Professor Cornel West to Rejoin the Faculty at Union Theological Seminary

Cornel West has been appointed to the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School. Last month, Professor West told Harvard he would leave the university if it did not reconsider its decision to not grant him tenure.

“I am honored to return back home to Union, to a place with brilliant faculty and moral tenacity and that provides an opportunity to continue to work with students who are eager to put their faith into practice while striving for justice and seeking of truth,” Dr. West said.

Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, said in a statement that “we are thrilled to welcome Dr. West back home to Union where he started his teaching career, at this time of momentous challenge — and opportunity, and especially as the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor. Dr. West lives and breathes the values that Union aims to instill in all of the future leaders, scholars, ministers, and activists we educate. His esteemed legacy of engaging the most pressing problems facing our world — including racism, poverty, sexism, and so much more — is an inspiration to all, and illustrates the power of faith to create profound change.”

In 2002, Cornel West left Harvard University after a public dispute with then Harvard president Lawrence Summers. Dr. Summers questioned Dr. West’s scholarship and hinted that he was spending too much time on less than serious academic work. These claims were thoroughly refuted by Theodore Cross, editor of JBHE, in the Spring 2002 issue of this journal in an article entitled “Cornel West Matters: His Peer Citation Record Stands Near the Very Top.”

Dr. West left Harvard and served as the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. In 2012, he rejoined the faculty at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he had taught twice before. Dr. West rejoined the faculty at Harvard in 2016.

Dr. West is a graduate of Harvard Univerity. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in New Jersey.



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  1. Who cares where the disheveled looking Cornel West teach. Cornel is a glaring example example of an “establishment Black academic” whose more concerned about inclusivity as compared to fighting for native born Black Americans. Cornel has an acute case of both Cognitive Dissonance and Stockholm syndrome of the highest order. Cornel West academic footprint is akin to the “blabber mouth” Michael E. Dyson in which both publish way outside of the field they’re trained. Hey Cornel(and Dyson), when was the last time you published a scholarly book in religion? What I find very hypocritical of Cornel is that he incessantly pontificates about the Black community all the while he’s either dating or married to non-Black American women and resides in a White community. Cornel, you’re the “Bama” of the century.

    • Hi Michael, thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I genuinely find it valuable to hear a broad spectrum of views. Could you say who, in your mind, personifies the principles you hold dear and believe in? Which writer or expert do you hold in regard on this general topic or why specific topic you wish to mention? Thanks in advance.

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