Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Larry Summers out as prez at Harvard

21. February 2006 • David Boyle
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See, e.g., Harvard says Summers resigns as president ,

“Harvard University President Lawrence Summers has resigned after a turbulent five years of leading the prestigious school.
...Summers, whose abrupt style has won praise and contempt since he became president in 2001, sparked controversy last year when he said innate differences between men and women may help explain why so few women work in the academic sciences.
...But the abrupt resignation of the arts and sciences dean William Kirby, on January 27 deepened opposition against Summers.
...Next week he was to face his second no-confidence vote in 11 months.
...Summers also was embroiled in a public feud with the African-American Studies department that erupted shortly after he became president. The once-vaunted department has seen an exodus of top faculty. ...”

With problems like the Michigamua lawsuit, the African-American graduate students’ legal complaint, etc., one almost wonders how long Mary Sue is going to last…

  1. maybe harvard is ready for lee bollinger now …

    ... or perhaps mary sue coleman?


       —peter honeyman    Feb. 22 '06 - 02:10AM    #
  2. I hope you were being sarcastic about MSC going to the big H…(heh).

    They have enough problems!! :D
       —David Boyle    Feb. 22 '06 - 02:20AM    #
  3. I’m skeptical of your comparing Coleman with Summers. Clearly her behavior re: Michigamua and this grad student complaint aren’t on par with the sort of controversy that surrounded Summers’ tenure.

    I think you’re giving this lawsuit and grad student complaint too much credit. While I haven’t had the opportunity to review the materials, its early yet. For now, none of it seems to indict Coleman’s tenure. At the very least, its too early to be predicting a Summers-esque exit.


       —Daniel adams    Feb. 22 '06 - 03:14AM    #
  4. “Not predicting; just wondering…”

    (By way, did you see today’s Daily article where a reporter accuses M-Sue of slandering him?)
       —David Boyle    Feb. 22 '06 - 04:14AM    #
  5. This has what to do with Ann Arbor again?


       —js    Feb. 22 '06 - 06:25PM    #
  6. Mary Sue Coleman is president at a certain WELL KNOWN SCHOOL in ANN ARBOR.


       —David Boyle    Feb. 22 '06 - 09:50PM    #
  7. Perhaps I could rephrase JS’s question:

    Besides your semi-slanderous parallel between Mary Sue Coleman and Larry Summers, this has what to do with Ann Arbor again?


       —FAA    Feb. 22 '06 - 10:20PM    #
  8. No semi-slander or any slander, FAA: MSC was the one accused of slander by the reporter.

    Both Larry and Mary are having problems vis-a-vis treatment of minority groups. Harvard is a big U, UM is a big U in Ann Arbor, so I felt some parallels immediately presented themselves.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 22 '06 - 10:24PM    #
  9. I agree that this post is not really appropriate for Arbor Update. The only way I can imagine putting Mary Sue Coleman and Larry Summers in the same sentence is “Thank goodness we have Mary Sue Coleman as president at UM and not Larry Summers.” Coleman’s staunch support of affirmative action, same-sex benefits, women in science and technology, universal health care coverage, financial aid for college education, and her recent very visible support of the Google Book project have shown that she is not afraid to stand up to the tough issues. She represents the University of Michigan extremely well at the local, national, and international level and has the general admiration of faculty, staff, and colleagues at UM and around the country. There is really no parallel between Coleman and Summers.

    Please try to remember that this blog is Arbor Update, not Boyle Update.


       —Juliew    Feb. 22 '06 - 11:25PM    #
  10. “Sure”, but tell that to the people suing UM and the Regents over Michigamua. Or the African-American students complaining about discriminatory treatment by the University. Or the Free Press reporter who said MSC slandered him. (“It seems odd if President Coleman took the time and energy out of her very busy schedule to slander a journalist over a story that didn’t even deal with the main campus she governs,” he [Bebow] said”, yesterday’s Daily .)
    I have no desire to be a cheerleader for the University hierarchy, that’s not a function this site needs to undertake, as a rule, or ever. My UM updates are relevant, even if not everybody likes them. It seems that the complaining groups I listed would probably not mind my mentioning them, too; at least they haven’t complained to me yet.


       —David Boyle    Feb. 22 '06 - 11:42PM    #
  11. This is a UM update, D-BO? It sure looks like a Harvard update with a closing off-handed remark about Mary Sue…

    With the multiple reminders from other Arbor Update posters to tone down the “chatty”, this isn’t Boyle Update, etc., one almost wonders how long D-BO is going to last…


       —FAA    Feb. 23 '06 - 12:00AM    #
  12. I’ll remember never to mention any region of the world outside of Washtenaw County again.

