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Summers to quit as Harvard president: report

February 21, 2006

BOSTON (Reuters) – Harvard University President Lawrence
Summers was expected to resign this week after a turbulent five
years of leading the prestigious school, The Wall Street
Journal reported on Tuesday.

Two people familiar with the situation told the newspaper
that the former U.S. Treasury secretary was expected to
announce his resignation in advance of a second faculty vote on
a motion of no confidence in his leadership on February 28.

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.

He has since apologized repeatedly for his remarks.

But the abrupt resignation of the arts and sciences dean
William Kirby, on January 27 deepened opposition against
Summers. Several faculty have accused Summers of pushing Kirby
out and called for his resignation at a faculty meeting this
month.

The Journal said it was unclear what plan Harvard may have
for naming a successor or when the resignation will take
effect.

The confidence vote will be symbolic because only the
seven-member governing board, the Harvard Corporation, has the
power to appoint or remove the university’s president. The
faculty body first approved a no-confidence measure in March
2005 after Summers’ remarks on women.

Quoting people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said
backing for Summers the corporation, has eroded in recent weeks
in the face of renewed criticism from many arts and sciences
faculty members.

Summers’s resignation would end the shortest stint of any
Harvard president since Cornelius Felton died in 1862 after two
years in office, the Journal reported.

A spokesman for Summers was not immediately available to
comment.


Source: reuters



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