Sunday, June 11, 2006

Commencement at Harvard

Yes, by all means, fire this man. Larry Summers concludes his presidency at Harvard with a bang, not a whimper:

Yes, I have these last years been a man in hurry. My urgency boils down to this: For an institution like ours to make the great contributions the world rightly expects of us, we cannot rest complacent on this, the more comfortable side of innovation; on this, the more familiar side of the lectern; or, even, on this, the reassuringly red brick side of the river.

Harvard must - we must - cross over:
Cross over from old disciplines to new;
Cross over from old structures of governance to new;
Cross over from outdated lectures to new active modes of learning,
Cross over from the confines of Harvard Square and put down new, ambitious stakes, in Allston and beyond.

We owe it to those who come after us to become for this city, this region, this nation and this world a center of human improvement.

Our long preeminence must become a spur, not a bar, to our constant transformation.
There is "tolerance" on Harvard's campus for every marginal point of view but apparently not enough for the idea that a university should constantly challenge itself to improve in its core mission.

1 comment:

Arun Khanna said...

Forget Harvard. The university lost a great President by its own fault. Has economics lost a potential Nobel laureate or has Washington gained a reformer of academia or both or one but not the other?