CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A dispute that prompted top members of Harvard's African-American Studies department to consider leaving for other universities apparently has been resolved, the Harvard Crimson reported Monday.
Prof. Cornel R. West told National Public Radio in a program aired Monday that he was considering moving to Princeton because of a conflict with Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers.
However, the two met Thursday after the NPR interview was recorded and apparently ironed out their differences, the Crimson said.
The meeting "went very well," Humanities Prof. Louis Gates said. He said West "told me they had a really good dialogue and Summers apologized graciously. As far as I'm concerned the issue is resolved."
Harvard spokesman Joe Wrinn agreed.
"They had a good meeting, they cleared the air, they left with a feeling of mutual respect," Wrinn said in a statement.
The NPR interview was taped before Thursday's meeting. In the interview, West talked about an October session at which Summers reportedly questioned some of his non-academic activities, including cutting a rap CD and supporting the presidential campaign of the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"I have never been attacked and insulted in that particular way," West told NPR.
At that meeting, Summers also reportedly expressed lukewarm support for affirmative action.
Summers subsequently issued a statement that affirmed his commitment to diversity and affirmative action.
"It's a very unfortunate misunderstanding if my views have been perceived in other ways," Summers said.
"I take pride in Harvard's longstanding commitment to diversity," Summers said in a statement. "I believe it is essential for us to maintain that commitment, working to create an ever more open and inclusive environment that draws on the widest possible range of talents."
"With regard to the Afro-American Studies program at Harvard, we are proud of this program collectively and of each of its individual members," Summers said. "We would very much like to see the current faculty stay at Harvard and will compete vigorously to make this an attractive environment."
Gates said he was hopeful that West would remain at Harvard.
Several black teachers at Harvard, including West, Gates, William Julius Wilson and Anthony Appiah, reportedly have been recruited for positions at Princeton.
Summers last week met separately with Gates and Wilson and asked them to stay.
"Summers is really trying to reach out and make amends, and I think that's very encouraging," Wilson previously told the Boston Globe. "The atmosphere has improved significantly...."
The controversy prompted the Rev. Jesse Jackson to come to Harvard on New Year's Day to criticize Summers for a weak stand on affirmative action. Sharpton on the same day also warned he would sue Summers for allegedly questioning the professor's support of his presidential plans.