Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy: Denied!

Statement from Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy

On Friday, June 1, I informed Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, of my decision to deny his tenure appeal.

As part of this decision process, I appointed a member of my staff to conduct a careful and exhaustive review of the appeal request and the full tenure dossier, and that analysis was presented to me. In addition, I conducted my own examination of Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal with respect to the evidence of research and scholarship. I independently concluded that he simply did not show the trajectory of excellence that we expect in a candidate seeking tenure in physics and astronomy – one of our strongest academic programs.

Gonzalez has 20 days to appeal the decision to the Iowa State Board of Regents.

The Des Moines Register reports on the Tenure Denial

But Geoffroy said that Gonzalez’s advocacy of the “intelligent design” concept was not a factor in the decision to turn down his request for tenure.

“I based my review strictly on what he submitted himself as part of his dossier when he requested tenure,” Geoffroy said. “I did not consider any of the issues that have been circulating around about intelligent design.”

Which seems reasonable although there is no doubt that ID proponents will continue to make the claims of viewpoint discrimination and religious bias.

According to Geoffroy

Geoffroy said he considered refereed publications, Gonzalez’s level of success in attracting research funding and grants, the amount of telescope observing time he had been granted, the number of graduate students he had supervised, and the overall evidence of his future career promise in the field of astronomy.

As the Register points out, Gonzalez’s record, will superficially impressive shows some real gaps.

The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that university records showed that Gonzalez had raised significantly less research and grant money than his peers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Iowa State has sponsored $22,661 in outside grant money for Gonzalez since July 2001, records show. In that same time period, Gonzalez’s peers in physics and astronomy secured an average of $1.3 million by the time they were granted tenure.