Thursday, January 22, 2004

Update on Nona Gerard 

Critical Mass has a letter from a tenured professor in a termination hearing at Penn State-Altoona, refuting many of the charges made against her. She faces charges of failure to perform assigned duties and grave misconduct. The misconduct seems to center on email she sent criticizing a program. If the professor sent critical private emails on a public listserv (that is, paid for by tax dollars), does she still have rights to keep the email private or can a supervisor publicize the criticism? And if that is done, and as a result a hostile environment arises, does the responsibility for that fall on the author of the email or the publisher? Erin notes:
In fact, it was an administrator who publicly aired Gerard's private email correspondence--and who is thus arguably the one responsible for creating the so-called hostile environment at PSA.
Emphasis mine.

UPDATE: John wonders if it's wise for Gerard to speak out when in the middle of hearings, and where her lawyers are. My experience here agrees with that: Parties tend to keep very quiet and wait for rulings before clearing the public record. For an $80,000 lawyer bill, I assume she is getting wise counsel.