Friday, March 04, 2005

Lawrence Summers

Last weekend was the Federalist Society Student Convention at Harvard, of which we were a part. Larry Summers gave the opening remarks to the event and received a spirited, largely standing ovation. Although it took me half the applause to grasp the reason behind it, Judge Posner's recent blog post illustrates persuasively why Summers is being backed by the conservatives and libertarians. He further illustrates why universities should be run more like a business and less like a place where the faculty "are the university."

Posner compares the faculty making executive hiring decisions to employees of a corporation giving their CEO a vote of no-confidence. They would get laughed out of their jobs. So too, Posner suggests, academics have no capacity to understand the business decisions of a multi-billion dollar institution like Harvard and set the policies of whom the Board of Trustees should hire and fire based upon their own warm fuzzies of what is PC.

Does anyone really disagree that there is an inherent difference between the sexes as it pertains math/science faculty positions? Preferences among the genders are inherent, at the least (Hypothesis = the genders are inherently different).

Our nation's law schools are represented by a majority from the female persuasion. Has the aptitude of men in the law gone down? Are men less capable now than women at being lawyers? The answer to those questions taken together with the empirical fact of gender-based enrollment in our law schools should serve to show how inherently silly the criticism has been.

(Dare I say that I have just succeeded in an analytic and mathematic proof of my hypothesis above?) At least Posner and I agree (plus Larry Summers too makes three of us; more math--shame on me!).