Retaliation against MeTooSTEM Founder at Vanderbilt University
March 11, 2019 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Tonight, an appeal panel at Vanderbilt University found "no irregularities". in the reversal of #MeTooSTEM founder BethAnn McLaughlin's tenure recommendations.

McLaughlin is a neuroscientist, the founder of #MeTooSTEM, and the winner of the 2018 Disobedience Award, along with Tarana Burke and Sherry Marts. Supporters of McLaughlin have pointed to numerous issues in her tenure vote indicative of retaliation: McLaughlin had previously been recommended for tenure by her department and the university's Appointments and Promotions Committee. However, after supporting a former graduate student in her Title IX case against Professor Aurelio Galli, McLaughlin's tenure bid was frozen. School of Medicine Dean Jeffrey Balser pushed for a revote, circulating a disciplinary report about McLaughlin's social media activities; notably, Professor David Sweatt, on leave from the university for accusations of drugging and raping a student at a conference, served on the revised committee, which voted to reverse McLaughlin's tenure recommendation.

McLaughlin's circumstances have attracted the attention of numerous members of the scientific community: a change.org petition has gathered over 11,000 signatures at time of vote. Supporters have pointed to her exemplary scientific record, winning over 3.5 million dollars in grants, publishing 45 peer-reviewed papers, and serving as an editor for the Journal of Neuroscience.

Admist these controversies, Vanderbilt has established four subcommittees in its steering committee on women.
posted by Conspire (55 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jesus Christ, what the ever-loving shit were they thinking??
posted by smoke at 7:15 PM on March 11 [26 favorites]


posted by Conspire

Eponysterical

or perhaps, eponycynical?
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:29 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


One of the things about retaliation is its regularity.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:30 PM on March 11 [45 favorites]


So, I’m guessing some other institution is going to snap her up?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:40 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


...and she’s got a case for a lawsuit? ...and Vanderbilt seriously damaged their reputation among academics who aren’t asshats?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:45 PM on March 11 [23 favorites]


Good grief, this has been such an absurd upsetting unreal thing to watch happen.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:09 PM on March 11 [12 favorites]


It’s like they weren’t even smart enough to retaliate without getting caught. Or maybe sending the message mattered more than the potential costs of the retaliation?
posted by Dip Flash at 8:20 PM on March 11 [15 favorites]


That second Executive Committee of the Executive Faculty vote looks decisive, a full reversal.
I'd love to learn more about their deliberations.
posted by doctornemo at 8:21 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, what the ever-loving shit were they thinking??

I imagine it was something along the lines of "Let's fuck over that woman for trying to blow up our spot".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:22 PM on March 11 [30 favorites]


School of Medicine Dean Jeffrey Balser pushed for a revote, circulating a disciplinary report about McLaughlin's social media activities; notably, Professor David Sweatt, on leave from the university for accusations of drugging and raping a student at a conference, served on the revised committee, which voted to reverse McLaughlin's tenure recommendation.

Burn it all down.
posted by duffell at 8:40 PM on March 11 [41 favorites]


It does sound to me that the bit where she “more likely than not” threatened to stab a woman she works with, was a legitimate problem. That'll get you fired pretty much anywhere. Her defense that "she does not recall authoring such a tweet" sounds like a non-denial denial to me. You would remember if you did or did not threaten to kill a co-worker.
posted by w0mbat at 8:46 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


*looks at emails from SFstate exhorting me to apply for Grad school*

Yeah... there's a reason I'm not doing that.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:46 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


Professor David Sweatt, on leave from the university for accusations of drugging and raping a student at a conference, served on the revised committee,

That's shocking and indicative of deeper problems right there. However if she really did author those tweets that's also a problem. Not a well run department in general.

Also: 51 years old and still seeking tenure is why everyone is dropping out of academia. Thats just depressing. Tenured academics get a lot of retirement benefits and I believe health care too, so I hate to say it but her age may have played a role here too combined with her low $$ value to the university. $3.5M lifetime grants isn't much. It's not saying she's not doing good research but she's not doing popular and lucrative research.

The whole student/ post doc/ tenure system is just outdated and needs to go away.
posted by fshgrl at 9:12 PM on March 11 [12 favorites]


Well, that tweet is on a shared twitter account that one of the other people who shared the account says she could plausibly have written but honestly doesn't remember (twitter moment giving context).

