Cambridge, Mass. Lawrence H. Summers ended his tumultuous stint as Harvard University president Tuesday, choosing to resign June 30 rather than fight with a faculty angered by his management style and comments that innate ability may explain why few women reach top science posts.
Effective at the end of the academic year, Summers' move brings to a close the briefest tenure of any Harvard president since 1862, when Cornelius Felton died after two years in office. Summers has led America's wealthiest university, with an endowment of more than $25 billion, since 2001.
Last year's comments to an academic conference on women in science grew into a broader debate of Summers' management style, which some considered brusque and even bullying. The discontent prompted a 218-185 no-confidence vote from Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences last March - the only known instance of such an action in the 370-year history of the university.