February 15, 2010

"She was upset, but not overly emotional, approaching her appeal 'like a game of chess'..."

You know the kind of chess game where you suddenly sweep all the pieces off the board and onto the floor.

35 comments:

rhhardin said...

She castled.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That's how my brother used to play Monopoly when he was losing. Flip the board and money into the air and stalk away.

I didn't shoot him, however.

Meade said...

Like the kind of person who might drown her own babies.

Skyler said...

Nothing excuses murder, and she needs to fry in the chair. I hope her state allows that.

This is a small hint as to why the tenure system is so screwed up.

She didn't get tenure this time, but what if she had? Let's say the vote came out just a little differently. The university would then have a creepy potential murderer among its staff that was a bit obsessive about things. And they would never be able to get rid of her unless she did something drastic like murder someone.

One of my law school professors would come to class with her politics on her sleeve, screaming and yelling at people who used the example of Clinton getting disbarred in a professional ethics class. She was probably drunk in some classes. She seemed insane at all other times.

Yet the university gave her tenure at some point in the past when they had hired an incompetent dean who put her cronies in place. Later a court gave the university an injunction that this incompetent, screaming, mean, professor could not be fired because she had tenure.

I've yet to see the purpose of tenure. It's a sweet deal if you can get it, but how does it help anyone?

I can see the twisted logic that goes through this maniac's brain that since she didn't get tenure, now she will have to work for the rest of her life instead of whatever it is that tenured profs have to do. Seemingly, they don't have to do much.

EDH said...

The overlap with Obamamania is the entitlement mentality.

You should have what you want because you want it.

“Greed, for lack of a better word," takes many forms.

Maguro said...

Sounds more like a game of Monopoly.

Kirby Olson said...

Bishops can only move diagonally.

She wanted to be the Red Queen.

Pogo said...

It's chess as played by droogs.

Her Obama worship is a sign of her pathology. She's Travis Bickle with a PhD.

k*thy said...

I think the quote about her family life is telling. It seems the only value she had in herself was professionally, hence when the tenure didn't turn out as planned, she exploded...unfortunately, all over innocents.

Almost Ali said...

"A family source said Bishop... was a far-left political extremist"

Bingo.

ricpic said...

I simply tip over my king when defeat looms. I've never been able to understand people who take defeat personally. Doesn't mean I'm better than they are. Maybe there's something missing in you if defeat doesn't rankle. When I was in my early teens I went out fishing with a cousin who was about the same age. By pure chance I was the lucky one that day who landed two or three fish. He didn't land one. I remember turning to him and holding the last catch of the day up to be admired. To this day I can't forget the look of fury on his face. He had lost the competition and he was almost literally steaming. I don't think it was personal hatred. Just fury at losing. Explains a lot about the world.

Big Mike said...

I'll second what EDH said, but I do have to ask, Professor Althouse, why you've had so many postings on this twisted woman? You don't have any colleagues in the University of Wisconsin Law School that you think might act the same way, do you?

@Skyler, I'm pretty sure Alabama uses lethal injection. But it's pretty obvious that this woman comes from money so she'll probably get life with parole.

c3 said...

Do we have a harder time understanding how a well-educated individual can commit such a heinous crime?


And I wouldn't take much regarding her political leanings; craziness always trumps politics

former law student said...

a far-left political extremist

Who was commercializing research work she performed while on a state government payroll.

That work belongs to the State of Alabama that made it possible. But really, research that saves lives should be available for all to use.

Triangle Man said...

Skyler,

This will be disappointing, but she won't fry. The electric chair is only used as a secondary method of execution in Alabama (and eight other states).


wv: untase -
Don't tase me bro!
Ow!
Untase me bro!

Triangle Man said...

FLS - What are you talking about?

Here's how intellectual property works at most schools (under Bayh Dole), public or private. You invent something and then disclose that invention to the University. The University decides if they want to pay to develop the IP. In most cases, the answer is no. The University then releases the IP back to the inventor (unless it was created as part of a federally funded program, in which cases the Feds get to decide if they want to pay to develop the IP). If she was trying to commercialize her portable cell incubator then UAH probably passed and she was funding it out of her pocket, or had found in investor.

I have no idea what you mean when you say that research that saves lives should be available for all to use. Ideas don't become products available for anyone to use without significant development effort and costs.

Juba Doobai! said...

For a brief moment, I forgot myself and felt sorry for this Amy Bishop person. Introvert, career focused, losing the one thing that matters, snaps. Then, I remembered this: premeditation. Unlicensed gun. Disposable. Four children. A dead brother. Possible pipe bombs. Dangerous woman. Pitiful. Unsympathetic.

Johanna Lapp said...

Chess? Or six-card fizzbin, where kicking over the table is officiallyt part of the rules.

traditionalguy said...

She appears to have great knowledge in her field. But the Tenure award is given for great communicators of the great knowledge either by published peer reviewed books and by seminar speaking following papers published in journals for the field. The extra thing needed is a collegial attitude towards other scholars, professors and administrators in the institution. This poor lady had NO social skills needed to communicate among the other scholars, professors and administrators. She was blackballed for that failure. To her that probably seemed like penalyzing her for an irrelevant disability. But that is the system of tenure. She needed a good lawyer to defuse her anger into filing a stupid lawsuit. That's what we do.

FormerTucsonan said...