    Thanks for the good wishes. I will continue undeterred in criticizing the powerful and the malfeasant, as long as I am able to. Wondering about Mary Sue’s future is not chatty, either; it is very real.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 23 '06 - 12:09AM    #
  13. Well, I think I’ve already made it clear I don’t appreciate the trend towards the Boyle Update. Again, if you want to be chatty, David—and you ARE still being chatty in your articles, to detriment of their readability—be chatty in the comments. That’s where it’s appropriate. I agree with the posters above; this isn’t a post about Ann Arbor, and it isn’t a post about UM. You used the Summers article to make the same complaints about Mary Sue Coleman you’ve already made. So, not only is the link between the two things a stretch, but you’re repeating yourself.


       —Kelli    Feb. 23 '06 - 02:31AM    #
  14. I don’t know if I tied them to Coleman, though, and Summers’ resignation is an interesting topic in itself.


       —David Boyle    Feb. 23 '06 - 03:59AM    #
  15. I don’t find Summers’ resignation interesting personally, but if I did I think I’d go to a different site to discuss it. Not one that was focused on Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County. I’m also not U of M affiliated, so I prefer things that are posted about U of M to be broadly applicable to the city, but it could just be me.


       —A Reader    Feb. 23 '06 - 04:20AM    #
  16. I think Washington Post editorial today with the heading “Prejudice wins” has addressed many of the comments in this blog very well.

    In fact, the last sentence “But, in university politics as elsewhere, loud and unreasonable minorities can trump good sense.” sums it up in a loud and clear manner.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/21/AR2006022101393.html


       —Srini    Feb. 23 '06 - 04:33AM    #
  17. “Perhaps most explosively, Mr. Summers raised the possibility that the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering faculties might reflect innate gender differences in ability. His claim was not that women were less intelligent on average, but rather that fewer women than men might be outstandingly bad or outstandingly good at math, with the result that the pool of math geniuses from which universities recruit is disproportionately male. ...

    ...But, in university politics as elsewhere, loud and unreasonable minorities can trump good sense.”

    Oh those women and minorities. One of the worst articles I have ever read, but thanks.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 23 '06 - 04:44AM    #
  18. Hmmmm.

    See Time, Why Harvard’s Summers Flunked the Presidency , ”...The monthly meetings between Summers and Harvard faculty were never love-ins, but sources tell Time.com that the most recent meeting, on February 7th, turned into an unusually bitter showdown, not just over Kirby’s departure, but also over new allegations tying Summers to an old scandal.

    At issue is Summers’ handling of a Russian fraud scandal involving a close friend and colleague, Harvard Economist Andrei Shleifer. Shleifer and Harvard were found liable for combined penalties of nearly $30 million in 2004 after they were charged with defrauding a US government program designed to help Harvard economists privatize the Russian economy in the 1990’s. The scandal has long been considered one of Harvard’s darker hours, but a new 28-page exposé by investigative reporter David McClintick, published in the January 2006 issue of Institutional Investor magazine, brought new heat on Summers, whom the article describes as going out of his way to protect his old friend and protégé Schleifer, who is still a senior faculty member at the university. In part because of the report, the faculty meeting in balustraded University Hall found Summers under sustained attack, according to mechanical engineering professor Frederick Abernathy.

    “I was somewhat taken aback. I had not expected to have something like 10 people speaking out against him,” says Abernathy. “Some were asking pointblank for his resignation, others were saying they were going to put a lack of confidence motion on the agenda for the next meeting. (The denunciations) went on for almost an hour.”

    J. Lorand Matory, professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies, says that the Shleifer affair had long been whispered about, but in part because the economics department closed ranks around both Shleifer and Summers, few spoke out about it. Until now. “People were coming out of the woodwork,” he says. The article has been forwarded around campus for weeks, and the ethics issues surrounding the Shliefer case were on many people’s minds, including Abernathy’s. He took the microphone and asked Summers about the allegations raised by the article. But Summers, a longtime confidant of Shliefer – not to mention a fellow economist who was a Treasury Department official during the time the Harvard-Russia-US government fiasco was unfolding – took the fifth. “He said something about how he had recused himself from the case and had poor recollection of what happened,” says Abernathy. “It was unbelievable. How could he not address this?” ...”


       —David Boyle    Feb. 23 '06 - 05:07AM    #
  19. Wow ! Liberal bastion of Ann Arbor does not like Washington post ! That is news…


       —Srini    Feb. 23 '06 - 12:40PM    #
  20. David, I think your post was fine. I don’t think it was too chatty and I am sure NO ONE can say all that has been posted to Arbor Update is Ann Arbor related. If we went by that rule a number of posts would have been disqualified over the past few years. Not to mention you did make an explicit U of M A2 reference. Stop whining about David ya’ll. When he does something wrong, whine away, but this is hardly complaint worthy.
    -An arborupdate o.g. or in this context o.p.


