Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, who outraged faculty and women around the country with his remarks on women and the sciences, has announced that he will resign at the end of this academic year. Harvard arts and sciences faculty had planned to vote on a motion of no confidence in Summers’ leadership next week, repeating a similar vote taken last spring following Summers’ remarks. The Harvard Corporation, a seven-member board of directors, was also beginning interviews with disgruntled faculty members concerning Summers’ leadership style.
In an open letter to the Harvard community, Summers wrote “I have reluctantly concluded that the rifts between me and segments of the arts and sciences faculty make it infeasible for me to advance the agenda of renewal that I see as crucial to Harvard’s future,” reports the Chicago Tribune. Mary C. Waters, a sociology professor, told the New York Times that “A strong leader is not just someone who can name a goal or force a change, but someone who can bring out the best in people and find ways to encourage teamwork,” which Summers was unable to do. His resignation will be effective June 30, and former President Derek Bok will serve as interim president.