3.18.2005

Harvard Faculty: Get Over Yourselves

I haven't been paying too much attention to the Larry Summers situation at Harvard, but I read in the Globe today that the faculty don't know what to do with themselves after giving Lar a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday. Here's something they can do: shut the hell up and get back to doing what they were hired for: instructing students, performing research, and waiting for tenure. Harvard's faculty is not the group that hires or fires presidents; it's the university's governing corporation that has those powers. Could there be any more of a social-esteemed yet also socially-maladjusted group that university faculty? The level of egoism among faculty here at BU is certainly palpable. I can't imagine what it's like at Harvard -- perhaps a dense fog. Myabe someday I should compare university professors and professional basketball players.

So what if the man spoke his mind? Even if it was somewhat misguided, it was honest and he wasn't afraid to say what he thought. And why hold a vote of no-confidence if you're not sure what to do with the result? Get over it. Get over yourselves. Get back to work.

And what is it with Cambridge-based universities? MIT just recently announced a new degree offering: biological engineering. MIT has described this program as "pioneering." That's funny because BU's Biomedical Engineering Department (with a very similar curriculum) has only been around for the last 30+ years (the oldest BME department in the country). What is it about Cambridge that gives license to all these holier-than-thous to be holier-than-thou?

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