Alberto Gonzales and the Texas Tech Faculty Posse

Alberto Gonzales and the Texas Tech Faculty Posse

Two years after he was forced to resign as Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is scheduled to teach undergraduates at Texas Tech, something he has never done before, and the university’s real professors are not happy about it. Over 40 Texas Tech faculty members (47 at last report) have signed a petition objecting to the teaching appointment of Mr. Gonzales.

The hiring was done by University Chancellor Kent Hance, who is an administrative officer, not in a position to hire faculty. Mr. Hance was in a position to pressure the Poli Sci dean into agreeing to this academic hire, though, so Mr. Gonzales is scheduled to teach “Contemporary Issues in The Executive Branch” while he himself remains a real issue for the current administration.

Investigations into questionable torture practices under President Bush always seem to have involved actions by Mr. Gonzales as White House Counsel or Attorney General, and there are calls for his prosecution. Texas lawyers have prepared a grievance against him, first step in disbarment.

The Texas Tech faculty members object to the way the hiring was done, the hiring of an inexperienced celebrity friend of an administrator to teach a course, and Mr. Gonzales’ general lack of academic, legal, public service or moral qualifications:

Does he have a noteworthy academic record? Does he have a record of publishing in law reviews? Was his service to his country particularly distinguished? (We present evidence below that it was not.) Has Gonzales ever taught an undergraduate course? Will he be an effective teacher?

In short, how does Texas Tech benefit? Having a celebrity on campus does not seem worth a $100,000 salary. Many departments across campus would be able to hire two outstanding visiting professors from the best universities in the world for that amount of money.

We are also troubled by the Chancellor’s remark (as reported in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal) that Gonzales might be a permanent addition to the Texas Tech community. “‘If he likes it here and he does a good job, he’ll have an opportunity to stay on,’ Hance said.”

The petition goes on to document the troubling public record of Mr. Gonzales under four headings: 

 FREQUENTLY MISLED OR LIED TO CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

  REJECTED THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS

DENIED THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF HABEAS CORPUS

APPEARED TO BE MORE LOYAL TO PRESIDENT BUSH THAN TO THE CONSTITUTION

Kent Hance, the pal who appointed Mr. Gonzales, is better known outside of Texas for defeating George W. Bush in a West Texas congressional race by “out-Christianing and out-Good-Ol’-Boying” him. Mr. Hance was portrayed by actor Paul Rae in the Oliver Stone film Bush.

 More here.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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One Response to “Alberto Gonzales and the Texas Tech Faculty Posse”

  1. Alberto Gonzales Goes Nashville « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] at Texas Tech, where Mr. Gonzales had access to innocent young undergraduates  in 2009, were not so reticent. […]

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