21 March 2005

Text of the GSAS poll on President Summers

The Graduate Student Council of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is holding a poll on the same questions that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (the faculty responsible for Harvard College and GSAS) considered last week. The text of the poll is below:

Graduate Student Vote on President Summers

Questions marked with a red asterisk (*) are required. You must answer all required questions to have this survey considered complete.

You are logged in as: Joseph Barillari  (HUID: redacted)

(your answers will be separated from your identity
before they are visible to course staff)
Tuesday the FAS faculty voted “lack of confidence” in President
Summers. Today and tomorrow GSAS students will have chance to vote
anonymously on the same question. Harvard and the world want to know
what thousands of Harvard graduate students think about their
university president.

Polls will be open from 7am Monday (March 21) to 5pm Tuesday (March 22).

The two questions are those offered to faculty last week.

It’s a quick and easy process, and the results are vital to the ongoing debate.


I lack confidence in the leadership of Lawrence H. Summers.



Need more information



I regret the President’s mid-January statements
about women in science and the adverse consequences of those statements
for individuals and for Harvard; and also regrets aspects of the
President’s managerial approach. I appreciate the President’s stated
intent to address these issues, and seek to meet the challenges facing
Harvard in ways that are collegial and consistent with longstanding
faculty and student responsibilities in institutional governance.



Need more information


Copyright ©The President and Fellows of Harvard College

poll and the faculty poll were conducted by secret ballot — but it’s
probably necessary. If a few tenured FAS faculty were willing denounce
President Summers for his remarks in January, some of the very most
hysterical might try to stomp on untenured colleagues or graduate
students for failing to fall into lockstep behind them. (I would
certainly hope this wouldn’t happen, but I was surprised that the
President’s remarks were received the way they were to begin with.)—>

I would be curious to know the results of both polls broken down by
department; or even just with the science and non-science departments

I’d be wasting pixels if I commented on the controversy itself;
instead, I’ll point the reader to FAS Prof. Steven Pinker, who published a
detailed treatment of it in
Shortly after President Summers’s speech, he also appeared in a
delightful interview in the Crimson:

CRIMSON: Were President Summers’ remarks within the pale of legitimate academic discourse?

PINKER: Good grief, shouldn’t everything be within the pale of
legitimate academic discourse, as long as it is presented with some
degree of rigor? That’s the difference between a university and a

Update: see this.

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