John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Iowa State’s Spokesman Tells Another Whopper about University’s Tenure Standards

Published at Evolution News

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.
Pity John McCarroll, the poor PR person for Iowa State University: He has so little to work with in the Guillermo Gonzalez case, he apparently has to invent his facts in order to defend his university. Last week, for example, McCarroll put out a document claiming that tenure standards at ISU were “so high, that many good researchers have failed to satisfy the demands of earning tenure.” Then it turned out that ISU approved 91% of those who applied for tenure this year. Oops. McCaroll also insinuated that research grants are a major factor in tenure decisions at ISU. Then it came out that grants aren’t even listed as a criterion in the tenure standards for ISU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. This week McCarroll is being quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education asserting that “Tenure review only deals with his [Gonzalez’s] work since he came to Iowa State.” Wrong again. There is nothing in ISU’s applicable tenure standards that says that articles published prior to coming to ISU somehow don’t count. (By the way, even if McCaroll’s claim happened to be true, it shouldn’t matter, because Gonzalez has produced 21 peer-reviewed journal articles since coming to ISU, which is still significantly more than the 15 peer-reviewed articles that are supposed to demonstrate research excellence in his department). ISU is obviously getting desperate in its effort to discredit Gonzalez. If I were in their shoes, I guess I would be too. How do you defend the denial of tenure to someone who has produced 68 peer-reviewed journal articles, exceeding by 350% his own department’s standard for excellence in research needed for tenure? Yesterday we sent an e-mail to Mr. McCarroll asking him to justify his latest bogus claim by citing for us the applicable language in the Faculty Handbook or departmental tenure standards. He has not responded.

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.
Discovery Institute