Déjà Vu All Over Again: Harvard Loses Another Top Black Scholar to Stanford

Caroline M. Hoxby, an African-American economist, is leaving Harvard University for Stanford University. Hoxby decided to make the move to Stanford after Harvard denied tenure to her husband Blair Hoxby, a noted scholar of the theater during the Renaissance period.

Stanford offered both Hoxbys tenured positions. Hoxby, and several other scholars at Harvard, said that the university did very little to try to keep her from leaving.

Hoxby has served on the Harvard faculty since 1994. In 2001 she was named the Allie S. Freed Professor of Economics. An expert on the economics of education and a proponent of school choice, Professor Hoxby has stellar academic credentials. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College. She holds a master’s degree in economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She returned to the United States to win a Ph.D. from MIT. She was consistently rated as one of the students’ favorite teachers at Harvard.

The coup for Stanford is reminiscent of a similar feat that it pulled off three years ago. After Harvard denied a tenured position to Marcyliena Morgan, she and her husband, the esteemed sociologist Lawrence Bobo, were both offered, and they accepted, tenured posts at Stanford. Now Harvard has authorized a tenured position to Professor Morgan and is trying to recruit the couple to return to Cambridge.