Biologist PZ Myers has told us that the decision to grant tenure is "a subjective evaluation of the compatibility of the individual with the other scholars of the department" and we have seen that many people from academia agree. In fact, several critics from academia have noted that Guillermo Gonzalez's ID views probably did, or should have, played a role in preventing him from getting tenure. Now, even more academic critics of ID have echoed these same themes. At this point, this issue has become larger than Guillermo Gonzalez's situation, so it won't matter when the official reasons for denial are eventually supplied. What matters is that the academics have gone on record and given you a peek behind the closed doors and how they would handle someone who took ID seriously.
Don't get distracted by the attempts to knock-down the conspiracy and persecution claims because in doing so, the academics give you more valuable information. Keep your eye on the ball and note that as in the previous posting, these academics are telling you that a) the tenure process is subjective and/or b) Gonzalez's ID views should have prevented him from getting tenure.
Plenty of extraordinary people get denied tenure. A very good professor of mine was denied tenure a while back, despite a publication record far beyond what was required, grant support, etc. Why was it denied? In part, because he didn't come to department luncheons. And that was a legitimate reason to deny him tenure! To get tenure, you need to demonstrate not just that you can publish papers, but that you'll be valuable member of the University community. Because he was someone who kept himself in extreme isolation – he taught his classes, kept office hours and and met with his graduate students, but aside from those, no one ever saw him. He didn't interact with other faculty, didn't participate in any of the faculty committees, etc. So despite an outstanding publication record, advising a half-dozen PhD students who had successfully defended, and bringing in enough money in grants to more than cover his entire salary plus several students, he was denied tenure for being antisocial.
That's the way things go.
I know of two other people who were faculty at an Ivy League University. A group of faculty in the department wanted to hire people who did work in a particular specialty. But the department chair thought that work in that specialty was garbage. So one of the two guys I know was hired, stayed for 6 years, published out the wazoo, and was denied tenure because the department chair didn't like his research area. So the faculty hired *another* person in that area, who stayed for 4 years, published like crazy, and left because he'd been told in no uncertain terms that no matter what he did, he wasn't going to get tenure, because the chair didn't like his area.
Unfair? Yes. Legitimate? Yes. That's the way it goes: you can be denied tenure if someone thinks your research area isn't good, even though you publish and bring in money. The people who were wrong in the story above are the ones who keep hiring people that they *know* haven't got a chance of getting tenure.
I don't know why Gonzalez didn't get tenure. But this endless conspiracy ranting is nonsense. Tenure is a crap-shoot – to get tenure, you need to have the right publications, the right funding, the right research area, the right relations with other members of the university community, etc. Gonzalez clearly didn't have the right relations with the university community, and if the paranoid rantings of his supporters are any reflection of his own attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if he had a serious problem getting along with the other members of his department. Here
I have no idea whether Professor Gonzalez deserved tenure on the basis of his performance to date, but I think it is reasonable to deny tenure on the basis of a prediction that he will continue to be an embarrassment to the university. Try this thought experiment: In the original essay and in every comment above, replace the words "intelligent design" with the word "astrology" and see what you get. Here
My best guess is that the university had reason to believe that his pseudoscience was going to contaminate his science or it may have already done so. The risk here is that you end up with a wingnut babbling incoherently…..who has tenure. Much harder to fix later on and a black eye for the university. Tenure is not where one wants to take a risk. Here
And even if his peers at ISU decided he didn't deserve tenure because of his pro-ID ideas, that's not a conspiracy against ID, it's called the sensible protection of the university's reputation by members of the faculty. It would be perfectly justified, in my opinion, to block someone from getting tenure over their ID stance in a science department, because ID isn't science. It's an effort to undermine science. It's denialism. Here
With regards to Prof. Gonzalezs' quaint beliefs in ID, there is every incentive to deny tenure for individuals suspected of incipient nuttery so that one doesn't later end up with whackjobs who can only be fired with extreme difficulty and who are an embarrassment to the university. Consider the following individuals. Here
Obviously, part of the tenure decision is political as well, with considerations made regarding whether or not a person would just fit in with the institution and whatnot, so beliefs enter into that as well. Here