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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/19/professor-fired-after-expressing-climate-change-skepticism/

As I am opposed to government funded education and government funded science - with the possible exception of military related education and science - I can only express no surprise that someone might be fired over expressing Climate Change skepticism.

We can't be sure what this was all about since the side that knows for sure isn't talking. There are lots of politics in academia. One thing we can sure of - had the topic been politically correct from the other side the hounds of the PC media would be all over it.

Dennis

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I am disturbed by this story, as is Dennis.

Apparently, from reading the few sources available (including several interviews with Drapela**), he simply cannot find out why his contract was not renewed.

As a 'senior instructor' at OSU, he is an 'at-will' employee, and no labour laws or university strictures that attend union/faculty tenure-track professors apply, it seems. So, the guy is left with no answers to a basic question: Why was I (Drapela) let go?

That on the face of it is shit. Shitty HR, shitty PR and shitty handling of a man who deserves an answer.

(this statement has nothing to do with his activities on behalf of 'skepticism.' The OSU governing instruments take special care to protect speech of instructors, explicitly, and have built-in safeguards and grievance procedures to prevent or correct red-lining profs for their opinions. I do not care if Drapela is a skeptic or not. No explanation for a non-renewal of a teaching contract is shit).

_____

** -- SoundCloud interview with Drapela from the Don Larson radio show.

-- Local TV KVAL report on the non-renewal non-explanation.

-- The Examiner's take: "Climate change skeptic fired from university"

Dr Drapela's work on denying global warming or knock-on effects is not first in class, and his snark towards his colleagues is apparent, but no reason given for being let go? Shit.

Here's some Drapela from a 2008 opinion piece, reacting to James Hansen's Congressional testimony (worth a read in full):

My dear colleague Professor Hansen, I believe, has finally gone off the deep end. When you have dedicated the bulk of your career to a cause, and it turns out the cause has been proven false, most people cannot bring themselves to admit the truth. It is truly sad to read the rantings of this elderly man and see that they contain neither reason nor truth when compared to the volumes of daily literature being published in scientific journals today on climate change. It is not difficult to refute the words of Professor Hansen.

Of course, the hardened and most bitchy alarmists have a ready explanation. In the commentary at David Appel's blog, this from Dhogaza:

The Oregon University System will see an 11 percent cut in state support over the next two years after final passage of its budget bill in the Legislature today.

The Oregon House voted 43-15 to approve a $709 million in state general fund and lottery money for the state's seven public universities for 2011-13. That marks the third biennial decrease in a row for the university system, bringing its state funding to a level lower in actual dollars than it received a decade ago.

Six straight years of heavy budget cuts and a guy with a PhD in Chemistry who hsan't made it beyond Senior Instructor after 10 years at the University doesn't have his contract renewed.

OSU (and other oregon university faculty) took unpaid furloughs starting a couple of years ago, in order to avoid layoffs, but another 11% cut on top?

I think the picture's pretty clear here.

Edited by william.scherk
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I am disturbed by this story, as is Dennis.

Apparently, from reading the few sources available (including several interviews with Drapela**), he simply cannot find out why his contract was not renewed.

As a 'senior instructor' at OSU, he is an 'at-will' employee, and no labour laws or university strictures that attend union/faculty tenure-track professors apply, it seems. So, the guy is left with no answers to a basic question: Why was I (Drapela) let go?

That on the face of it is shit. Shitty HR, shitty PR and shitty handling of a man who deserves an answer.

(this statement has nothing to do with his activities on behalf of 'skepticism.' The OSU governing instruments take special care to protect speech of instructors, explicitly, and have built-in safeguards and grievance procedures to prevent or correct red-lining profs for their opinions. I do not care if Drapela is a skeptic or not. No explanation for a non-renewal of a teaching contract is shit).

_____

** -- SoundCloud interview with Drapela from the Don Larson radio show.

-- Local TV KVAL report on the non-renewal non-explanation.

-- The Examiner's take: "Climate change skeptic fired from university"

Dr Drapela's work on denying global warming or knock-on effects is not first in class, and his snark towards his colleagues is apparent, but no reason given for being let go? Shit.