I think it's entirely worth noticing that - in this case - possibly having authored a tweet on an anonymous shared account about wanting to stab someone (which I hyperbolically say probably more often than I should) is grounds to deny a woman tenure.

Sexually harassing students, carrying a gun around to threaten the crazy bitch who accused you of sexually harassing her is not.

Even if she did write that tweet. Tweeting about wanting to stab someone gets you denied tenure. Drugging and raping a student gets you on the committee to deny the mandated reporter tenure.

As MaryBeth has said several times, this situation is about more than just denying an excellent scientist and advocate tenure. This is something that will silence people. This is something that will make women academics measurably less safe. If I look at her CV and the fact that she spent 16 years pre-tenure with more than 3 million dollars in grants and more than 40 publications, and I see that's still not enough to get tenure because she was too noisy and too confrontational in her advocacy to keep people like me safe while we do science ... why should I even bother? I've gotten publicly frustrated before and said ill-advised things. I'm a vocal advocate for women and against sexual assault in my discipline. Will my excellent science be enough to get me a job, or will they decide that I'd be a problem and too noisy and too confrontational and not worth the risk?
posted by ChuraChura at 9:17 PM on March 11 [117 favorites]


in this thread: people who understand how internet rhetoric works saying "burn it all down," even though it would be inappropriate to burn vandy down.1

also in this thread: people who say that tweeting about wanting to stab someone is grounds for denying tenure.

1: the appropriate thing to do to vandy is expropriate and redistribute its lands and endowment. burning it down would be wasteful.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:25 PM on March 11 [64 favorites]


Wasteful yes, but it would feel so good.
posted by evilDoug at 9:30 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine did her Ph.D. in that department. She enjoyed her time there, but she has an unusually high tolerance for bullshit, and some of her stories make my toes curl.

I also know folks who are good people currently doing great research in that department. I hate to say it, but if any student of any gender were to tell me they were considering grad school to work with one of them, I'd advise them to look elsewhere. It sucks to feel like I can't enthusiastically send students to go work with people who I like and respect, but that department is toxic. My friend who did her Ph.D. there would say it is changing for the better, but this case tells me clearly that it's not happening fast enough.
posted by biogeo at 9:33 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


Here is her Google Scholar page if you want to look over her publication record.
posted by 445supermag at 9:33 PM on March 11


(argh, as BethAnn said...)
posted by ChuraChura at 9:34 PM on March 11


But also, I mean, if the only thing two private law firms hired to investigate on top of a colleague hell-bent on ruining her career can find is a hyperbolic tweet that was maybe possibly authored by her from a shared Twitter account, I'd view that as evidence of a pretty clean record, because god knows pretty much anyone else has said or done much worse that could be bent out of shape to propel into the public stream as "yes but she is no angel herself".
posted by Conspire at 9:45 PM on March 11 [37 favorites]


"Among the negative and concerned voters, one . . . 'did not agree … that Dr. McLaughlin’s publications and internal and external service placed her in top 10% of scientists.'"

Motherfucker, you're at Vanderbilt, sit down.
posted by sinfony at 9:52 PM on March 11 [34 favorites]


My friend who did her Ph.D. there would say it is changing for the better, but this case tells me clearly that it's not happening fast enough.

I am just... These cases, it feels like every department wants to be changing for the better, like tenured faculty rush to make themselves feel good for the smallest things. Fine. fix it the first time and maybe you don't have to be getting better quite so hard.
posted by sciatrix at 10:02 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


That second Executive Committee of the Executive Faculty vote looks decisive, a full reversal.

Not really a full reversal. The first vote had three hard nays, one abstaining with reservations, and at least one lukewarm yea. It was not exactly a sweeping endorsement.

I'd love to learn more about their deliberations.

I would too. The simple fact that it was sent back for review might have been enough to tilt people against tenure. I’m sure her being involved in controversy couldn’t have helped.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:02 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I had to google the name of the university. I had guessed it was named after the Vanderbilt tycoon family which kind of makes sense given this.
posted by polymodus at 11:51 PM on March 11


I don't think it's just retaliation though. That's about the past and present. I would hazard it's more likely because the ones in control there don't want any "disruptive" elements, i.e., anyone who poses a threat to their existing social hierarchy. Any activist is such a threat.
posted by polymodus at 11:53 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


the ones in control there don't want any "disruptive" elements, i.e., anyone who poses a threat to their existing social hierarchy. Any activist is such a threat.

