Regardless of your perspective, Harvard looks bad right now — and that’s good for America.
The resignation of Claudine Gay as president has brought the university unwanted attention for lacking both academic standards and moral clarity. She made mistakes, but in many ways Harvard set her up to fail. Like all of America’s top universities, Harvard has taken on an unhealthy role in the U.S. economy and society. America’s best universities need to return to their original mission: producing academic excellence, not just signaling it.
These schools have used their reputations for excellence to form an oligopoly with outsized power. An Ivy League degree, or even just attendance at an Ivy League school, conveys a powerful signal that this person is among the smartest and best-connected this nation has to offer.