Joined: Mar. 2007
The DI (and their ignorant followers) seem to be focusing on only one of the reasons for GG's negative tenure decision. As a person who has sat through too many tenure/promotion committee meetings, and voted several dozen times in tenure promotion decisions in a science department, I think it is important to point out that the decisions are never decided on just one parameter.
No one is pretending that opinions about a candidate's research are irrelevant. It is not surprising that GG's work on behalf of pseudoscience would be mentioned in departmental documents; he certainly highlighted it himself. But it is just ONE factor in a multi-factorial decision. Proving that it harmed his chances, whether fairly or unfairly, will be futile if other factors are still very negative. And that appears to be the case, from my examination of the credentials presented to date.
He published very few peer-reviewed articles based on his research at ISU. In tenure decisions in my department, we ignore articles from a person's post-doctoral work or graduate work, even if they are published during the tenure evaluation period. We are primarily interested in evaluating the potential of a candidate for generating significant output in the environment where they might be working for the rest of their career. So counting articles, as the DI is doing, is a sham. How many of those articles came from his independent research at ISU? Damn few. And that is a huge strike against him.
He also generated very little outside funding during his candidacy period at ISU, in a field where significant outside funding is needed for productivity. Again, grants obtained prior to the ISU appointment are irrelevant. The department (and the dean) needs to see fund-generating potential in the environment where the person will be working for perhaps the rest of his/her career. Another huge strike against him.
The other factors in our decisions include teaching competence and "service". Teaching competence can be demonstrated in various ways; different institutions have different metrics for this.
Service is evaluated at the departmental level (e.g., departmental committee work), the university level (e.g. involvement in work outside the department or college), and local, national, and international levels (e.g., involvement with scientific societies, granting agencies, journals). All successful candidates need to demonstrate competence or experience at all of these levels. I have seen no evidence for GG in this regard, so I won't comment about that. It is possible that he tried to use his national work with the DI as evidence here, but that might be a two-edged sword, since the DI is NOT a scientific organization.
But the point is that ALL of these areas need to be addressed. Failure in one of them is probably going to doom you. Failure in two of them, as seems to be the case with GG, is impossible to recover from.
So pointing to a couple of emails, and pretending that these comments were the kiss of death for this decision, is to ignore the realities of the process. Par for the course for the Disingenuous Institute, however.
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
- Pattiann Rogers