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Saturday, August 23, 2003

NYT Mag on Larry Summers

The New York Times Magazine article by James Traub profiling Harvard President Larry Summers is surprisingly favorable. I was expecting them to be tougher on Summers over the Cornel West incident and his other acts taking on progressives.

Still I get the impression that Summers is not made to be a university administrator. Maybe Harvard's trustees do want someone who can shake things up, as the article suggests, but the fact that Summers has to work so hard not to rub people the wrong way, build consensus for decisions, etc. indicates to me that he's not a natural as president. And lest we forget, he was one of the most promising young economists of his time. Why not stick with what he excels at, doing research in economics, rather than struggling on as an administrator?