Dr. Cornel West posted his resignation letter to Harvard University Monday evening after announcing in March that he was leaving the Ivy League school due to a tenure dispute.
Dated June 30, 2021, the resignation letter found the author and philosopher suggesting discrimination played a role in him being denied tenure. West also stated Harvard was in a state of “decline and decay.”
The 84-year-old added that despite a “few glorious and glaring exceptions, the shadow of Jim Crow was cast in its new glittering form expressed in the language of superficial diversity.” Dr. West claimed he received no summer salary and “the lowest increase possible every year.”
Although he was a tenured professor at Harvard (before leaving in 2002), Princeton, and Yale, he returned to a non-tenured position at Harvard in 2017, where he received a lower salary than he did during his previous run with the university. Dr. West also believed his support of Palestine played a role in his tenure dispute. Finally, West said Harvard faculty’s silence after his mother’s death further confirmed his decision to resign. According to the professor, only two faculty members reached out to express their condolences despite his mother’s death appearing in a newsletter.
This is my candid letter of resignation to my Harvard Dean. I try to tell the unvarnished truth about the decadence in our market-driven universities! Let us bear witness against this spiritual rot! pic.twitter.com/hCLAuNSWDu
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) July 13, 2021