       —Dumi    Feb. 26 '06 - 07:35PM    #
  21. Dumi, only one comment questioned the relativity of this post to Ann Arbor (and by another poster at that). Read the others again – that’s not the issue. The rest were questioning D-BO’s use of the Summers story as a platform to make a negative comparison with Coleman. This, regardless of merit, is low – an editorial cheap shot (and in case you haven’t noticed, D-BO has been on an editorial stint as of late).

    Also, I detected no “whining” tone here. Your writing off of dissenting comments as such is contemptible, and beneath one with OG or OP status.


       —FAA    Feb. 26 '06 - 08:39PM    #
  22. Those unable to detect a “whining” tone, may themselves be the source of the tone, and/or tone-de…..


       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 02:21AM    #
  23. Thank you, D-BO, for not disputing the low, editorial cheap shot bit.


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 04:25AM    #
  24. It has so little merit as not to be worth disputing; it’s practically self-refuting.


       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 04:42AM    #
  25. Arbor Update is very quickly becoming irrelevant.


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Feb. 27 '06 - 05:16PM    #
  26. No, it’s not. As you well know, PSD!...

    Having some trollish commenters does not make the whole weblog irrelevant, of course.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 05:21PM    #
  27. Yeah, it’s the inane editorial ramblings of one of its posters.


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 05:50PM    #
  28. Why are you insulting Dumi like that? His polite and thoughtful words contrast to yours. You could learn a lot from him. Your remarks writing off a long-time AU contributor like Dumi are arguably contemptible, and beneath one with AU commenter status…


       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 06:14PM    #
  29. I’ve never instulted Dumi. What are you talking about?


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 06:21PM    #
  30. 1. It’s “insulted”, not “instulted”.

    2. ”...”Stop whining about David ya’ll. When he does something wrong, whine away, but this is hardly complaint worthy.
    -An arborupdate o.g. or in this context o.p.

    —Dumi Feb 26, 01:35 PM #
    Dumi, only one comment questioned the relativity of this post to Ann Arbor (and by another poster at that). Read the others again – that’s not the issue. The rest were questioning D-BO’s use of the Summers story as a platform to make a negative comparison with Coleman. This, regardless of merit, is low – an editorial cheap shot (and in case you haven’t noticed, D-BO has been on an editorial stint as of late).

    Also, I detected no “whining” tone here. Your writing off of dissenting comments as such is contemptible, and beneath one with OG or OP status.

    —FAA Feb 26, 02:39 PM # ” I don’t know what’s wrong, FAA, but your spelling and “memory” problems do not do you much credit. For the sake of preserving what tatters are left of your coherence, please try thinking about what you write before you post in the future? Community standards are important, you know. Have a great day.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 06:33PM    #
  31. 1. Oh no, one spelling error out of a hundred comments. I guess I am a human, and not an editorial deity like yourself.

    2. That is a quote of me explaining to Dumi why multiple readers commenting here took issue with your Coleman bit, and not a justification as to how that is insulting. Your retort still makes no sense.


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 08:10PM    #
  32. Community standards are important, you know.

    Yes, a poignant reminder from the poster who appears to find homosexuality and sodomy comical… From D-BO’s web site:

    Hey hey DeLay, sometimes I wonder if you’re gay
    Sweet menage-a-trois, with you and Dubya and Chey-nay
    That special look that you get in your eyes
    When by Halliburton you are sodomized
    Hey Tom DeLay, buddy you are gonna pay

    Or is that “poetry”? Or “art”?


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 08:20PM    #
  33. I do love dbo.com.


       —Daniel Adams    Feb. 27 '06 - 09:04PM    #
  34. 1. “Thanks Dan!”

    2. The joke is that DeLay, Bush, et al. are trying to take away gay rights, and here they are kissing up to their own corporate overlords, etc.

    By the way, standards at other websites are not necessarily the standards at this one.
    ”...When he does something wrong, whine away, but this is hardly complaint worthy.
    -An arborupdate o.g. or in this context o.p.

    —Dumi Feb 26, 01:35 PM #
    ...Also, I detected no “whining” tone here. Your writing off of dissenting comments as such is contemptible, and beneath one with OG or OP status.

