The Harvard Stigma, Kind of Like the H-Bomb

Sharon Kim

Elizabeth Warren talks about the innovative nature of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to an audience at OCS yesterday.

Who knew "Professor" could be such an insult? Most people tend to give the position a certain degree of respect. Maybe it's all the years of classes, lectures, and endless papers it takes to get there, or maybe it's just the implied intellectual brilliance and academic success of the post.

Of course, it has long been said that politics plays by its own set of rules. Jerry J. Jasinowski began his endorsement of Senator Scott P. Brown in a Huffington Post blog post with a discussion of the title "Professor," not as a compliment but as a political affront.

Jasinowski's post is titled "The Harvard Stigma," a reference to challenger Elizabeth Warren's position as a Harvard Law School professor. Jasinowski describes Warren as "almost a caricature of the eastern liberal elite intellectual," emphasizing her liberal positions and "reputation for anti-business extremism." According to Jasinowski, "it would be interesting watching Warren tweaking conservative Republicans in the Senate, but that would be unlikely to foster consensus." While Jasinowski takes issue with what he sees as Warren's inability to be bipartisan, his main issue is that she holds the title of Professor and nothing else. "When they met in debates, Brown addressed her as Professor Warren which in this case was perfectly proper. It is the highest title she has ever held, and it accurately reflects her background and point of view," Jasinowski wrote.

Despite the title of his article, Jasinowski only makes passing references to the university in the post. In fact, he actually holds a degree from Harvard Business School himself. Which brings up the ultimate questioned raised by the article: like so much else in life, does "The Harvard Stigma" only exist in politics? The rest of the time, we just call it the H-bomb.