For the last several years, I’ve been making the argument that conservative professors (all three of us) are often punished for our beliefs by our so-called liberal colleagues. This year, during annual peer evaluations, one of my liberal colleagues has apparently punished me for expressing my belief that liberals punish conservatives for their beliefs.
There is usually little at stake in these annual peer evaluations because bad professors and good professors get roughly the same annual raise. Nonetheless, some professors still sharpen their knives every year in anticipation of using the evaluation process to quietly and anonymously stab their enemies (real or perceived) in the back. This is just in case administrators decide to distribute a little merit money - after spending most of the resources on themselves, of course.
The backstabbing - by liberals who want to construct an Utopian society, no less – got so bad in my department a few years back that we had to amend the process to force people to justify (with actual sentences!) any negative evaluations of their colleagues. This was done largely to stop one sociopath who was giving scores of one (on a scale of one to nine) to numerous perceived enemies in the department. Needless to say, they eventually became real enemies.
This change in the evaluation process has not stopped all of the petty squabbling among the faculty. But, fortunately, this year it has provided some concrete evidence to support an assertion I’ve been making for years; namely, that professors are often judged on the basis of politics rather than competence.
When a member of the “service” committee in my department gave me a three out of nine (scores of one to three must be accompanied by a written justification) it was accompanied by these three words: “only political activity.”
Of course, only a college professor could be lazy enough to produce less than one full sentence in an annual peer evaluation. Furthermore, this sentence fragment leads to multiple interpretations concerning what the full sentence might have been if the professor had actually finished the thought. Perhaps it meant “Dr. Adams’ service to the department, university, and profession is not valuable because it is only political activity.”
Or maybe it meant something different like “Dr. Adams’ service was not sufficiently political. He should join the American Society of Marxist Feminist Criminologists. This is the only political activity I’ll consider from this right-wing gun-toting bastard.”
If one assumes that the former interpretation was intended, numerous questions arise. For example: