As a recovering academic I have fairly close knowledge of hiring practices in higher education. In many, many fields, jobs are vastly outnumbered by candidates. After all, getting paid to study and research a subject you love is a pretty sweet deal. Inside work, no heavy lifting, no time clock, you get to grade your customers, and teaching burdens rarely exceed 16 hours a week.
For many jobs, a ritual formal screening process operates. But even in these cases, it really helps to have an insider on your side. Other jobs, however, those with less visibility or with fewer candidates, can be awarded in almost a patronage function.
Candace DeRussy, writing at NRO's Phi Beta Cons blog, has uncovered an apparent attempt to throw some such work someone's way. Not just any someone, either. Susan O'Malley, a former head of the University Faculty Senate of the City University of New York and current English professor at Kingsborough Community College, is just such a stand-up lady. Last fall she went to this governing body to plead for a job for Mohammed Yousry, the convicted co-conspirator of Maoist lawyer Lynn Stewart, for whom he worked and who supports armed revolution.
In 2005 Yousry was convicted of supporting terrorism, specifically, for translating a letter for, and reading letters to, blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. These letters concerned communication between Rahman and his jihadist supporters, relating to his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
As recorded in the minutes of that UFS meeting, the influential O'Malley put out the following feelers:
Do you think CUNY could hire Mohammed Yousry? What do you think? I have his phone number. I could find out if he wants to be hired and if anyone would like to try to hire him. I'm just throwing it out; I don't know. I know that it's on appeal but it's becoming increasingly clear that he really did just about nothing.
Read the whole thing.