The politically correct faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard passed a surprise no-confidence vote against Larry Summers last night:
Summers’ January remarks — off-the-record, he believed — prompted angry criticism from many faculty, students and alumni; others, however, defended him, saying Summers was simply engaging in a legitimate academic debate.
The criticism quickly expanded into a broader attacks on the president’s allegedly blunt management style and his vision for the university, including major projects to expand Harvard’s campus across the Charles River in Boston, and his ideas about what direction scientific research should take.
J. Lorand Matory, the anthropology professor who introduced the measure, called on Summers to resign.
“There is no noble alternative to resignation,” he said.
Dr. Matory, the motion’s author, is an interesting fellow. He’s a student of cross-dressing, a voodoo expert, a director of the ethnic studies department, an adviser to GLQ, a Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, a great admirer of matriarchy, and an apologist for the corrupt and brutal Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, about whom he’s writing a sympathetic book:
The next book will be a collaborative effort with my wife, a presidential protocol officer during the rule of Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida. We have planned it as a culturally sensitive account of the inner workings of the dictatorship that ruled Africa’s largest nation from 1985 to 1993. It is intended both as a corrective to standardized journalistic and political science clichés about the nature of autocracy and corruption in Africa and as a historical study of the genesis of Nigeria’s current political crisis.
Here’s what Nigerians say about Matory’s hero:
In closing, as a nation – we are not faced with many choices in who becomes our president. However, ponderability that Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is not the best choice is simple. If we seek a nation, which produces leaders that must not be emulated or trusted – then we must allow his choice. If we seek a leader who is not ashamed to live opulently in a grand house where citizens of the nation he governed are reduced to abject poverty – Mr. Babangida must remain our choice. If we seek a commander-in-chief that will once again destroy the team spirit essential to every modern military might – Mr. Babangida must be our choice. If the office of the president is open to a man that would waste funds on political experimentation – our choice must remain Mr. Babangida. If we seek to experience closure of Universities and accelerate brain drain – Mr. Babangida is our choice. However, if our resolute is for a change of direction – we should seek Mr. Babangida to assist the nation to elect a man or woman without his qualities; and one to whom he can serve as an elder statesman or maybe – Kingmaker. And, whilst serving as a Kingmaker – he must promise never to conduct himself as another Balogun of Owu.
What kind of a man supports the presidency of Babangida but not that of Summers?
Not anyone that I’d want educating my children.
UPDATE: Not all Harvard profs are as lame as Dr. VooDoo; see Professor Motl’s blog.