Big news today. Yale University president Richard C. Levin has announced his resignation. He will step down at the end of the current academic year. In a statement he called it a “natural time for transition” as he nears his 20th year of service.
Yale has enjoyed tremendous financial growth under Richard Levin’s tenure. But, more recently, Yale has weathered a series of embarrassing scandals under his leadership, which have chipped away at the university’s reputation. A couple notable examples include the university’s decision to enroll as a student a former Taliban official a few years ago. And more recently: a series of high-profile sexual-assault and harassment cases led to a formal investigation by the Department of Education, which concluded that “the number of complaints of sexual harassment and violence had in fact been largely underreported for a very long time at the university,”
In my new book, Sex & God at Yale (which was kindly mentioned on this blog yesterday), I fault Levin and other Yale leaders for failing to uphold basic academic standards, as well as failing to take seriously Yale’s role as a training ground for our nation’s future cultural and political leaders. My shocking experiences as a student (I sat next to the Taliban guy for my international-relations final) deeply shook my faith in the direction of elite higher education in this country.
Let us hope that Yale’s next president will do more to uphold the high standards befitting such a powerful and influential institution.