Love this part:

"Meanwhile, in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Anderson said he was searching for the “trigger” to his wife’s breakdown, and that he wondered whether an e-mail message - potentially in the form of a final tenure denial - might have upset her, because university higher-ups were known to send “nastygrams” on Fridays."

I mean, no wonder she went nuts! Apparently, the university sent her a denial of tenure notice that began with the phrase "Nanny, nanny, boo-boo!"

former law student said...

Anderson said he was searching for the “trigger” to his wife’s breakdown,

I'd be looking for the receipt from the gun store. He thought they didn't own a gun. Buying one suggests premeditation, not a sudden breakdown. I doubt she was able to pick one up on the way to work that day.

Lynne said...

Sylvia Fluckiger, a former lab technician who worked with Bishop in 1993.

She got through 5th grade with a name like that and never shot anyone. Bless her heart.

William said...

She was someone with intellectual skills sufficient to earn a doctorate from Harvard. But she lacked the social skills necessary to negotiate a middlng professional crisis. It's this disparity that makes the crime so troublng. Such irrationality among the professionally rational calls into question all rational assumptions.....Perhaps further research will show that microbiologists by their very nature are petty and obsessive and should be put in seperate lines at airport terminals. My own theory is that this murder is a random occurrence that has no larger significance. And that's the scary party. Those she murdered died not so the tenure process could live, but because shit happens. We like to pretend that there is some pattern in the chaos. Even if the pattern is malicious there is more comfort to be fouond in malice than there is in bad luck.

Beth said...

But there is a pattern in her chaos. She's killed before. People denied tenure don't just all fly off the handle and start shooting - which I find comforting, by the way. This woman turned to a response that's she's used before in times of personal stress.

Freeman Hunt said...

Beth makes an important point. Since this happened I've seen all sorts of references to the "pressure cooker" of academics, as though it's so tough that anyone might just snap.

But not just anyone might snap. It's the in-search-of-a-reason-to-snap and the snapped-before-will-snap-again who snap.

William said...

I see an unfortunate rush here to stereotype people who murder their brothers.

Joe said...

So now we find out Amy Bishop went to a shooting range "recently."

To make it more odd, her husband doesn't know where she got the gun. This now appears to be premeditated (and her husband sounds like a complete idiot.)

Methadras said...

As I've said before. The insane and criminally insane turn to murder whenever they snap. The first thought that enters their mind is that they must kill, but it's never themselves. How rude.

Methadras said...

I think someone isn't asking the right question. What is the purpose of tenure and why must tenure be treated like a coveted title? Want to even the playing field, get rid of tenure, but then someone may quip that you will have potential murderers teaching in the higher institutions of leftism.

jaed said...

I don't think tenure, per se, has much to do with it. If tenure didn't exist and she'd been fired (which is what denial of tenure is), I can't see it making any difference.

Without the current tenure system, being fired at one institution wouldn't be the kiss of death for an academic career, but that's more the peculiarities of the current tenure system than anything about tenure itself. It's easy to imagine a system where the time-to-tenure-decision is two years instead of six, and where someone denied tenure routinely moves to another institution and is successful there.

the Tenure award is given for great communicators of the great knowledge

Actually, at least in the sciences, it's given for success at obtaining grants. Research is secondary (except insofar as it gets grants), and skill at teaching is almost a negative. You're expected to be a rainmaker. Which leads me to wonder about her grants history. What kind of funding had she brought into the university?

former law student said...

To make it more odd, her husband doesn't know where she got the gun. This now appears to be premeditated (and her husband sounds like a complete idiot.)

If not knowing what your wife's been shopping for means you're an idiot, call me retard. Things come into the house, and I'm often surprised when I see them.

Revenant said...

If not knowing what your wife's been shopping for means you're an idiot, call me retard.

You missed the point. He knew THAT she had purchased a gun, he just says he didn't know where or when she got it. If you learned your wife owned a gun you had previously been unaware she had, wouldn't questions like "um, where'd you get the gun, sweetie" seem like a good idea?

The guy's spouse drops a few hundred bucks on a deadly weapon and he shows less curiosity than the average husband has about his wife's latest shoe purchase. Something clearly wasn't right in that marriage.

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

The guy's spouse drops a few hundred bucks on a deadly weapon and he shows less curiosity than the average husband has about his wife's latest shoe purchase. Something clearly wasn't right in that marriage.


Not only that, but I'd say he probably knew what she was intent on doing? You think she wouldn't have huffed and puffed about her professorial plight? It's not the marriage that was out of whack, it's the people in it. This goes beyond something of mere ignorance. It'll all come out in the end.

Methadras said...

jaed said...

I don't think tenure, per se, has much to do with it.


I don't think so either, but that was the catalyst for her snap. But for me it brings up a larger question on the need to have tenure and what it's purpose it. I'm a merit based guy. Tenure to me says, "hey, you've put your time in, you've brought money in and now you get to be one of the cool kids." The challenge then isn't about teaching or learning or broadening your horizons anymore. After tenure, you just stop. You interview for TA's to do your classes while you show up for your obligatory teaching sessions and then go of to do whatever it is that makes you some more money. Get rid of the tenure system and then watch real work occur.

jaed said...

Mmmm... get rid of the tenure system and then watch people even more desperate to bring in grants. Teaching and increasingly research aren't all that relevant to tenure these days, so long as you hit the minimum, so I'm not sure they'd be relevant to a yearly review or whatever.

The sickness goes a lot deeper than tenure, and tenure isn't the central problem. The incentive system is.