The Discovery Institute is (still, and predictably) in an uproar over Iowa’s decision to reject Intelligent Design proponent Guillermo Gonzalez’s tenure application. The DI is claiming that the decision could not possibly be anything other than an example of discrimination against a brave non-Darwinian scientist by the Darwinian Orthodoxy. Personally, I think it’s something different. I think it’s about the money.
According to an article that was just published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gonzalez has not received any major research grants since arriving at Iowa. Casey Luskin of the DI points out that the tenure guidelines written by the department do not specifically mention funding as a requirement for research. That is true, but irrelevant. I’ve never heard of a tenure committee at a research university that does not look at outside funding.
Casey claims that if Iowa is using funding, it’s clearly just an ad-hoc reason invented to deny an otherwise qualified candidate tenure. It’s not. A professor’s ability to get outside research funding is a very good indicator of how well they will perform at a research university. Here’s why: