Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reply to Dave Mullenix

Reader Dave Mullenix commentened on my Avalos post. I want to elevate my response to page one.

Dave Mullenix,

Maybe I'm wrong, but I seem to recall your past comments on this blog as being intelligent, but I haven't checked to confirm that impression. This comment, however, is unambiguous. This comment was asinine. You wrote:
By the time Avalos started that petition, Gonzalez was almost six years into a seven year tenure process. During that time, he started NO independent research, attracted NO funding and graduated NO grad students. Additionally, he had flunked at least five yearly reviews in a row.
Irrelevant. If Gonzalez's tenure was already doomed, then it just demonstrates that in addition to being a sneaky and cowardly bastard, Avalos was willing to kick someone when they were already down and out. Most likely the purpose was to advance his own career. Avalos' anti-ID petition, though it took no more brains than that of a gnat to launch, was good fodder, no doubt, for his own review--perhaps he even trumpeted it in his application for promotion to full professor.

As for your comments, I would disagree that based on what is publicly available on various web sites that Gonzalez did no independent research. Whether it was substantive and voluminous enough for someone seeking tenure I could not say. It does appear (based on what I have gleaned) that he attracted no major grants--which indeed would be enough to derail his candidacy.

The "no-graduate" student criticism is, in my opinion, bogus. I went to a better graduate school than ISU, and at some point I asked an assistant professor to be my thesis advisor. He came back to me the next day and said he was flattered, but after speaking to his supervisor (a full professor), his supervisor told him that their group's policy was that only tenured professors could supervise Ph.D. students (I became the supervisor's graduate student, and the assistant prof was eventually tenured.) So it is not unheard of for groups to have such a policy, as a protection for the students. In short, not having supervised any graduate students may or may not be a negative for a given candidate, based on the practices of that particular group. But you don't care about such level of detail, I suspect.

I seriously doubt that Gonzalez failed the review process at least five years in a row. Are you on a faculty? A new assistant professor does not get a six year guaranteed contract so that regardless of how bad his performance is he gets a chance to apply for tenure. You generally get a series of one year contracts. While people have bad reviews from time to time, Gonzalez would not have survived long enough to apply for tenure if he had flunked "at least five yearly reviews in a row." That's pure BS.
How's it feel to be on the same side of an argument as Salvadore?
Almost too dumb to comment on. Pick any person, and I (and you) will agree with that person on some issues. It is even dumber given that I suspect that on an important aspect of this this issue I am probably not in agreement with Sal. Sal (I am guessing) would be adamant that Gonzalez deserved tenure but was cheated by the secular humanist academy. If you look at previous posts from me on this topic I have stated that, based on the public information, the lack of grant money would doom a candidate at a research university. The question here was not did Gonzalez deserve tenure, but the fact that some despicable creature named Avalos engaged in a witch hunt. I sense you are the type of person who enjoys a good witch hunt, as long as you agree that those on the pointy end of the spear deserve their fate.

No comments:

Post a Comment