Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead denies interest in Harvard presidency

Duke University’s president declared late last week that he has no intention to fill the post left by former University President Lawrence H. Summers.

Asked last week whether he would leave Duke to lead Harvard, President Richard H. Brodhead wrote in an e-mail, “What a foolish question. I already have a great job,” according to the Duke Chronicle.

Brodhead, who assumed the Duke presidency in 2004, was on the list of 30 candidates vetted by the presidential search committee looking to replace Summers, The Crimson reported last month.

Brodhead has reaffirmed his commitment to Duke, despite criticism from some faculty and alumni for his response to rape allegations levelled last spring against some of the university’s men’s lacrosse players. Brodhead announced in April that he had cancelled the men’s lacrosse season.

Duke’s senior vice president of public relations and government affairs, John F. Burness, also said that the backlash has not made Brodhead more willing to consider leaving Duke, according to the Duke Chronicle.

Before moving to Duke, Brodhead spent 11 years as Yale’s college dean. Prior to that, he was an English professor at Yale, according to Duke’s Web site.

During his tenure, he oversaw Yale’s most recent curricular review. Brodhead spoke at a 2002 symposium hosted by the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences about his experience leading the curricular review, a month after Harvard launched its own review.

—Staff writer Nicholas A. Molina can be reached at nmolina@fas.harvard.edu.