Academic welfare for wash-outs?

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

If former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales thought the brouhaha surrounding his public life would subside once he entered private life, he was sadly mistaken.

The recent appointment of Gonzales to a teaching post on the conservative Texas Tech University campus triggered a firestorm of protest among students. Many alumni sounded off in two Facebook groups–“Citizens Against Employing Alberto Gonzales at Texas Tech” and “Alberto Gonzales Doesn’t Belong at Texas Tech”—before the former attorney general showed up for the first day at his new job on August 1st, according to Inside Higher Education.

At issue, said students and alums, was not only his poor job performance as a member of the Bush administration but also the fact that Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, a former Congressman, was able to cough up $100,000 to fund a post for Gonzales during these cost conscious times.
And Steven G. Kellman, who teaches comparative literature at U.T.-San Antonio, was none too kind to Gonzales. In a column for the Huffington Post, he wondered how the former A.G. could be qualified to teach political science with only a few undergraduate courses under his belt, and called the new hire by Chancellor Hance a case of “academic welfare for a government wash-out.”

As for Hance, he defended his hiring decision, and told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in an interview that he had known Gonzales since the mid-80s and that the two had become good friends.

* * * * *

Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.