Science

Harvard chief to resign

Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, will step down at the end of the academic year. Summers stirred controversy last year by saying innate differences between the sexes may explain why fewer women succeed in math and science.

Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, will step down at the end of the academic year, the school announced Tuesday.

Summers has been criticized for his comments on women in science, as well as his abrupt style.

"I have reluctantly concluded that the rifts between me and segments of the Arts and Sciences faculty make it infeasible for me to advance the agenda of renewal that I see as crucial to Harvard's future," Summers wrote in a letter posted on Harvard's website.

"I believe, therefore, that it is best for the university to have new leadership."

Last year, Summers said innate differences between the sexes may help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math.

Summers said he wasn't speaking for Harvard and he has since apologized repeatedly for the remarks.

The announcement of his leaving comes one week before faculty members were expected to vote no-confidence in his leadership.

Only Harvard's seven-member governing board can hire or fire the president, making the faculty's confidence vote a symbolic one.

The faculty first voted no-confidence in Summers in March 2005 after he made the remarks about female scientists.

Summer's resignation is effective at the end of the 2005-06 academic year.

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