Whereas rape and carrying a gun to threaten colleagues is evidently not a threat.

They are going to be so surprised when a mass murder happens there. Ain't see it coming at all.
posted by happyroach at 12:03 AM on March 12 [15 favorites]


The whole student/ post doc/ tenure patriarchal capitalist system is just outdated and needs to go away.

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 3:28 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me that organizations and their people seem to be completely incapable of taking even the simple step of not shouting the quiet parts.

Maybe it's rose colored glasses, but it used to feel like people tried at least a little bit to not be so blatant about their harassment and discrimination. Lately, it seems like they just say "so the fuck what, of course the guy you reported gets to direct the outcome of the retaliatory actions he set in motion!"

Maybe the defiance was just as open 20 years ago, but it sure seems worse now, when people can't even be bothered to flap their lips compliantly on the record.
posted by wierdo at 3:29 AM on March 12 [12 favorites]


Will my excellent science be enough to get me a job, or will they decide that I'd be a problem and too noisy and too confrontational and not worth the risk?

I'm 53. My lived experience is the latter situation comes up more often, however, one does have to pause at that point, acknowledge the systemic challenges, and evaluate options to pivot one's career trajectory.

I will add, however, that I faced a similar pivot even within the corporate marketing department, earlier in my late 30s.

This OP story is more complex than at first glance.
posted by infini at 4:00 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


There is nothing complicated about this if you know the sheer number of men who get tenure, promotion to full professor, or endowed chairs when they are commonly known to have engaged in sexual harassment and/or sexual assault and/or to have never graduated a female grad student. The only way to preserve the system is to keep out women who rock the boat. So that’s what they do.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:16 AM on March 12 [51 favorites]


$3.5M lifetime grants isn't much.

What
posted by IjonTichy at 5:02 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


A grant is not a researcher's prize money. It's the funding for a research program. That money has to buy the equipment and materials, rent lab space, hire staff, fund travel (fieldwork, conferences, etc.), and so on. In fields that don't do lab work, a million dollars can go far. But if the research requires a laboratory and staff, depending on the researcher's field and the type of lab work needed, a million dollars a year might not be enough. In which case $3.5M over the seven years of a tenure candidacy would be consider seriously under-funded.
posted by at by at 5:26 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


also in this thread: people who say that tweeting about wanting to stab someone is grounds for denying tenure.

The thing is, Internet rhetoric like that is most often the refuge of the powerless. I think there’s a good case to be made that people in institutional positions of power should not be engaging in violent or aggressive rhetoric, because the people underneath them do not have the equality to respond in kind.

That said, if you’re putting the rapist someone outed on their review board, it’s pretty idgaf as it is so I’m sure we’re putting way more analysis into this than they did.
posted by corb at 5:39 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


I mean, I'm as pissed off at Vanderbilt as the next guy, but the employment attorneys must be beating down her door at this point. Do you have any idea how big the damages will be when this gets settled out of court? Lost wages alone are 30+ years at tenured faculty rates. Throw in damage to reputation, and even a small amount of punitive damages, and now you're meandering toward 8 figures in damages. Even if you completely discount the damage they've done to the university, this should (TTCS) end the career of every shitbag who put their name on this awful decision. We should absolutely burn the place to the ground, but let's make sure Dr. McLaughlin gets to pillage it first.
posted by Mayor West at 5:49 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


> Maybe the defiance was just as open 20 years ago, but it sure seems worse now, when people can't even be bothered to flap their lips compliantly on the record.

Broadly speaking, the dynamic seems to be increasingly vociferous pushback against the tiny, halting progressive gains made in various walks of life. This is a society where many people can't even be asked to consider not using plastic straws without flying into a rage, so you can imagine how people like that are going to react if they're faced with the potential loss of status or privilege, especially if it's undeserved.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:13 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Same Vanderbilt department?
posted by Hutch at 6:18 AM on March 12


Same institution, different department.
posted by biogeo at 7:30 AM on March 12


Echoing what ChuraChura said: I've been following this with close interest, because it's about time in my PhD for me to think about if I have a future in academia or not. I think I have the scientific aptitude! My publication record has been great, I've been winning big fellowships left and right, I'm frequently invited to give talks.

I'm pretty outspoken myself. I don't want to have to quiet down. A big part of going into academia for me would be propping the door open for others. I've had to work ridiculously hard: I'm a third year PhD student with an h-index of 5, two published first author papers, two under review right now, two more in the works this year. I go, "this is the bare minimum you need to be at for people to even consider you as a disabled queer - isn't that a little unfair?" And I know if I get in, I'm dedicating my life to smashing that standard, so like, people who like science but don't have the luck or connections or energy to do that can also be part of discovering cool new things.

But there's plenty of ammunition against me. If you just google my name, one of the first hits is a piece I wrote about how hearing people are unimaginative communicators because they haven't had to develop strategies like deaf people. If you bother digging through my Metafilter comments even, you could find plenty of dirt about how I hate white people and straight people!

Then it's like, why even bother if some white dude is going to decide they don't like my attitude during my tenure review and dig up my history to kick me out. I'm going to graduate with a PhD in machine learning. That's all the rage - I invented new techniques in deep learning, even. If I just fucked off into industry, I'm pretty sure I could find a job that paid six digits off the bat and hopefully would not care too much about what I do with my time after 5 PM.

That's how they get you, you know? People are saying they're being bumbling about this, but I think it's actually rather strategic. How many other women and marginalized students are watching this right now and going "yeah, unsettling the old boy's club is not worth it?"
posted by Conspire at 7:32 AM on March 12 [34 favorites]


I've been watching this unfold with a mixture of awe, interest, and concern. This is really chilling and terrifying, and it's also par for the course. Sarah Ahmed, who resigned from her academic post because her university was not handling the sexual assault of students appropriately, has a lot of really insightful things to say about confronting assault/sexism/racism/etc. in academia. I think this passage from a recent blog post is particularly poignant when it is reflected upon in light of McLaughlin's tenure case:

By avoiding proximity to a complaint you might also avoid having to confront the institution. What we might call liberal white feminism is this: when the career advancement of individual white women is dependent on the extent to which she demonstrates that she is willing not to confront the institution or willing not to address institutional problems. Please note then: there can be a connection between progressing within an organisation and not supporting those who make complaints about problems such as racism and sexism....

If dealing with complaints about harassment were to sink the ship, we might need the ship to sink.


As an academic myself, I welcome the sinking of the ship, but I do not know how to effectively aid the sinkage without it taking me down instead.
posted by sockermom at 7:50 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


> But if the research requires a laboratory and staff, depending on the researcher's field and the type of lab work needed, a million dollars a year might not be enough. In which case $3.5M over the seven years of a tenure candidacy would be consider seriously under-funded.

Correct, $3.5M is not as much as people unfamiliar with academic lab research might think, however, it's a stretch to jump to the conclusion that she was underfunded. We don't know the terms of her startup package and how she managed those funds, for one. "Research productivity" is such a squishy metric that can be spun in whatever direction is subjectively convenient at the moment. First of all, authorship inequity is a real problem. But beyond the systemic issues, these claims about insufficient productivity threaten to pop up for professors who, for example, show an embarrassing? unseemly? level of interest in actual teaching skills, public education, advocacy, or other "soft" matters. The PR for these things is good until it's deemed ungood.

I am curious about how the committee was instructed to "ignore" the 17-month hold on her tenure objectively, as it obviously limited her ability to publish and write grants. And then, of course, the committee and the dean did not ignore it, let alone as an "administrative matter."

I am not claiming that she definitely should have been awarded tenure on her merits -- I am not qualified to make that claim even in an armchair commentary sort of way. But I am comfortable opining that the review process was irregular and biased, and a threat to reformers.
posted by desuetude at 9:04 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]


Tweeting about wanting to stab someone is obviously not great (and "it's the internet, lol" is exactly the wrong reaction to it), but according to ChuraChura's link, an academic committee already investigated that and came back with an appropriately mild censure on her social media use - that she used categorical statements too often, and her tenure was unfrozen and then moved forward (tenure vote was positive)

That seems... proportionate? The university correctly investigated an allegation of social media unpleasantness, reminded the person involved of the rules, and then moved on.

What is very odd indeed is letting someone with allegations of rape yet to be resolved sit on a tenure committee when the original investigation involved the person whose tenure was to be decided.

