Via Volokh comes news of the controversial firing by Penn State Altoona of Professor Nona Gerard. Penn State aren’t talking about it. Erin O’Connor gives the Prof’s side of the story. Gerard was dismissed, it seems, for making what in diplomatic circles would be called a full and frank assessment of her colleagues. The details of what she said do not appear to be public. Given the lack of information I make no judgment either way, though on its face firing tenured Professors because they are opinionated jerks seems to set a dangerous precedent. Eric Rasmusen, whom you may remember is everyone’s favorite homophobic economist, is on Gerard’s side. He comments:
We see also that her criticism was indeed stinging. Her mere words were so effective that they led one person to retire and another to resign. To me, that implies that her criticisms must have had merit—otherwise, why react so strongly?
Revealed preferences strike again! It must be true, otherwise why are you reacting like that? QED! My students sometimes try a variant of this idea, viz, “You’re only giving me an F because You Can’t Handle The Truth, man.” It’s a useful rule to live by, especially late at night, in bars, when talk turns to the personal qualities of people’s mothers.