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University rescinds invite to Summers

Larry Summers has been cordially disinvited to speak at the University of California after several UC-Davis professors, most of them women, circulated a petition protesting his appearance. The former Harvard president was due to address the university's Board of Regents tomorrow night, but the invite was rescinded after biology professor Maureen Stanton and some of her colleagues questioned the appropriateness of having Summers speak. Citing his infamous women-in-science remarks and clashes with former Harvard African-American studies professor Cornel West, the petitioners said Summers had "poor relationships with women and underrepresented minority faculty" at Harvard. "Inviting a keynote speaker who has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia conveys the wrong message to the university community and to the people of California," reads the petition. Our attempts to reach Summers were unsuccessful yesterday, but in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, he said: "I often participate in discussions of this kind, and find that I always learn a great deal from the exchange of views and am sorry that the regents do not feel the same way." A Summers supporter, Harvard economics prof N. Gregory Mankiw called the regents' decision outrageous. "This is truly ridiculous," said Mankiw. "Larry is a tremendously prominent intellectual and universities are supposed to be places where you can debate ideas openly." Summers's ho-hum replacement? Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy.

Another director in the family

Somewhere between screening her directorial debut "Rails & Ties" in Toronto and getting an award at the Boston Film Festival, Alison Eastwood got a wicked cold. But that didn't keep Clint Eastwood's daughter from talking about the movie, which stars Marcia Gay Harden and Kevin Bacon. "It's a quiet film . . . a real character study, which is why I wanted to do it," she told us yesterday at the InterContinental Boston Hotel. Eastwood, who wasn't in Boston when her father filmed "Mystic River," said her whirlwind visit was pleasant, but too short. "From what I've seen of the city, I really like it," she said, fighting a sneeze. "I'll have to come back and spend some more time when I can enjoy it."

Clooney ready for 'Clayton' premiere
George Clooney found at least one familiar face in the crowd at the Boston Film Festival's tribute to film producer Jerry Weintraub Saturday night. That would be Boston real estate developer turned movie producer Steve Samuels, a backer for Clooney's film, "Michael Clayton," due out next month. (Samuels also produced "In the Valley of Elah," starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon, which is in theaters.) "I'm looking forward to ['Michael Clayton'] coming out," Clooney told us. "It wasn't an easy movie to get made." Also on hand for the Weintraub fete were Dav El limo guy Scott Solombrino, who flew back from Los Angeles for the party, former governor Paul Cellucci, House Speaker Sal DiMasi, Boston Casting gal Angela Peri, and Rob Guralnick, a Belmont native and former Warner Bros. honcho who's at Weintraub's production company.

Perfectly cooked
The night before his team got their collective helmets handed to them, San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos dined with a party of 10 in a private room at Morton's.

Worth waiting for
You'd think being the parents of a three-time Super Bowl winner would mean Tom Brady's folks would never have to stand in line - at least not in Boston. But Galynn and Tom Brady Sr. waited like everyone else for a table at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End. And after having breakfast Saturday they still wouldn't accept any special treatment. When one of the staff figured out who they were, all the QB's mom would say was: "Our son plays for the Patriots." Now we know where he gets his good manners.

Costume jewelry
Whatever you thought about Ellen Pompeo's hairstyle or her dress for the Emmy Awards, the Everett native says her jewelry choice was for one night only and that she's still engaged to music executive Chris Ivery. When arriving on the red carpet, Pompeo told E! interviewers that she took her engagement ring off for the show to wear red-carpet baubles that were on loan. "We're good, no news to report," she said. "We are lucky enough to get dressed up and go to events like this."

Eyes on the prizes

Sean McDonough's annual fund-raiser for children's charities raised about $500,000 Sunday. Among the auction items generating the most dough were courtside seats to a Celtics game - with Donnie Wahlberg. The former New Kid happened to be in the house Sunday, and when the bidding topped $10,000, Wahlberg offered to go to games with both bidders, and also tossed $10,000 into the kitty himself. But the priciest item of the evening was a week at a sumptuous spread in the Italian countryside. For that, George Boedecker, creator of Crocs, ponied up $40,000.

Haysbert follows Mamet’s orders

Dennis Haysbert has played Nelson Mandela in "Goodbye Bafana" and the president in TV's "24." But nothing prepared the star of the CBS drama "The Unit" for reciting dialogue by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet. "Once you get the pace down, it's not as much of a challenge," Haysbert told us before heading into a WBZ-TV lunch at the Palm restaurant in Copley Square. "Unless you try to add your own color to it and [then] you'll have problems." As it starts its third season, Haysbert said people still have issues with the themes in the show, about an elite Army unit. "People confuse the military as being the administration. They aren't the same," he said. "But I can tell you from what I can see . . . people should sleep better knowing the real soldiers are out there."

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