The Chronicle’s Take on the Shooting

Some more details of the shooting are coming out, but some of the comments to the CHE article are sort of bizarre. Plus the front matter leans toward the interpretation that tenure denial was the main trigger point while offering advice:

That essay – Commentary: How To Handle Tenure Denial – should be very short: Do No Shoot Anybody!

Shooting For Tenure

I know, I know, but bear with my horrible double-entendre. New York Times has some details about Amy Bishor’s saga. Apparently, she was denied tenure, appealed, won the appeal and then was not tenured anyway (provost’s decision). Again, nothing justified shooting your colleagues in retaliation, but hopefully this story will bring some of the tenure procedures to the public attention:

Mr. Anderson said that months ago, the university administration overruled a successful appeal of the decision to deny Dr. Bishop tenure in spring 2009.

“She won her appeal,” he said, “and the provost canned it.”

The university has declined to elaborate on the details of Dr. Bishop’s tenure application, saying only that she was denied last spring and that she could stay at the university only until the end of this academic year. Even if a faculty member successfully appeals a tenure denial, the final decision rests with the administration.

So this “final decision rests with the administration” part deserves more attention, I think.

Tenure Related Shooting? (Updated)

UPDATE V: New York Times now has a story about it, tries to make sense by referring to an “academic pressure cooker” – what exactly are we cooking? I wonder.

UPDATE IV: Before Shahar tsk-tsks me for being perversely obsessed with this story, here’s another curios update:

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – Police in Massachusetts said the professor charged with capital murder in the UAH shooting case also shot her brother 24 years ago.

Braintree, Massachusetts police confirmed Amy Bishop shot her brother, Seth Bishop with a shotgun in December, 1986.

Amy Bishop was 20 years old at the time and her brother was 18.

At the time, police said it was an accidental shooting.

Authorities said Bishop is accused of fatally shooting three colleagues at a faculty meeting where she was denied tenure, which provides job security.

UPDATE III: Another suspect in the shooting? CNN reports (saw this at Zaidy’s while eating latkes):

UPDATE II: University of Alabama, Huntsville briefs the press on the situation and officially releases names of the victims and takes questions.


More information about the arrest of Amy Bishop here.

UPDATE I: More details of this bizarre story are coming out:

Sammie Lee Davis said his wife, Maria Ragland Davis, was a researcher who had tenure at the university.

In a brief phone interview, he said he was told his wife was at a meeting to discuss the tenure status of another faculty member who got angry and started shooting.

He said his wife had mentioned the shooter before, describing the woman as “not being able to deal with reality” and “not as good as she thought she was.”

This story is just coming out, but it seems that a woman at the University of Alabama, Huntsville shot three people and injured one at the meeting where she was told she will not get tenure:

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – Police said a female member of the UA-Huntsville faculty shot and killed three co-workers on campus.

Huntsville Police, Madison County Sheriff’s department and HEMSI responded to a shooting at the UAH campus at 4:00 Friday afternoon.

The shooting happened in the Shelby Center, a math and science classroom building.

Authorities said a female faculty member during a Biology faculty meeting learned she would not receive tenure. She then pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Boy, this is really strange – did she know she wasn’t getting tenure and brought the gun?

Some more details are coming in: Continue reading