Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Making Lemonade from Lemons

Ward Churchill is resigning his chairmanship at the University of Colorado. Churchill, you may recall, is the man who said that the folks in the world trade center had it coming and called them "little Eichmanns".

The unstated story behind the story is that being chairman of a department is not a good thing. I think non-academics see the chairman as the head or leader of an organization and assume there is a level of authority and respect that comes along with the post. In reality it is usually a crap job that people actively avoid.

It interferes with both research and teaching which are the two reasons to become a professor. Let's face it, if academics wanted to be leaders they would have gone into business. In the last department I was in, people actively campaigned to NOT be considered for chairmanship.

So, good for Ward Churchill. He has turned his heinous personal beliefs into a way to duck his responsibilities.

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