September 15, 2007

UC Davis Disinvites Lawrence Summers

UC Davis had invited former Harvard president Lawrence Summers to speak at a board dinner during a visit from the regents on September 19th. After his invitation to speak created a firestorm of controversy on campus, the university disinvited Summers in a process that appears to be gaining ground on University of California campuses (via The Corner):

After a group of UC Davis women faculty began circulating a petition, UC regents rescinded an invitation to Larry Summers, the controversial former president of Harvard University, to speak at a board dinner Wednesday night in Sacramento. The dinner comes during the regents' meeting at UCD next week.

Summers gained notoriety for saying that innate differences between men and women could be a reason for under-representation of women in science, math and engineering.

“The regents' dinners have always been informal, social occasions,” said UC spokesman Trey Davis. “Chairman (Richard) Blum and Dr. Summers talked yesterday, and agreed that UC would locate a different speaker. Susan Kennedy, the governor's chief of staff, has this morning graciously agreed to speak at the dinner.”

Summers also garnered criticism for a decline in tenure offers to women during his term as Harvard's president. The combination of those helped force him into resigning his position two years go. His comments on innate differences between genders continue to spark controversy and debate.

Summers may well be wrong about gender differences impacting educational aptitudes in a general or specific sense. Does that mean that Summers should get barred from addressing academics in the future? Does he need to do a Galileo and issue public recantations while muttering E pur si muove under his breath? Because as long as institutions like UC Davis continue to surrender to the dogmatists, Summer will never be heard, and his views will never get proper refutation or support in accordance with the evidence, as opposed to the passions of the day.

Shutting down debate and silencing voices is the antithesis of academic purpose, imposing a politically-correct party line rather than a true pursuit of truth. On the other hand, UCD professor Maureen Stanton, who organized the petition demanding Summers be silenced, would probably be the first to object to firing a dean for his liberal views. It's fascinating to see what happens when the other ox gets gored.


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Comments (27)

Posted by Otter | September 15, 2007 10:48 AM

Liberals eat their own when one Dares to utter anything sensible.

This is also what the Left has in mind for the internet, bloggers in particular.

Posted by Barnestormer | September 15, 2007 10:50 AM

As the Captain warned in his Chemerinksy post below, see what evil UCI has set in train? Now UC-Davis. With California's well-deserved reputation for trend-setting, this academic freedom threat could become serious. Might even spread north to Berkeley and on to the east coast.

Posted by Glenmore | September 15, 2007 10:58 AM

Summers did not say gender differences impacted educational aptitude; he said it was wrong to dismiss that possibility without proper investigation.

Posted by Bennett | September 15, 2007 11:08 AM

When did women become so lacking in civility? I think not only of the UC Davis women faculty members or their counterparts at Harvard but also of Code Pink, they of the hideous pepto-bismol couture and the shrieking mouth cannibalism, always seeking to cut off everyone else's words by disorder and disruption or, as in this case the ultimate master weapon: the circulated petition of grievance.

Ok, so it's not just women. And Code Pink has a different agenda (I guess) than the women faculty of UC Davis. But they each lack, in their own special way, ordinary civility. One does not disinvite a guest to dinner. It's just not done, it's rude. As old-fashioned as it sounds, there's something to be said for basic courtesy although not, it seems, by women college professors.

I am fortunate, I think. I completed my formal education before the thought police arrived on campus and before academia became so frightened of ideas.

P.S. And Larry Summers was right.

Posted by kingronjo | September 15, 2007 11:15 AM

You know, when GWB was "s"elected President, they said intolerance will run rampant in the US. And they were right!!!!!!

Posted by Jeff | September 15, 2007 11:16 AM

Let's see the actual text:

"that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong, because I would like nothing better than for these problems to be addressable simply by everybody understanding what they are, and working very hard to address them."