If you somehow believed that:
a) the original rape allegation was untrue
b) Galli didn't act in a way that required censure by threatening to ruin the person who had made the allegation
c) McLaughlin made a serious threat of violence on twitter

Even if you believed all those things, it would still not be appropriate for Galli to be anywhere near her tenure review - really any tenure review but hers at the very least!

I suspect that threatening to "ruin" someone who is in the process of suing you, especially when the reference is to spending savings and to a neighbour who you've apparently "destroyed" wasn't treated as a threat of violence because it sounds more like a legal threat. She mentioned that he mentioned several times that he "had guns", I guess it would depend on whether he mentioned his guns more times than people really cared for over the course of what sounds like the world's worst dinner party which just makes him a whacko or whether he was waving a pistol around at the table while muttering darkly about how he's going to get this person which sounds much more dangerous.

The other things she says in her letter are actually better grounds for a serious title IX investigation and I think Vanderbilt is potentially in some trouble if indeed they didn't open one. Repeated comments on the writer's sexual orientation, lewd comments, only "attractive women" in his lab as a matter of policy, all this stuff is textbook climate of sexual harassment stuff and if one person spotted this, there is no way that others didn't.
posted by atrazine at 9:26 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


Also she's tweeted about her funding/productivity:
Me: My R01 runs out this month.
Them: Why did you only have one Ro1 in the last five years?
Me: We also had 3.5M in funding from IARPA and DoD.
Them: Well, one of your pubs really increases your impact. Why didn't you publish more?
Me: I was in 7 investigations without help?

My take home from getting lots of publicity about my tenure is that if I were an untenured female faculty member looking at me, I would just say, 'yeah, you should never report bad behavior'. While everyone is parsing my H index, I'm 16 years as an assistant prof.

In addition to grants, I supported 15% of my salary blogging for Edge for Scholars. I got a $300K start up package. I just wanted to be in Nashville.
That's 8 years earning less than my peers who were promoted but never stepped forward as witnesses to Title IX investigations.

Judgement literally doesn't hurt me at all. Really. Go for it. But what you are doing is hurting trainees. You are hurting the next woman, LGBTQ family, PoC or other person who can't hit my badass record. Who can't be a @JNeuroscience editor. Who can't get Science to cover them.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:37 AM on March 12 [18 favorites]


I'm curious about how much fuel this is going to pour on the "academia is a bigoted hellscape, let's get rid of nearly all of it" fire. Like. Industry is a magical, enlightened, post-kyriarchy utopia compared to the (private, nonprofit, under-endowed) pit I attended, which wasn't this pit.

The people I know with money have stopped donating to their schools (or never started) due to unacceptable treatment of sexual assault survivors - and/or occasionally other fuckups. Maybe I'm an outlier and universities are gonna be fine, because loads of people have the a) required tolerance for their school's errors and b) expected lifetime earnings.
posted by bagel at 9:42 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


"I hate to say it but her age may have played a role here too combined with her low $$ value to the university. $3.5M lifetime grants isn't much. It's not saying she's not doing good research but she's not doing popular and lucrative research."

Since people are discussing the monetary value of her research grants and how that may affect her ability to get tenure, this feels like a good place to drop in this article about how female researchers are shortchanged when it comes to grant money.

Female researchers in Canada get less funding than male counterparts, study finds [The Guardian - Feb 11th 2019]
Female scientists are less successful than their male counterparts in being awarded research grants from Canada's federal funding agency, a gender gap that often can have long-term consequences for women's careers, a study has found.

The study analyzed almost 24,000 grant applications made to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) between 2011 and 2016, comparing outcomes when reviewers assessing a proposal were required to focus on the principal investigator, rather than the quality of their science.

“We found that when reviewers primarily evaluate the proposed research ... male and female scientists have about an equal shot,” lead author Holly Witteman, an associate professor of medicine at Laval University, said from Quebec City.

“However, when reviewers evaluate the scientist, then women don't do as well.”

In 2014, CIHR divided funding applications into two new grant schemes, one with an explicit review focus on the applicant and the other on the research proposed, creating what Witteman calls a unique natural experiment that allowed for comparison based on gender.
Obviously this has a Canadian focus, but I don't think anyone here thinks this sort of systemic bias exists only in Canada.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 10:08 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]


What is very odd indeed is letting someone with allegations of rape yet to be resolved sit on a tenure committee when the original investigation involved the person whose tenure was to be decided.

