August 12, 2002


Moving Target : With the Harvard Flak Behind Him, Cornel West Heads to Princeton. And He's Ready to Give His Critics Plenty to Talk About. (C.J. Gunther, 8/09/02, For The Washington Post)
In October, Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, shattered the bubble of exclusivity surrounding the school's most rarefied breed, the University Professor, when he chastised [Cornel] West for his extracurricular activities. Then in November, the bad news West received came from his doctor: An aggressive cancer had been found in his prostate. In December, it was the news media: When word of his contretemps with Summers leaked to the press, it ignited a firestorm in the media about race, respect and whether West deserved what he'd achieved. West suddenly became a symbol of the ugly racial debates that still lurk beneath the surface of a seemingly civil society. And there were the marital problems, the divorce proceedings and, in January, the prostate surgery.

When he emerged in April from his physical and emotional recuperation, he stunned Harvard by announcing his resignation and his intention to bolt for Princeton, which had courted him for more than a year and where he will begin teaching later this month.

"Stunned"? Larry Summers asked him to perform the duties of his job. Mr. West said no. Does anyone really think Mr. Summers was stunned or sorry to see him go? Has anything in recent years done more to rehabilitate Harvard's sorry image than Mr. West leaving it? Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2002 10:34 AM
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