WASHINGTON -- I have it on the best of authority that Harvard State University's President Lawrence H. Summers resigned only after credible threats of violence were received at his office. My sources, working from several listening posts on the campus disguised as homeless people, report that Summers offered to resign upon receiving credible threats from sectarian elements within the influential Faculty of Arts and Sciences to blow up the university's football stadium, where its semi-pro football team plays in the fall and the university's renowned transsexual field hockey team competes in springtime. From the African and African-American Studies Department there were also threats of roadside bombs to be detonated against professors caught smoking pipes on their way to class -- a habit recently picked up by some younger women faculty members -- or against students ostentatiously carrying books to class. These threats were not deemed credible by Summers' staff, but that they were circulating on the HSU campus adumbrates the eerie atmosphere that now pervades this 370-year-old institution of higher learning.
Earlier President Summers, an economist and one of the few Clinton administration cabinet members never investigated by an Independent Counsel (the administration attracted seven!), created controversy when he advised black studies professor Dr. Cornel West to give up composing rap songs and try his hand at scholarship. West's rap lyrics actually never achieved the violence or licentiousness to attract a wide audience, anyway. Summers also suggested that West ease up on counseling the prospective 2004 presidential campaign of the Rev. Al Sharpton. Indignant, West left HSU for Princeton, where he doubtless feels vindicated and might even write a song about his rival's demise, perhaps one that can be recorded by Jay-Z. West opted for Princeton despite the university's experience with the paramilitary group, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, revealed by Sen. Edward Kennedy at the Alito hearings. This is a serious guy.