Dr. Cornel West vs. Harvard University

In a special edition of “The Tight Rope,” Dr. Cornel West speaks freely about his “ridiculous situation at Harvard” with respect to his being denied tenure at the institution. Join Dr. West and professor Tricia Rose for a conversation as they reveal some of the possible underlying reasons for the rejection and as they dredge up the bedrock systemic issues at play in higher education. “The Tight Rope” just got a lot tighter!In an interview for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dr. West spoke with Max Alvarez, our editor-in-chief here at The Real News Network about the situation with Harvard. In that conversation, they also explored the value of platforms like “The Tight Rope” and The Real News for critically engaged intellectuals, inside and outside the academy: 

Maximillian Alvarez: Harvard seems intent on pitting your public work against your academic work, as if one is more valuable or “legitimate” than the other. After this latest battle with Harvard, do you think it’s fair to say that the university will simply not make space for scholars or scholarship that are truly public?

Cornel West: I want to make it clear that big money and prestigious professorships (without tenure or through the back door) at Harvard can never replace genuine respect. So, a free Black man like me has no place at Harvard, and Harvard does not deserve those few free spirits still there. Yet Harvard can change if it chooses to do so!

Thanks to my dear brother, Jeremy Berry—the visionary creator of “The Tight Rope” podcast—professor Tricia Rose and I have weekly opportunities to intervene into public life in the form of serious and substantive discussions about crucial issues of our day. There are always some spaces and pockets within any commodified and bureaucratized site for our commitment to the life of the mind and changing the world, but they seem to be shrinking at the present moment, and the lethal combination of disrespect of Black scholars and others and curtailing robust inquiry about taboo issues must be confronted and transformed…

Read the whole interview here.

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Credits:

Creator/EP: Jeremy Berry

EP/Host: Cornel West

EP/Host: Tricia Rose

Producers: Allie Hembrough, Ceyanna Dent

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Author: TheRealNews.com

The Real News Network (TRNN) produces independent, verifiable, fact-based journalism that engages ordinary people in solving the critical problems of our times. As legendary journalist Ida B. Wells said, “The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.” We examine the underlying causes of the chronic problems, and investigate and report on effective solutions and models for change. We don’t just cover people in high office or limit news to the partisan horse race for power. People who fight for human rights and work for solutions are newsmakers. We believe that real change will be driven by the people who need it most. While we report on and investigate all important issues of social and economic concern, we consider the climate change crisis an existential threat. In all of our programming and journalism, the impact of environmental degradation and the climate crisis, especially on marginalized people, and the urgency of finding solutions will be front and center. Our motto is “The Future Depends on Knowing.”