    —FAA Feb 26, 02:39 PM #”

    So now, Dumi is “”contemptible””. Are you slowly, slowly figuring out why this may have been an insulting thing to say?
       —David Boyle    Feb. 27 '06 - 09:35PM    #
  35. So now, Dumi is “”contemptible””. Are you slowly, slowly figuring out why this may have been an insulting thing to say?

    I typed quite clearly that Dumi’s writing off of dissenting comments…is contemptible and typed nothing of his person. I’ll assume he is a nice guy, and have said nothing against that.

    I stand by my stating that Dumi’s only noting the A2 relevance comment and failing to note the multiple references to the Coleman quip is deserving of contempt (that is what “contemptible” means, no?). Contempt is by definition “the feeling that something is beneath consideration, worthless”, and can be well applied when one neglects to address the point. Not unlike your stating that my thoughts on your Coleman allusions have “so little merit as not to be worth disputing”.

    Are you slowly, slowly figuring out now that “contemptible” was recently used as an adjective describing a person’s singular action and not the person themselves (not to mention that you have shown contempt for comments made by me and other posters)?

    For the sake of preserving what tatters are left of your coherence, please try thinking about what you write before you post in the future?

    1. That is a statement, not a question.
    2. Take your own advice!


       —FAA    Feb. 27 '06 - 10:49PM    #
  36. If he did something “contemptible”, he doesn’t sound too nice as per FAA, huh?

    Since you show such, uh, respect for others, I suppose this “”“qualifies”“” you to lecture others about contempt… I try to be thoughtful, unlike others who are merely “”“instulting”“”.
       —David Boyle    Feb. 28 '06 - 01:11AM    #
  37. If he did something “contemptible”, he doesn’t sound too nice as per FAA, huh?

    Sad… Do you realize how much you sound like the people who, when you criticize the situation in Iraq, say “you’re undermining the president” and ask “why do you hate our troops”?

    I’ve already explained that I was criticizing one action of one person at one time, and not the person as whole. It doesn’t look like that will ever get into that giant head you must have on your shoulders.

    I wish I had time to debate with you, but your rebuttals are pointless and I’m sure the readers are growing tired of the back and forth. Next time I’ll just call out your editorial garbage as I’ve done before, and let it be.

    Peace!


       —FAA    Feb. 28 '06 - 08:52PM    #
  38. Well, Bush deserves the crits. Dumi is no dummy, and Dumi is no Bush, though Bush may be a dummy (rim shot).

    You were at least immoderate. To say something like “contemptible” rather than “unnecessary” or even “excessive”, shows serious and uncalled-for hostility on your part.

    Your rebuttals may be pointless or worse, and may tire readers a great deal. Don’t write garbage, Mr. or Ms. Giganto Head.

    Peace yourself!


       —David Boyle    Feb. 28 '06 - 09:03PM    #
  39. Guardian of today, Leeds suspends ‘racist’ lecturer ,
    “A university lecturer who claimed black people were intellectually inferior to whites was suspended today.
    Frank Ellis, a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies at Leeds University, said he was an “unrepentant Powellite” who thought the BNP was “a bit too socialist” for his liking in a recent interview with the Leeds Student newspaper.

    Dr Ellis said he supported ideas such as the theory developed by Richard J Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their 1994 book, The Bell Curve, which claims that white people are more intelligent than black people.

    He also told the Leeds Student paper that women did not have the same intellectual capacity as men. ...”


       —David Boyle    Mar. 23 '06 - 07:43PM    #
  40. Speaking of Mary Sue: La Sue has had some visitors lately, see AA News, U-M students take labor protest to Coleman’s office: University too slow to act on anti-sweatshop provisions, they say ,

    ” Seventeen University of Michigan students protested for about 30 minutes in the reception area of the U-M President’s Office on Thursday as part of an ongoing dispute over the treatment of overseas workers making university-licensed apparel.

    Students frustrated with the university marched to the second-floor office Thursday afternoon and asked to speak with U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. An aide told them she wasn’t available. ...

    The U-M protest was peaceful, and the students marched out a half-hour later chanting slogans about ending sweatshop labor.

    Blase Schmid, a member of the group, said the students want U-M to agree to require its licensed apparel manufacturers to use only factories approved by a nonprofit organization that can vouch for their conditions.

    U-M has a code of conduct for licensed manufacturers, but the process to make sure the factories are operating properly is too unwieldy, Schmid said. “The vendor code of conduct that the university has is wholly well-intentioned, but it’s not effective,’’ Schmid said.

    A U-M advisory committee is reviewing the proposal, but the students say the committee is taking too long and they want to get Coleman’s involvement in the matter. She had previously declined to meet with them, students said. ...”


       —David Boyle (SOLE kids protest in Mary Sue's office)    Mar. 25 '06 - 03:32AM    #