Why God Didn't Get Tenure

(revised and expanded report)

Dear Mr. Dean,

At your request, the Tenure Evaluation Committee has once more re-evaluated Mr. God's application.

We regret to inform you that, after careful analysis, the Committee unanimously resolved to uphold the original recommendation. We repeat below the reasons that led us to this decision --- including several points which, in a misguided attempt to preserve academic decorum and the Candidate's reputation, we had chosen to omit from the original report.

  1. He had only one major publication.
  2. It wasn't written in English.
  3. It wasn't published in a referred journal,
  4. ... it has no references,
  5. ... it lacks a review of previous work,
  6. ... and does not even mention alternative approaches to the problem.
  7. Its many sweeping claims were not backed by formal proofs.
  8. There is evidence that some parts of the text were plagiarized.
  9. Some even doubt that He wrote it Himself.
  10. He performed His chief experiment only once, with no control experiments.
  11. It is still not clear whether His experiment succeeded at all.
  12. Some of His acts caused extensive environmental damage and major property loss.
  13. He neglected to keep a lab notebook.
  14. He did not provide any error analysis or confidence intervals.
  15. He did not use standard metric units.
  16. His description of the experiment omitted essential details.
  17. He cheated by deleting any subjects whose behavior did not fit His model.
  18. The scientific community had a hard time replicating His results.
  19. He encouraged, and apparently enjoyed, the pointless cruel sacrifice of animals.
  20. He experimented with human subjects without Ethics Board's approval.
  21. He was idle for many years, and only started working one week before the deadline.
  22. He did not get any government or industrial support for His project.
  23. In fact, he has never written a single grant proposal.
  24. He never served on any committees, and never attended a faculty meeting.
  25. He was never awarded a doctoral degree, not even an honorary one.
  26. He would not tolerate criticism or discordant opinions.
  27. His difficult personality has prevented effective collaboration with His peers.
  28. He had His first two grad students expelled, for sheer professional jealously.
  29. Since that incident, He couldn't or wouldn't recruit any new grad students.
  30. His research lab has been deserted and inactive for ages.
  31. Throughout His entire career, He taught only one course...
  32. ... whose syllabus can be reduced to ten trivial rules-of-thumb.
  33. In fact, after the first lecture He hardly showed up in class.
  34. There are reports that He once sent His Son to teach the class.
  35. His lectures were lots of high-sounding talk with little technical substance.
  36. His practical demos were often too dangerous to students.
  37. Students were forced to use His own textbook, which is quite old and lacks exercises.
  38. Most students felt that His grading was too harsh and unfair.
  39. He was a slow grader and often wouldn't give students any feedback until it was too late.
  40. He insisted on using only pass/fail grades instead of the standard A-F system.
  41. He would not grade on a curve, and once He flunked all of His students but one ...
  42. ... to whom He had previously revealed the exam's content.
  43. He didn't keep a homepage and didn't read His email.
  44. His office hours were infrequent and were often held in inconvenient locations.
  45. He violated the honor system by being omnipresent even during examinations.
  46. He made some rude and demeaning remarks about students who failed His tests.
  47. He used obsolete teaching methods, such as peer pressure and guilt manipulation.
  48. He even resorted to physical punishment.
  49. His controversial views on race and sex could have harmed the university's image.
  50. He showed some creativity once, it's true; but what has He done since then?

Respectfully yours,
  (original signed by TEC Chairman)

Last edited on 2004-01-06 16:29:04 by stolfi