The Pillar of Balance

People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 2001, Lawrence Summers, a brilliant economist and a consultant and advisor to President Clinton, was appointed as the twenty-seventh president of Harvard University, and a ripple of excitement spread across the campus. It was widely believed that the new president would lead Harvard from strength to strength. His vision was compelling in terms of accelerating the role of the university in the high-tech and scientific arenas. His energy was infectious. But it didn’t take long for faculty and staff as well as students to erect a wall of resistance, and to defy his attempts to realize his vision.

The painful downfall of Summers ...

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