The Latest Brouhaha @ Harvard : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Has anyone been following the New York Times two week coverage of the rift between Larry Summers and Cornel West, H.L. Gates, Also, the Wall Street Journal (1-8-02) published an interesting op-ed by Shelby Steele entitled "White Guilt=Black Power". This is must reading. Predictably, the ambulance crisis chasers, Revs. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Al Sharpton and media star Tavis Smiley have deployed the troops in waging battle against the President of Harvard.

According to published reports Summers made some critical comments about West's non-academic activites, e.g. Cornel's latest rap-CD, research of low impact, inflated grades, skipping classes and most "offensive", time devoted to help Al Sharpton's 2004 President bid. Outraged by the very thought of a college President (even Harvard's) making such critical remarks, the celebrity black academicians have threatened to act on their grievances against President Summers by taking their intellectual talents to a rival Ivy, Princeton U. Pray Tell!! It could be worse, the self-anointed original thinkers could have threatened to join, gasp, Yale!!Supposedly, a meeting earlier this week by Summers and West has resulted in a "better understanding". Is this a compromise or capitulation by Summers? I suppose having DNA patterns from 2 Nobelists (Summers) doesn't guarantee common sense. QED

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002


Bill this has been going on for years regarding Cornel West. When I was at Princeton Seminary, Cornel was at Princeton University and Cornel got mad at Princeton and left for Harvard. If you look at his vitae you will see that he goes back and forth from Harvard to Princeton. Those in the academy have known about this for years. Personally I think a university President and trustees have the right to question Professors about outside activities if it affects the teaching schedule. I do not have all the facts. But wait and see how this pans out.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

Shuffling The Race Card At Harvard

01-06-02 By Earl Ofari Hutchinson TBWT Contributor

Here's one for the books. A privileged black professor at a prestigious Ivy League university spends much of his time writing pop- intellectual books, cutting Rap CDs, and globetrotting around the country bagging stratospheric speaking fees to pontificate on the state of Black America. The president of the university in frustration at these antics has the gall to suggest that the professor do what he's paid to do, namely teach, read and grade student papers, and be a mentor to the students. He also warns professors, including this professor, against "grade inflation." Translated: ladling out As to students for merely showing up for class.

Now bear in mind that hyper-grade inflation at this elite university has raised eyebrows in academic and media circles for the ease that graduating students can get A grades and qualify for the honor roll. This is in glaring contrast to other Ivy League schools where honors graduates traditionally rank in the top 10 to 20 percent of the class. Click on the below for a complete story….

Be Blessed!

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

I must state that I was a bit upset when I learned of the news of these events at Harvard considering that I am a black graduate student who is already in the minority. I can understand where the President of Harvard is coming from. I honestly would be disappointed if my professor, though famous and well respected, did not spend adeqate time instructing me. I have had this problem since I have been in both seminary and graduate school since one of my seminary professors was also a presiding elder and also held offices within our episcopal district in the AME church and had to attend annual conferences. What disturbed me the most from this whole hiatus was the fact that Dr. West insist on being granted special privileges because of his success and fame and if anyone disallows such it becomes a racial issue. There is an interesting book produces by a professor at Stanford I believe (I may be mistaken) but it deals with "white guilt." He states that whites are near fearful to react to anything Blacks do in lieu of being called racist or prejudice. In this case and in my opinion only, it is Dr. West who is wrong and who should spend more time doing his job or either do the other thing all the time.

-- Anonymous, January 16, 2002

It is a;ways interesting what aspects of a story is picked up by the national media and which aspects are not mentioned. There was a lot of concerns in the community when Harvard named Larry Summers as its new President. Summers has a reputation for abrasiveness that has surfaced throughout his career and the Selection Committee was assured by some very prominent backers that it would not be an issue any longer. In his short time at Harvard he has offended and attacked many folks, the most recent, some of the Latino faculty. The press never mentions his mindset. His history shows little regard for minority cultures, period. As Chief economist for the World Bank he advocated for exporting Toxic waste and "dirty industries to Third World countries. see The grade padding issue concerns ALL of Harvard, not just Prof West and his program. Harvey C Mansfield, a political Philosophy professor drew attention to this last spring. "51% of the school's undergraduates have a or a-minus averages." It is reported that grade inflation is a national trend. However, the national media seems to indicate that African American Studies, in general, and Cornel West in particular "invented it". The question is open, why does Summers single out West? The news conference that was referred to in the Times and the Wall St Journal was held at St Paul AME, Cambridge. Prof Charles Ogletree who is representing West is a active, faithful member of St Paul. Many of our members live in or used to live in neighborhoods affected by Harvard and MIT. There had been a good relationship under the previous administration but it seems like a new day. We support Prof West. I have not heard the CD but am told it is a positive RAP with lessions for young folks, not the trashy RAP that we normally associate with RAP. The issue is quiet right now. The past president would say, "it is a complicated issue, lets look at it." Summers calls the person and idea "Stupid" and that bothers folks. I pray that he will grow into his position. I haven't h

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002

Hello Bob:

Please give my best regards to Charles Ogletree. Charles was instrumental in helping me with a project in 1995 about Law & Economics @ Harvard. I got to know him when his son was taking one of my economics courses @ FAMU. Both he and his wife graciously welcomed me to Boston when I was invovled in a conference several years ago. While Prof. Ogletree and I have not always agreed on important public policy topics, namely, the design of African-American Reparations, I respect his research. QED

-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002

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