Larry withdraws his offer to Harvard

Well, well. According to the New York Times,

Lawrence J. Ellison, chief executive of the Oracle Corporation and one of the world’s wealthiest people, has decided not to donate $115 million to Harvard as he announced he would last year, the company confirmed yesterday.

Harvard had planned to use the donation, which would have been the largest single philanthropic donation the university had ever received, to establish the Ellison Institute for World Health, a research organization devoted to examining the efficiency of global health projects.

Mr. Ellison decided to cancel his plans for the donation after the resignation in February of Lawrence H. Summers, the president of Harvard, amid a storm of controversy.

Mr. Summers’s five-year tenure at Harvard was characterized by attempts to change the university’s culture and by a personal style that alienated some professors. He also had missteps, like his remarks suggesting that “intrinsic aptitude” could help explain why fewer women than men reached the highest ranks of science and math in universities.

“Larry Summers was the brainchild of this project,” Bob Wynne, a spokesman for Oracle, said yesterday. “His departure is what caused Larry Ellison to decide against making the donation.”