Harvard shows how it is done


Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, is lucky he was not president of Beijing University during China's Cultural Revolution. At that time and place, intellectuals guilty of expressing incorrect thoughts were tied—up, paraded about wearing dunce caps, and denounced by students and 'workers' who beat them with sticks.

In contemporary Cambridge, Massachusetts, the functional equivalent is far less distasteful, if much more expensive. Summers is to be punished for allowing the possibility that inherent difference might exist between men and women, which might affect the numbers of women at the highest levels of scientific achievement in academia.

Along the Charles River, they know how to handle such a crisis in a civilized manner: create a task force!   In fact, show you are really serious by creating two task forces. And cap it all with the creation of a new position in the central bureaucracy of the University,

...a senior position in the central administration to focus on the recruitment and advancement of women on the faculty.

Harvard maintains a large office building, Holyoke Center, right on Harvard Square, just full of educational bureaucrats. Shift a few wall dividers, and you are all set.

Much better than a parade in a dunce cap, don't you think?

Hat tip: Ed Lasky    2 4 05