issues of intrinsic aptitude” might be responsible for the dearth of women in science and engineering positions at top universities.

His comments angered some faculty members, culminating in a vote of no confidence in his leadership last March, which was passed by a 218-185 margin....

Harvey Mansfield, a professor of government at Harvard, said he thought the attacks on Mr Summers had their root in political differences. “My worry is that the feminist left and its sympathisers will take over Harvard, and I fear that the university will fall under the influence of a minority,” he said.

Tsk. Tsk. Musn't have any "aggressive" questioning of faculty, eh? (That would be a breach of current academic etiquette. The faculty is god-like and not to be challenged in its superior knowledge of how things should be.) Mustn't say politically incorrect things, eh? (That would be another breach of current academic etiquette, in which certain subjects are beyond debate -- beyond "academic freedom" -- lest certain parties take offense.)

Presumably, Prof. Mansfield has tenure, and a very thick skin.