Resolution of the Peretz / Harvard Controversy

By James Fallows

The "final" version of the planned program honoring the 50th anniversary of the Social Studies program at Harvard has been published on the Social Studies website. I won't quote it all here, but the newsworthy part is this:

12:00               Lunch      

                        Welcome from Grzegorz Ekiert

                        Recognition of Head Tutors and Directors of Studies:

                                    Robert Paul Wolff, Richard Hunt, Martin Peretz,

                        Michael Donnelly, Cheryl Welch, Judith Vichniac, Anya Bernstein

                                    Principal Speaker:  Robert Paul Wolff *

That is, recognition of those who have been dedicated teachers through the history of the program, but a scheduled speaking role for only one of them. (*Underline and link added, and the link is interesting.)

The Harvard Crimson has reported (and I have heard from several other sources) that during this past week's "Muslim life is cheap" controversy, a new flow of donations on Peretz's behalf has come into Harvard. They have increased the total for the fellowship named in his honor from $500,000 to $650,000. I mentioned recently a possible win-win resolution from Harvard's point of view: creating another, paired fellowship, preferentially for an American or foreign student of Muslim background. This new money provides a start. Just a thought.

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