"The Modern "Old-Boys Club" Technique
by Jody Nagel
It used to be that there was the corruption known as "The Old Boys Club" within academia. People got hired because they were friends of somebody already there. People got tenure if they pleased the "Old Boys."
Then, Affirmative Action came along. It tried to institute legal rules for conducting hiring practices and tenure proceedings in a fair and impartial manner. The spirit of the original implementation of Affirmative Action was ethically superior to what had been before.
It took a few decades, but the "Old Boys" managed to figure out a work-around to negate the good things brought by Affirmative Action. It's simple, really, and it goes something like this:
All people are imperfect in at least some small way. So, build a legal case against EVERY faculty member based on that person's slight imperfections. When the time comes to grant tenure, or not to, only use the legal case against those individuals that the "Old Boys" don't like. Ignore the legal case against any faculty that is liked. In this way disliked teachers can be fired based on the rules themselves of Affirmative Action, and only Old-Boy-Approved teachers need be given tenure.
Of course this new-fangled technique takes up much more time and money than that of the original smoke-filled back-room sessions that the Old Boys used to get away with. But, now, the administrators can not legally be accused of illegal actions. The "money" aspect is no problem; one merely raises student tuitions to pay for all this documentation-gathering activity.
And so, you see, Affirmative Action loses, in the long run, to the Old Boys Club philosophy.
Any academic institutions that you know sound like this?
Excellent people are being fired from academia because of shallow-minded administrators that view excellence as a threat against their own mediocrity. Highly talented people are being thrown out of academia because (though it is never stated out loud) the EDUCATED faculty do not share the political views of the administrators. Academia, supposedly the bastion of academic freedom and the protector of FREE SPEECH, has degenerated into the single most ignoble institution there is, because of the gulf that separates its stated beliefs from what its actual actions really are.
Dr. Jody Nagel
February 27, 2004