He wasn't, it was a different professor. Galli is at another university now and Sweatt is the one who was accused of rape.
posted by fshgrl at 10:10 AM on March 12


He wasn't, it was a different professor. Galli is at another university now and Sweatt is the one who was accused of rape.

That is accurate. It's worth noting that McLaughlin had also spoken out against Sweatt, before he was involved in her tenure committee.

It's also worth noting that despite his track record of outspoken sexism, Galli still gets to sit on NIH grant review committees, including those that review new PIs.

There's a lot of different harassers and rapists with way more influence over the careers of women than they should to keep track of here.
posted by Conspire at 10:25 AM on March 12 [16 favorites]


If I just fucked off into industry, I'm pretty sure I could find a job that paid six digits off the bat

Your life is your own, but I just wanna pop in here to say: you should absolutely go into industry.

If you really love publishing and conferences then large companies have research arms that pay better than academia. The academic world is simply abusive, and life is both too short and too difficult anyway to deal with their shit (full disclosure: fucking off into industry was probably the single greatest decision of my goddamn life and it totally saved my ass, so I'm biased).
posted by aramaic at 10:26 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


Just to offer a wisp of hope in the face of the very real chilling effects noted in the thread :

These events are not unnoticed by many women in many departments, from students to deans. Some have power, some don't, but the implicit conversation is becoming more explicit. Groups of female faculty are working together to make strategic pushes to improve the situations they have some control over. It's not fast enough, and it's more work on women's shoulders, and there are tons of problems, but there is also meaningful action in ways that I really couldn't even imagine from my student days.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 10:27 AM on March 12 [8 favorites]


He wasn't, it was a different professor. Galli is at another university now and Sweatt is the one who was accused of rape.

Apologies. My mistake.
posted by atrazine at 10:42 AM on March 12


A grant is not a researcher's prize money. It's the funding for a research program. That money has to buy the equipment and materials, rent lab space, hire staff, fund travel (fieldwork, conferences, etc.), and so on. In fields that don't do lab work, a million dollars can go far. But if the research requires a laboratory and staff, depending on the researcher's field and the type of lab work needed, a million dollars a year might not be enough. In which case $3.5M over the seven years of a tenure candidacy would be consider seriously under-funded.

3.5 million over seven years is $500,000 a year, which means at the very least she's got a generously funded R01 that's been funded and then re-funded, assuming an NIH grant. She might have had a mix of R21s and R01s, etc etc. It so happens that I used to do some work that involved grant award statistics for a broad range of researchers at my university, one of whom was actually a very successful neuroscientist at the peak of his career. He had about $800,000 a year. While it's possible that she's doing extremely expensive research and can barely afford a junior scientist and a student to wash the test tubes, I think it's more likely that she's actually doing fairly well - not epic, no, but someone who can maintain that level of funding consistently over seven years is doing well.

(One thing that emerged from the work I used to do was how almost everyone had some fallow years where they were partly on no-cost extensions, etc, and that brought their yearly average down - and this happened to basically everyone, even the nationally known people. It might not happen to celebrity researchers, but you don't need to be a celebrity to get tenure. If she's consistently funded at 500,000 a year for seven years, she's actually beating a lot of people. )
posted by Frowner at 12:33 PM on March 12 [16 favorites]




I'm in the field, run a funded lab, have tenure, and have evaluated tenure cases.

Her record of funding and publications, and stature in the field, are well above the bar needed for tenure. I've seen tenure at Ivies with less.
posted by Dashy at 4:54 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


Generally the bar is, at those types of places: get your R01 renewed. She did. And it should be noted that she did so in a single-digit funding climate.

I've even heard (straight from a cmte member) of tenure granted based on a good but not funded score on one, not R mech, grant. They just thought he ( I didn't have to say that, did I?) was so promising.

I need to go throw a few more dishes against the wall now.
posted by Dashy at 5:09 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]


If I just fucked off into industry, I'm pretty sure I could find a job that paid six digits off the bat and hopefully would not care too much about what I do with my time after 5 PM.

The tech industry has plenty of its own bullshit, but at least you get paid real money.

(also 5pm might be optimistic.)
posted by ryanrs at 11:21 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


The tech industry has plenty of its own bullshit, but at least you get paid real money.

Accurate. I left academia for tech and now I am just dealing with average, systemic sexism that pushes me down rather than targeted, malignant sexism that seeks to destroy me.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:19 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


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