BTW, global warming fanatics, please notice Professor Summers didn't say "the debate is over." A real scholar doesn't talk like that.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | September 15, 2007 12:03 PM

Captain, Lawrence Summers will always be hounded, no matter how often he recants. Once a heretic - always a heretic.

Remember: No thinking allowed at universities. It’s bad for progressive politics! Violators will be petitioned to death.

Besides – thinking is so … so … neocon!

Posted by Crusader007 | September 15, 2007 12:39 PM

nothing like being a forced taxpayer to a Rotten & Rotting University System.

Universities were once bastions of learning now they are bastions of indoctrinations.

I guess the bull dykes now run Davis.

The whole UC System needs an enema.

Posted by exDemo | September 15, 2007 1:02 PM

Once again we see the democratic instincts, non censorship, and genuine liberal values that theses partisan leftist totalaitarian thought police, would impose if they could.

Calling these people liberals or democrats, is an insult and an abomination, to true liberals.

They are marxist totalitarian stooges who are too stupid to know that after a 160 years and efforts where their their methods of governing in over a hundred countries have failed everywhere tried. They can't point to a single success.

Is that proof of utter stupidity, and unwillingness to learn from experience?

I would say so... I'm long past time where I feel any obligation to be civil to these would be totalitarians. Is past time to start lifting citizenships as the early Americans did to the "Man with NO country".

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | September 15, 2007 1:02 PM

Ahahaha. There's more. Also from the article:

UCD professor Maureen Stanton, one of the petition organizers, was delighted by news of the change this morning, saying it's "a move in the right direction."

"UC has an enormous historical commitment to diversity within its faculty ranks, but still has a long way to go before our faculty adequately represent the diversity of our constituency, the people of California," said Stanton, professor and chairwoman of the section of evolution and ecology.

When Stanton heard about the initial invitation to Summers, she was "stunned."

"I was appalled that someone articulating that [Summers'] point of view would be invited by the regents," she said. "This is a symbolic invitation and a symbolic measure that I believe sends the wrong message about the University of California and its cultural principles."
(Emphasis AD.)

So a POV, reasonably considered by another constituency, that ventures out from the supposed reservation is "appalling," yet Stanton would preach of diversity and representation. Laughable.

Worse, as "professor and chairwoman of the section of evolution and ecology," might she appreciate something as fundamental as genetics and, oh, I dunno, X and Y chromosomes that might provide us with an indicator that the sexes are manifestly different and that, perchance, other genes may or may not be expressed in innumerable ways? Did her genetically predetermined levels of estrogen blunt the development of her particular neuronal logic centers? Or was it environmentally introduced stimuli that did the trick? Considering her case, that seems like an entirely reasonable intellectual, if not scientific, pursuit.

Her political correctness makes her incompetent as a scientist/professor. Keep her on a board and let her help make business decisions if you have to (while acknowledging that her decisions are politically derived for economic incentive), but get her out of the classroom. Students deserve better.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 15, 2007 1:54 PM

Hey! US DAvis doesn't even apply a grading system to students. You get "essays." Lots of self-esteem garbage connected to it, too.

Larry Summers is dis-invited for a speech TO THE BOARD. So it tells ya something about the dreck "ON BOARD."

Chemerinksy was un-hired by UC IRVINE.

No surprises, folks.

Academia stinks from rear to rear.

Posted by vet66 | September 15, 2007 1:55 PM

Women getting the vapors at the mere mention of differences between the sexes proves Summers' point.

How long do they believe they can get away with preaching freedom of speech with the caveat that speech is free as long as it toes the PC line.


Posted by K | September 15, 2007 1:59 PM

I guess you must have a very short memory there Captain, or maybe you just weren't paying attention. Disinviting, or more likely, not inviting in the first place conservative speakers is standard operating procedure on virtually all leftist dominated campuses. If they somehow manage to get on stage, they're generally booed off. Summers slipped by because he's a well known liberal democrat and he apologized profusely for his policial impurity.

