Joined: Oct. 2006
Upon actually reviewing the emails in question, I don't think they represent a threat to ISU's decision on Gonzalez. Indeed, there are passages that work powerfully against the DI's position.
Examples include Steve Kawaler's prescient remarks:
Simply put, next year's tenure review will be very closely scrutinized by the public and the press - and we must do whatever we can to make it a fair process. An unprecedented step such as a statement, signed by members of the department doing the tenure review that the science being done by the candidate is no good, works directly against our need to ensure, and display, a fair tenure review.
Believe me I understand the frustration batted about here. But we should expect that the DI (or whoever comes to Guillermo's aid) will be subpoenaing our records and anything else they can get (including copies of the e-mails that are being exchanged between all of us.). So, with that in mind, keeping the process as fair as possible should be utmost.
This earlier sympathetic remark is also interesting. From Anne Willson on 2/17/04:
|Yes, I am aware of this [Gonzalez' intention to publish P.P.] and not exactly thrilled. I talked with him last year about perhaps waiting with the public bit until he gets past the tenure review, but I gather he feels strongly enough to be willing to take the risk.|
All of the exchange concerns the dilemma that Gonzalez created for himself, and for his faculty, by being so public with his advocacy of ID at the moment that his tenure review was approaching. Prominent is concern over damage to faculty recruitment that his actions had created, and how to limit that damage (including consideration of a public statement). Gonzalez himself rendered his ID advocacy impossible to ignore; as Wes notes above he referenced P.P. in his tenure dossier, and department faculty also grappled in this exchange with the fact that he made taped public presentations in which he argued that ID should be regarded as sound science, placing his ID advocacy squarely in the domain of their assessment of his quality as a scientist. As indicated above, also prominent among the concerns discussed was the need to preserve a tenure review that was fair to Gonzalez, as well as the desire to avoid creating a work environment that was hostile to him. As above, he was cautioned that it was unwise of him to create those problems at that time, but he went forward anyway.
I'm working on a catchy aphorism that concerns planting stuff that one later harvests, but can't quite get it right.
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.
"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace