My recent post , two below, on the ISU revelations on Gonzalez’s tenure rejection prompts three reflections:
1. There are two separate issues regarding the rejection of Gonzalez on account of his support for intelligent design. The first is whether ISU can in fact get away with that. The faculty themselves did not seem to believe that they could get away with it, hence the second issue: This second issue – and I believe in this case the more significant one – is that ID was denied as a factor, and came to light mainly through a public records request. In other words, there was double dealing, not transparency.
2. The people in the combox who are trying to come up with reasons why Gonzalez should have been denied tenure seem to have missed the point. The decision appears to have been made in advance based on his support for intelligent design, and the process of sifting through his record looking for another excuse was just that – sifting through a record looking for another excuse. In other words, while GG was complying with whatever the process was supposed to be, another agenda was already in place and it did not matter much what his record actually said. Something would be found. That is a tainted process, all the more if the institution is supported by tax money.
3. The reason I think that the Regents had better look at all the material is that they had also better look at the cases of the other people who were denied tenure as well. Now, I am sure that those people don’t have as energetic a cheering section as Gonzalez. But why should I suppose they were not subject to the same regimen?: Make the decision in advance and frame the explanation from whatever can be found in the record to put the face of apparent honesty on the decision.
Basically, what do I know?: The decision was not apparently made when it was said to be, or for the reasons it was said to be. If I were a Regent, I would consider it irresponsible not to be deeply suspicious.