I appreciated Professor Adler’s post yesterday regarding Mike Adams’s case at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I certainly agree that a professor should not cry “foul” if their academic credentials don’t measure up to other full professors in their department. However, for Dr. Adams, this is simply not the case. As I noted in my original post, he has published 11 peer-reviewed articles in the past 12 years, a rate that seems to exceed departmental standards and exceeds the standards of others promoted to full professor.
Conservatives should not get in the practice of adopting victim status every time one of their own isn’t quickly promoted through the academic ranks. There are some conservatives who simply do not do what is necessary (or don’t have the skill set) to succeed in academia. Of all people, we should be the most interested in maintaining high standards. At the same time, however, we should not settle for anything less than legal equality in our dealings with hiring committees.
Ironically, leftist hiring and promotion committees at many universities (presumably not Professor Adler’s) have already demonstrated that standards can be almost infinitely malleable depending on the ideology and notoriety of the candidate. After all, the University of Colorado allowed a plagiarist without a doctorate to helm an entire department. Similar records of favors and excuses for ideological fellow-travelers litter the field.
One final note: Faced with a long record of granting tenure and full professorships to radical teachers with sometimes-thin academic credentials, departments are increasingly relying on intangible criteria like “collegiality” when making hiring decisions (with many conservatives lacking “collegiality” almost by definition since they do not — and are not permitted — to “fit in”).