All of which makes the bru ha ha about UCI and Chemerinski all the more laughable. It reminds me of the re-phrasing of an old new left saying: "What if they gave a war and only one side showed up?" Right now the left is at war for the academic world and the conservatives are worrying that they're not being "fair" to their opponents.

Posted by lanny joe | September 15, 2007 2:00 PM

The Capt. is putting words in Sommers mouth!

Posted by Mason Jahr | September 15, 2007 3:09 PM

Classic stuff. Cowardice and arrogance.
To quote Col. Nathan R. Jessep
(Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men,"
Professor Stanton you can't take the truth".

Posted by docjim505 | September 15, 2007 3:55 PM

Is anybody really surprised? I mean, seriously: are you REALLY surprised about this?

I've often posted on liberals' inability to understand the plain meaning of various words. Remember Bill Clinton and the meaning of "is"? How about their new definition of patriotism? They've made it clear again and again that they don't understand the meaning of "lie". Now we add "diversity". Please read and reread AD's post (September 15, 2007 1:02 PM) because it highlights this problem so clearly.

How can you have rational discourse with people who really don't speak the same language?

Posted by southdakotaboy | September 15, 2007 6:47 PM

It is remarkable that we are even suprised by this anymore. If we want this to change we are going to have to do something about it. The best way would be to find conservative business people who would be willing to stop hiring people who come from these schools. If the diploma is worthless students will stop going. If on the other hand the top paying jobs go to people from conservative schools, there will be a flood of students to those schools. After a while as the left wing schools can no longer make it things will be changed.
I know wishful thinking, but it is one of the only ways to change this system without trying to pass a bunch of laws that will not do any good anyway.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 15, 2007 7:19 PM

I guess summers was right -- just look at how stanton views this thing -- not as bad science to be refuted, but as a personal affront (I assume that when someone like her talks about diversity, she really means more people like her).

I wonder how many "m"s and "w"s she managed to get right?

Posted by fouse, gary c | September 15, 2007 9:36 PM

What a joke! This brings down more discredit on the whole UC system. It seems to me that the whole concept of the US university is going down the toilet. Just this week, we have the UCI fiasco with Chemerinsky and now this.

Unfortunately, it's all about ideology in our universities. Those professors at UCD that caused Summers to be cancelled are acting like Nazis.

Gary Fouse
(Adjunct teacher at UC Irvine, ext)

Posted by Rose | September 15, 2007 11:32 PM

Our world is NOT helped by giving prestigeous microphones to total idiots. The best refution of an idiot is that people refuse to listen to them.

Freedom of Speech cannot be fairly judged by the ability of IDIOTS to find microphones and $10,000's of dollars speaking fees - or by the FEAR that REFUSING to "GIVE A FAIR HEARING" to such idiots might show we don't have "True Freedom of Speech".

That is like these Liberals' FALSE CLAIM that DISSENT (for the sake of dissent) is the true tribute to Democracy - IT IS NOT!

These are heavily and destructively flawed maxims that serve ONLY to wash out the foundation of the pillars of our societies.

Freedom of Speech is when you have the right to exercise FAIR JUDGEMENT and get to REFUSE to hear IDIOTS, or to promote their idiot contentions, regardless of how much INFLUENCE they have "AT COURT".

FREEDOM is when the crowd can shout at the University President, "Emperor, YOU HAVE NO CLOTHES! GO HOME AND GET CLOTHES ON YOU AND COVER YOUR NAKEDNESS!"

FREEDOM is when you have the RIGHT to tell a powerful political influence that he doesn't have the RIGHT by ARBITRARY ABUSE OF POWER to SLANDER our Commanding General in the field of battle and intimidate the people by calling THAT SEDITION AND TREASON AND SLANDER, "Freedom of Speech" because of his power to BRIBE POLITICAL OFFICIALS into silence!

THAT is DEMOCRACY, when we don't have to stand for being trampled and taxed to death by those who (use what they trample out of us, the serfs, to) enable the ROYALTY at High Court!

