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03/05/2006

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touche

Summers was a bully when supporting Israel. Bullies are not tolerated in academia. The Palestinians have ample sympathy among collegians who find it difficult to rationalize why they should sacrifice their land to create a homeland for immigrants. This is also the root of contention between Arabs and Anglos.

John-Paul Pagano

Summers's was the first sober voice in the divestment debate, and to say that bullies aren't tolerated in academia is absurd. As in many arenas, they are undeservedly successful.

More important, it's silly to think that his comments on Israel were Summers's downfall. His pro-Israel, or more accurately pro-common sense, stance on divestment was publicized years ago. Summers was taken down for the broader reason that he demanded too much from a complacent and self-important faculty.

Arun Khanna

Ironically, economic incentives undid Summers Presidency. Faculty that opposed President Summersí initiatives had strong incentives to make their opposition felt, while faculty who were not opposed to his initiatives did not.

Fred

The people at Harvard generally don't see the Middle East in the confused terms that touche present them, so I doubt this had anything to do with Summers resignation.

logicnazi

It isn't just that professors are knowledge workers. Professors have a unique social role that people working at software companies don't have. We don't expect the software worker to be able to share unpleasent truths with the greater world or do anything but make a good product. Professors on the other hand should be in a position where they aren't pressured to bias their research or avoid controversial issues.

wsm

Interestingly, the alumni at Yale do get to elect a fairly large number of the Fellows (trustees). Is Yale better managed than Harvard? (I don't know.) I confess to being not much of an advertisement for giving the alumni more power. I don't usually bother to vote. I'm a free rider, who knows that nothing I could do would measurably increase or diminish the value of my (Yale) diploma.

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