Will a Black Woman Become Harvard’s Next President?

After Lawrence Summers announced he was stepping down as president of Harvard University, many observers of the academic world have speculated that Harvard, for the first time in its history, will select a woman as its new president. Among the names considered as possible candidates for Harvard’s president are Nannerl O. Keohane, former president of Duke University, Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami, Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University, and Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania.

Also mentioned as possible successors to Summers are several black women including Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Condoleezza Rice, the current secretary of state who previously served as provost at Stanford University.

Recently, The New York Sun, a conservative and widely admired newspaper, recommended Condoleezza Rice as the next president of Harvard University.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.