ISU sends a vexed message
The powers-that-be at ISU seem to be a little vexed by the attention they're getting for denying tenure to astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. Yesterday they released a statement regarding Dr. Gonzalez's case, "Facts regarding the status of tenure case at Iowa State," an unusual move on their part.
The statement reads in part:
Tenure is a complex process. It is among the most important decisions a university makes and is never taken lightly. Outside of academia, however, there is little shared understanding of tenure, its rigor and significance. (emphasis added)Translation: We in our ivory tower cannot be touched by criticisms from you people.
The haughty contempt they display is typical of liberal elites. Instead of saying something productive to the discussion, ISU writes off concern for Dr. Gonzalez's academic freedom as nothing more than this misunderstanding of naive ignorance. The truth of the matter is that many other professors and scholars who care about academic freedom are concerned by what's happening to Guillermo Gonzalez at ISU. Trying to frame the conversation as otherwise is disingenuous, and claiming that your opponents are unqualified to criticize you does not answer their criticism--it merely stonewalls the discussion.