Sunday, February 14, 2010

Denial of tenure is no "reason" to kill...

... of course.

And clearly Amy Bishop was not right to shoot...

It also seems that the reports in the media are missing parts of this story.

According to some reports, when she was denied tenure, UAH retained rights to products she developed while she was on the tenure track. According to some reports, she was a highly productive researcher who was developing products with significant economic value. According to this page, she had a significant number of publications.

I have to wonder why she was denied tenure? From what I've been able to see, her students liked her -- she had a long list of publications and and active research agenda.

The tenure process itself is really horrific (at research institutions -- at BNCC it's pretty easy..). The thing is, the smallest reasons can be used to deny tenure -- really subjective things like "fit". Or, more or less -- we want a youngster in the department --

In bad economic times, budget cutbacks can be used as a reason not to award tenure -- and then the person needs to go back on the market with the 'I was on the tenure track and didn't get it' stain...

I still don't think killing was the right response, but I can see why she might be extraordinarily angry. None of that is coming out in the reports...

6 comments:

Seeking Solace said...

I agree, there is no justification. But, I do understand the frustration with the tenure process.

There is also the issue of the shooting of her brother. I believe it was accidental, but no doubt the media and the prosecutors will play that up.

Sigh.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I was looking for the stories about her brother -- but, I didn't look too far.

Several of them said she shot a total of three times-- two hit the wall and the other killed him. Three shots does sound a bit odd, if she was really cleaning the gun.

Anastasia said...

thank you. This is what I've been thinking but I'm too upset to say rationally. The media clearly do not get what tenure is, let alone the difficulties that can be part of the process.

Reserving judgment on the story about the brother for now.

BarbS said...

One thing that most stories have not made clear is that she wasn't "just" denied tenure. She made a successful appeal of the tenure decision, only to have it summarily overturned by a dean. No explanation of why, or why tenure was denied in the first place. But as Dean Dad pointed out, this was someone who had killed before (accidentally or not), but who didn't seem to trigger any red flags that she might be dangerous. If the other story is true, that she sent pipe bombs to a professor who wanted her out of her grad program, then clearly she has been very disturbed for a long time, and that is the real story, not whatever triggered this outrage.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That poor woman--whatever made her so upset, it must have been awful.

Nancy said...

We can all understand that she was angry. Anger is handled by us at different times in different manner. Amy needs help.

This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News