During a speech at an economics conference six years ago, Larry Summers helped ease himself out of Harvard University’s presidency with a controversial remark about the “intrinsic aptitude” of women.Â On Tuesday during an interview at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Tech conference (see video excerpt), he aroused not controversy but laughter with a line about his now famous meeting with Tyler and CameronÂ Winklevoss, in which the Harvard twins asked him to back their claim to Facebook:
“One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities,” Mr. Summers said. “One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.”
Setting aside any feelings you might have about Mark Zuckerberg, the Winklevii, and Mr. Summers, how does his remark about sartorial excess among undergrads stack up against other famous quotations about college and education? Below, a handful of favorites that we’ve collected over the years. What’s yours? â€”Don Troop
The chancellor’s job had come to be defined as providing parking for the faculty, sex for the students, and athletics for the alumni.
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.
Americans are the only people in the world known to me whose status anxiety prompts them to advertise their college and university affiliations in the rear window of their automobiles.
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
â€”Woody Allen, in Annie Hall
University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-sellerÂ that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.