Here's some Drapela from a 2008 opinion piece, reacting to James Hansen's Congressional testimony (worth a read in full):

My dear colleague Professor Hansen, I believe, has finally gone off the deep end. When you have dedicated the bulk of your career to a cause, and it turns out the cause has been proven false, most people cannot bring themselves to admit the truth. It is truly sad to read the rantings of this elderly man and see that they contain neither reason nor truth when compared to the volumes of daily literature being published in scientific journals today on climate change. It is not difficult to refute the words of Professor Hansen.

Of course, the hardened and most bitchy alarmists have a ready explanation. In the commentary at David Appel's blog, this from Dhogaza:

The Oregon University System will see an 11 percent cut in state support over the next two years after final passage of its budget bill in the Legislature today.

The Oregon House voted 43-15 to approve a $709 million in state general fund and lottery money for the state's seven public universities for 2011-13. That marks the third biennial decrease in a row for the university system, bringing its state funding to a level lower in actual dollars than it received a decade ago.

Six straight years of heavy budget cuts and a guy with a PhD in Chemistry who hsan't made it beyond Senior Instructor after 10 years at the University doesn't have his contract renewed.

OSU (and other oregon university faculty) took unpaid furloughs starting a couple of years ago, in order to avoid layoffs, but another 11% cut on top?

I think the picture's pretty clear here.

No argument - if it was a budgetary decision that is all they needed to say. However the timing does not indicate that is a reasonable explanation. Finishing out the semester or giving reasonable warning would make this a non-issue. The only time I've seen firings like that have been over sexual misdeeds, fear of internal sabotage, or internal politics. I suspect internal politics and knowing who will bring Federal Government cash to the cash strapped university and who will not.

I once observed a professor leveraging his grants for early tenure - if he didn't get it his cash went with him - and it did - he left with his millions in grants.

Another professor published a ridiculous amount of papers. This did not impress the rest of the faculty so he moved on.

Tenture has often kept low level non-publishing professors at retirement jobs for many decades. As one once told me someone needs to teach physics to nurses - and he was happy to do it.

Dennis

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OSU fired Dr Skeptic because OSU can.

Academics lead miserable insecure work lives unless a tenure track jackpot kicks in. OSU will not provide a reason, because OSU isnt required to.

In solidarity,

Carol

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OSU fired Dr Skeptic because OSU can.

Academics lead miserable insecure work lives unless a tenure track jackpot kicks in. OSU will not provide a reason, because OSU isnt required to.

In solidarity,

Carol

The story was on The Blaze News on the Glenn Beck radio show this morning. Students believe his Global Warming views are exactly why he is being fired. The university is now going to allow him to finish out the semester. Still no explanation why he is being fired.

Dennis

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Nothing unusual here. Employers rarely say publicly why they dropped somebody. It's gratuitously hurtfull to the firee and legally risky for the employer.

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Nothing unusual here. Employers rarely say publicly why they dropped somebody. It's gratuitously hurtfull to the firee and legally risky for the employer.

When public funds are involved it seems that "The Appearance of Impropriety" comes into play.

In most government jobs HR makes it very clear why someone is let go. Universities should have

even higher standards than generic government jobs because their charter as an institution where

free discussion in an intelluctual environment is foundational to their existence. They extract

tax money at the state and federal levels.

It would seem that a case could be made at the federal level that waste, fraud, and abuse might

be at the heart of the University's decision to remove a professor based on his views of science

fraud being perpetrated with taxpayer money. The university has a vested interest in continuing

the fraud and removing the professor for voicing doubts.

In case someone views this as smoke and mirrors - I seriously considered blowing the whistle

on the University of California at San Diego and the publication "Foundations of Physics" for

expensive DOE grants to do thermodynaic modeling which was clearly in error at their foundation. I

alerted the editor of the mistakes, hearing no reply I alerted him again by certified mail to create

a paper trail. That is when he pulled an Eric Holder and lawyered up. UCSD got paid for 2-3 more

years of useless work with as many as 12 professors getting their cuts. Finally "Foundations of

Physics" allowed an obtuse rebuttal gutting the foudation of the work. Exact cost to taxpayers

unknown - more than 1/4 million dollars in one grant - unknow in others.

Mulitiply that by 10**6 and you have Climate Change modeling and economics.

Dennis

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Glenn Beck radio this morning - pro-Global Warming versus speptics are funded by various foundations at a ratio of 1,500:1. A series of other comparions of pro-Global Warming by government, corporations and media is just as alarming.

Also mentioned - there is virtually no support of free markets by the dominant media in any of the rest of the world.

Dennis

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