Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Biting the hand that feeds you

Or as Don Luskin put it, "Being politically correct can be very expensive." When I saw the headline last night, I immediately called my friend Charlie to tell him the good news: because of how Harvard forced out Larry Summers, Larry Ellison backed off his $115 million gift that he and Summers were working on. And it appears Harvard was counting its chickens before they hatched:
In recent weeks, Harvard officials became increasingly concerned that the flamboyant billionaire wasn't going to follow through on a promise he made last year. The planned Ellison institute at Harvard laid off three workers it had hired in anticipation of the funding, a move that surprised some because institutes usually don't start spending until they formally receive the donations.
There was nothing in writing, but Harvard's attitude was, "What could go wrong?" As an astute commenter said on a USA Today blog, "Well that is a good lesson but what about the fact that Harvard failed to convince Ellison once Summers left. They had plenty of time but probably because of their usual arrogance felt it would just fall into their laps anyway."

Bravo to Larry Ellison. He didn't do it because he "hates" Harvard, but the right thing still happened even for a different reason. It's nice to see the academic elite's liberalism come back to bite them in the ass.


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