In a sharp and unexpected rebuke of University President Lawrence H. Summers, members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted yesterday that they lack confidence in his leadership.
Voting by secret ballot in a Faculty meeting at the Loeb Drama Center, 218 faculty members affirmed a motion … stating that “the Faculty lacks confidence in the leadership of Lawrence H. Summers.” One hundred eighty-five voted against and 18 abstained from the motion, which was tantamount to a vote of no confidence.
A second motion, expressing regret for Summers’ Jan. 14 remarks on women in science and certain “aspects of the President’s managerial approach,” also passed the Faculty.
The two motions, allegedly unique in Harvard’s history, are largely symbolic gestures. Only the Harvard Corporation, the University’s governing body, can force Summers to step down, and I can’t see them giving him the push.