Harvard black studies prof resigns, heads to Princeton

A prominent black studies professor at Harvard University who has raised questions about the school president’s commitment to affirmative action is leaving for Princeton.

K. Anthony Appiah submitted his resignation on Friday, Harvard spokesman Joe Wrinn said.

Appiah, ’47, was one of several professors in the school’s Afro-American studies department reportedly at odds with the new Harvard University president Lawrence Summers.

Several faculty members said Appiah and professors Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates had been considering leaving Harvard for Princeton after what they said were a series of snubs by Summers and a failure to make a strong statement in support of affirmative action.

But in a statement released by Harvard, Appiah said he is not leaving because of any rift between the faculty and Summers.

“I have a wonderful job as professor of Afro-American studies and of philosophy at Harvard. I have the most cordial relations with my colleagues in the faculty and the administration,” he said. “My decision to leave is entirely positive: it reflects the personal and intellectual attractions of Princeton at this stage of my career.”

Appiah said he is tired of commuting weekly from New York, where he has lived for seven years.

Appiah did not return a phone message left by The Associated Press on Friday night.

A native of Ghana, Appiah has written several books, including “In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture,” and “Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race” with Princeton Provost Amy Gutmann.

Summers said Appiah “has made important contributions at Harvard through his work in Afro-American studies and in philosophy. He will be missed.”

–Associated Press

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