Black studies Professor Cornel
West announced on Friday that he was leaving Harvard University to
return to Princeton, after a dispute with the President of the university over
diversity angered several of Harvard’s prominent African-American Professors.
West will return to Princeton as Professor Of Religion. "I am excited to
return to the greatest center for humanistic studies in the country," West
said on Friday.
The problems started in October, when Harvard’s
President Lawrence Summers (who was the treasury secretary under Bill Clinton–take
out one of those bills and look at the signature) declined to make a strong
statement in support of affirmative action. In addition to this, Summers questioned
West’s judgment related to him recording his rap/spoken word CD "Sketches
Of My Culture," as well as his grading policies. Summers publicly apologized
and stated that he supported affirmative action after Rev. Jesse Jackson and
Rev. Al Sharpton, amongst others began to publicly chastise him.
"All of us in the Harvard community are
grateful to Cornel West for his significant contributions to Harvard’s academic
life, especially the great inspiration he provided to so many students,"
Summers said in a statement. "We will miss him and I wish him every success
Now, reports are surfacing that in addition to
Cornel West that Henry Louis Gates Jr., the man that brought him to Harvard
is also considering to leave. West said that Gates’ decision to leave was an
issue "we’re going to have to deal with," during an interview with
National Public Radio. "But he’s certainly leaning in that direction.”
Another noted black studies professor, K. Anthony Appiah, accepted an offer
from Princeton in January, citing personal reasons. It is important to note
that Gates and Appiah also are the founders of the popular internet site, Africana.com.