‘How wrong I was!’ Cornel West gives scathing rebuke of Harvard in resignation letter
Steven Hall, DCNF
Cornel West announced he has quit his job at Harvard University Monday and said on Twitter the campus was in “decline and decay.”
In his letter of resignation, dated June 30, West said he was resigning with “precious memories but absolutely no regrets” after four years of working at the university.
“When I arrived four years ago- with a salary less than what I received 15 years earlier and with no tenure status after being a University Professor at Harvard and Princeton-I hoped and prayed I could still end my career with some semblance of intellectual intensity and personal respect,” West wrote. “How wrong I was!”
This is my candid letter of resignation to my Harvard Dean. I try to tell the unvarnished truth about the decadence in our market-driven universities! Let us bear witness against this spiritual rot! pic.twitter.com/hCLAuNSWDu
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) July 13, 2021
“I try to tell the unvarnished truth about the decadence in our market-driven universities,” West said. “Let us bear witness against this spiritual rot!”
West accused the university of disrespectful treatment and discrimination, alleging all his courses were under Afro-American Religious Studies despite him teaching classes like American Democracy, The Conduct Of Life and Existentialism. He also said he received no summer salary and was given the “lowest (pay) increase possible every year”.
He threatened to resign in March after the university denied giving him tenure, which he alleged was due to his stance on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
“And to witness a faculty enthusiastically support a candidate for tenure then timidly defer to a rejection based on the Harvard administration’s hostility to the Palestinian cause was disgusting,” he wrote in the letter.
He also accused Harvard of not showing empathy to him during the death of his mother, and said “this kind of narcissistic academic professionalism” is part of an “intellectual bankruptcy of deep deaths.”
Harvard University declined a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
West criticized in April Howard University’s decision to eliminate its classics department as a contributor to “spiritual catastrophe.” Howard University said it would dissolve the department as part of “prioritization efforts”, but West argued that eliminating classical literature is uniquely harmful to black students.
West also got into a verbal fight with civil rights attorney Leo Terrell during a Fox News segment of “Hannity” in June 2020. West and Terrell joined to discuss calls for police departments to be “defunded,” and the debate turned quickly into a shouting match.