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UC regents rescind invitation to former Harvard president

DAVIS Calif.

University of California regents rescinded a speaking invitation to former Harvard University President Larry Summers after female faculty members protested.

Summers, who resigned as Harvard’s president last year after a stormy five-year tenure, was set to speak to a regents’ dinner Wednesday during the board’s meeting at the UC Davis campus.

In 2005, Summers was widely criticized for suggesting that innate ability may partly explain why few women reach top posts in science, math and engineering. Shortly after he took office, a handful of prominent black studies professors, including Cornel West, left the university after a dispute with him.

UC Davis professor Maureen Stanton helped organize a petition drive that in two days collected more than 150 signatures from several UC campuses.

“I was appalled that someone articulating that point of view would be invited by the regents,” Stanton said. “This is a symbolic invitation and a symbolic measure that I believe sends the wrong message about the University of California and its cultural principles.”

UC spokesman Trey Davis said Summers and regents’ chairman Richard Blum agreed the former Harvard president wouldn’t speak. He will be replaced by Susan Kennedy, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff.

Information from: The Davis Enterprise,

– Associated Press

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