THIS WILL MOVE THEM UP IN THE RANKINGS. Sorry not to offer my guests more smack tonight. But head over to University Diaries for news of an Oakland University biologist recommended by her department, college, and the university personnel committee for tenure and promotion, only to have both vetoed by the provost for unstated reasons. There will be an AAUP grievance, although their newsroom hasn't yet noted it. I suppose if you're bottom-dwelling in the Washington Monthly rankings you have to do something.
RUNNING EXTRA. The trackback points to a Jim Hu post where he locates the minutes of the trustees' meeting at which the provost vetoes Professor Stryker's tenure. In those minutes, the money quote appears to be "Dr. Stryker has been told by the Dean of Arts and Sciences that the decision was based on her lack of independence as a researcher." Ah, the old coauthoring conundrum. (Historically, the lab scientists have questioned the economists' slow rate of publication and the economists have suggested that everybody who was in the building when the relevant titration was made or switch thrown is listed as an author. That does not appear to be an issue in this case.) Professor Stryker has provided additional information in a comment at University Diaries. She may have made the mistake of crossing the wrong person (her department chairman became provost) but the paper trail suggests procedural irregularities that will keep the common-room lawyers, as well as the real ones, occupied for some time. For starters, the department is obligated to note in a probationary faculty member's third-year and fifth-year review whether her research record offers sufficient evidence of her own talents as a scholar. (Continued publication with one's thesis advisor, or participation in grants at one's degree-granting institution, to the exclusion of any single-authored publications, collaboration with colleagues, or mentoring of Ph.D. students invites trouble. But the department or the college has failed to exercise due diligence in not suggesting a change of research emphasis.)