Posted by sestamibi | September 15, 2007 11:36 PM

This is part of the general feminist baggage that holds that:

1) Life must be all bliss, all the time. My poor widdle feewings must never be hurt, I must never be made uncomfortable, and I must never hear the word "no".

2) The truth is whatever I believe it to be.

3) Sexual harassment is whatever I say it is, whoever I say did it, and whenever I say it happened.

If that c*nt HRC becomes president, along with the other c*nt Pelosi wielding the speaker's gavel, get set for this with even greater intensity. Any man who votes for them is nuts!

Posted by Rose | September 15, 2007 11:41 PM

Good Grief! What a thread full of MISOGYNISTS!

Well, it's nice to see none of you care how stupid we are as long as we can manage to get a meal cooked for you without burning down the house, and to get your clothes laid out for you - matched properly - for work in the morning.


Posted by Dan Morgan | September 16, 2007 12:03 AM

"Does he need to do a Galileo and issue public recantations ..."

As I recall he already did that numerous times. And then, to further attempt to pay for his sins, he led Harvard to commit $50 million to the recruitment and hiring of women faculty.

But his sins are not forgivable on the academic left, especially among feminists who thrive on any new opportunity to claim women are being persecuted.

It is funny how even conservatives won't simply state the known facts: While the average IQ between men and women is about the same, women have less variance in their IQs. For example, for IQs above 145 there are around seven males for every female.

Since this high IQ group is the group that will make up top scientists and engineers (including at elite universities), isn't it logical to expect about a 7:1 ratio of men to women at the top of these fields?

Posted by Jim Rockford | September 16, 2007 12:06 AM

In general, when women achieve critical mass in various place, the critical mass is very intolerant of thought that dissents from orthodoxy, whatever it might be.

Summers noted in his speech that there was some evidence of statistical differences in math and science aptitude. Which is true, research such as it is has shown that measurable statistical difference.

Summers noted that IF that was the case, Affirmative Action would be worse than useless but rather harmful since in general, there would be a smaller pool of women in the right hand part of the tail of the normal distribution than men. Universities would simply fight over the few qualified women and discriminate against men.

Summers also noted that if that was the case, more women-friendly workplaces would not make a dime's worth of difference in attracting more women to math and the hard sciences.

HOWEVER, Summers also noted, at length, that the studies trying to discern gender differences as statistical measures in the general population are few, and called for more RESEARCH so Universities may make informed decisions.

If there is no statistical difference then "female-friendly" measures to attract more women to the hard sciences and math are in order. If there is a difference, then those measures are not in order. Simple as that.

Women are NOT stupid. What they do is based on their own hold on power, stifling of dissent, and profound threat that un-PC, un-Multi-culti, un-Postmodern attitudes based on science that Summers represents to the Academy.

Any segment of society dominated by women will tend to end up like the View meets Oprah. In their own way, women can be as awful as men (but in different ways). Emotionalism, fetishized victimhood, passive-aggressive bullying, anti-intellectualism, aversion to science and math (because they push aside emotion) are characteristics of female-dominated areas. Group think and punishment by ostracism of dissenters is of course a characteristic of female-dominated areas of life. The Universities, lower education, government bureaucracy, and many corporations are like that.

Posted by sestamibi | September 16, 2007 10:52 PM

Rose, I've done all those things myself all my life. You may snicker and say that all I need is a good ***, but I can assure you I no longer miss it.

Posted by larry k | September 18, 2007 10:54 AM

It might be good for someone near Davis to get a copy of the petition and post it online. All of the signers should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Mountain Rose | September 21, 2007 11:14 AM

I find this Leftist trend to silence all opposition to their stupid ideas to be very offensive.

I consider the ladies in comfortable shoes disguised as professors to be Brown-Shirted Cows, and in fact have written a blog on this called "How Now Brown Shirted Cow."

Drop by and rant!

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