PRINCETON, N.J. — Cornel West, one of Harvard University's most distinguished black-studies professors, is leaving for Princeton University after a falling-out with Harvard President Lawrence Summers.
The Princeton board of trustees approved his appointment Saturday.
Also appointed Saturday were Chang-rae Lee, an award-winning Korean American author who will join Princeton's Humanities Council and creative writing program, and Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a Bowdoin College professor specializing in African American religious studies.
West's leaving is the second defection from Harvard's black studies department this year. K. Anthony Appiah accepted an offer from Princeton in January, citing personal reasons, not the dispute with Summers.
Harvard's department has been at odds with Summers, who took over the post last year, over affirmative action.
Summers was also said to have rebuked West for recording a rap CD and leading a political committee for the Rev. Al Sharpton's possible presidential campaign. He also reportedly accused West of allowing grade inflation in his introductory black studies course.
West gained prominence with his 1993 book "Race Matters."
"All of us in the Harvard community are grateful to Cornel West for his significant contributions to Harvard's academic life, especially the great inspiration he provided to so many students," Summers said.
Lee, 36, joins acclaimed authors, including Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates at Princeton.
"It's not about prestige," Lee said Saturday. "It really is about artistic possibility and inspiration for me. I almost feel as though I'm in a situation that's cousin to what a Princeton student might feel, who wants to work with these writers."
Lee caught the publishing world's attention in 1995 with his debut novel "Native Speaker," which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the American Book Award.