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Key Developments in Gonzalez Tenure Denial Case, May 21-26

Action Item:
Help Guillermo Gonzalez in his fight for academic freedom. Contact ISU President Gregory L. Geoffroy at (515) 294-2042 or email him at and let him know that you support academic freedom for Dr. Gonzalez to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Here is a recap of the major developments this week in the Guillermo Gonzalez tenure case:

  1. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Gonzalez ranks first among his astronomer colleagues at ISU according to the “h-index” statistic, which seeks to measure how widely a scientist’s articles are cited by other scientists. According to the Chronicle, “Mr. Gonzalez has a normalized h-index of 13, the highest of the 10 astronomers in his department. The next closest was Lee Anne Willson, a university professor who had a normalized h-index of 9.”
  2. It was revealed that at same time ISU denied tenure to Gonzalez this past spring, the university promoted to full professor his chief academic persecutor, atheist professor Hector Avalos, who believes that the Bible is worse than Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
  3. The world’s preeminent science journal, Nature, featured the Gonzalez case in an article in its news section. In the article, Gonzalez’s former post-doctoral advisor at the University of Texas, Austin, is quoted as saying: “He is one of the best postdocs I have had” and “I would have said he was a serious tenure candidate.”
  4. U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Sam Brownback issued a statement defending Gonzalez’s right to academic freedom, while Darwinist academics vociferously advocated blacklisting pro-intelligent design scientists from academia.
  5. ISU spokesman John McCarroll continued to invent facts in his effort to defend the tenure denial, this week claiming that a professor’s publications prior to being hired by ISU aren’t considered during the tenure process. Asked to provide documentation for this latest claim, McCarroll declined to respond.

If you have just heard about this story, you should check out the key developments from last week, which included the admission by two members of Gonzalez’s department that intelligent design played a role in his tenure denial, and the release of tenure statistics showing that ISU approved 91% of its tenure applications this year. In addition, tenure standards for ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy revealed that outside research funding was not a stated criterion for tenure decisions in the department.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.