The philosopher, political activist, and public intellectual has accused Harvard of disrespectful treatment and hinted at discrimination.
67-year-old Dr. Cornel West has left Harvard University for the second time. He will be joining Union Theological Seminary.
A celebrated public figure, a social critic, and political activist, Dr. West has highlighted serious concerns including discrimination at the hallowed university.
In his registration letter, Dr. West said that Harvard was in a “decay”.
Dated June 30, Dr. West shared a “candid letter of resignation,” stating that he was resigning with “precious memories but absolutely no regrets” after four years of service at the Massachusetts-based Harvard Divinity School. Earlier in the year, he had announced his departure because the school officials did not offer him tenure, bringing negative media attention to the Ivy League institution.
The growing controversy revealed doubts Dr. West had over Harvard’s conduct.
“This is my candid letter of resignation letter 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!”
Dr. West would go on to accuse the University of disrespectful treatment and hinted at discrimination, alleging all his courses were subsumed under Afro-American Religious Studies and his salary was given the “lowest increase possible” every year.
“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.
“I was promised a year sabbatical but could only take one semester in practice. … I knew my academic achievements and student teaching meant far less than their political prejudices,” said Dr. West.
His mother's death was also a catalyst in his resignation, writing, “When the announcement of the death of my beloved mother appeared in the regular newsletter, I received two public replies. Any ordinary announcement about a lecture, award or professional advancement receives about 20 replies.”
Dr. West’s resignation post has received quite the acclaim from his supporters and other Twitizens, some of whom you can read their comments below.