After teaching chemistry for five years at Sam Houston State University, I will be leaving at the end of this semester.
There seem to be a number of rumors as to why I am leaving, so if any of you are curious, the following information–the truth as to why I am leaving, comes from my Web site:
“In the spring of 2002 I applied for tenure. The chemistry department voted in favor of my tenure by a 3-2 margin. If you are at all familiar with the chemistry faculty, it isn’t hard to figure out who those two votes were.
The chemistry department chair said that he would do what the dean wants and so he recommended against my tenure. The dean obviously recommended against my tenure as did the vice president of Academic Affairs.
Only general guidelines are written down for tenure, there are no specific criteria in terms of how much money a faculty member must bring in and how many papers must be published.
So the chemistry chair gave some reasons for recommending against my tenure and the reasons given by the dean were completely different and he didn’t even have his facts straight.
Until 2002, the department decided who got tenure. The dean decided to override the decision of the department and actually called all the tenured chemistry faculty together and scolded them for voting in favor of my tenure. So from now on, the administration makes decisions about tenure and promotion. The decisions of the people who work with that faculty member are no longer relevant.
The dean then gave me two weeks to either turn in a letter of resignation or be denied tenure. He also ordered me to not discuss this with any one, which I ignored. I asked the president if I could discuss this with him but he never even responded to my request. So on the advice of some trusted colleagues, I turned in a letter of resignation effective May 31, 2003.”
Some students have asked if they could try to get me to stay here. I told them that they are free to do whatever they wanted but it would be a complete waste of their time.
How do I know this? Back in 2002, the dean fired Dr. Don Richardson just three months before his retirement. Dr. Richardson had been at SHSU for a long time and was loved by students, faculty and alumni.
Upon hearing of this decision, the president of an alumni organization stated that “he would not spend one more minute of his time or one more dime of his money on Sam Houston State University.”
This decision was a horrendous mistake which has never been acknowledged or corrected by the administration. I have not been at SHSU nearly as long as Dr. Richardson, nor am I loved as much by students, faculty and alumni. So if the administration did not correct their mistake about Dr. Richardson, they won’t be changing their mind about me.
As I have told a number of my students, I have enjoyed working with all of you over the past five years. I will miss it. I am getting out of the teaching business, so don’t feel sorry for me, I am off to a better place.
I am having a party at my house (2201 Avenue S, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26) and everyone is invited.If you can’t make it to the party, I hope that you will stop by my office (Farrington Room 306) and say goodbye or send me an e-mail. Best of luck to all of you with your future endeavors.