If Lawrence H. Summers needs a support group, he could easily find other presidents who watched their faculties vote "no confidence" in them -- and survived.
However humiliating and damaging Tuesday's vote may have been to Harvard's president -- and experts agree that it was both of those things -- he may well keep his job for years to come. The Harvard Corporation, the university's board, issued a statement backing Summers. And many think that board backing is the norm after such a vote.
For the last three years, Thomas A. Hamilton has increasingly become a minority of one on the seven-member Board of Trustees of St. Clair County Community College, regularly challenging policies adopted by the two-year institution's president and questioning whether the board is fulfilling its obligations to oversee and assess her performance.
Many college presidents consider reporters a necessary nuisance in a democracy. Auburn University's interim president, Ed Richardson, isn't so sure about the necessary part.
He sent a memo to Auburn faculty members and administrators last week telling them that he will no longer speak with Jack Stripling, who covers higher education for the local newspaper, The Opelika-Auburn News.