Give Me Tenure or Give Me a 9mm: the Tenure Killer

Despite the cold-blooded, calculated multiple acts of murder alleged to have been committed by failed Professor Amy Bishop, the forces of political correctness continue to try to envelop the tenure-denied killer in a cocoon of protective reporting and spin. As facts roll in about the combative, murderous past of Bishop however, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the PC troops to sugar-coat the narrative.

Her three colleagues on staff at the University of Alabama, Huntsville weren't the first victims of the Tenure Killer's unbridled rage. The New York Times reports that Angry Amy murdered her own bother in 1986:

"On Saturday afternoon, the police in Braintree, Mass., announced that 24 years ago, Dr. Bishop had fatally wounded her brother, Seth Bishop, in an argument at their home, which the Boston Globe first reported on their website. The police were considering re-opening the case, in which she was not charged, and the report by the officer on duty at the time were no longer available, said Paul Frazier, the Braintree police chief."

Bishop was also a suspect in the attempted pipe-bombing of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a Harvard M.D. who was evaluating her doctoral work. The tenure killer was known to quarrel with Rosenberg, who escaped harm as the bomb was unable to detonate.  The police chief in Huntsville is working with the FBI to determine more about Bishop's involvement in the bombing attempt.

As we learned when the belligerent Skip Gates was arrested on his doorstep in the academic community of Cambridge Mass., the locals in the Harvard University area have been cowed into treating students and faculty at the Ivy League college as though they have academic immunity from prosecution.

Three dead professors at the University of Alabama, Huntsville paid the price for the Braintree officals' malfeasance in the Amy Bishop fratricide. While the incident was officially recorded as an accident, the police chief himself suggests special treatment and a cover-up:

"But Chief Frazier said in his statement that the officer on duty, Ronald Solomini, remembered that Dr. Bishop had shot and killed her brother after an argument. She fired another round from the shotgun into the ceiling as she left the home, the officer said, and fled down the street with the shotgun. The officer also remembered her pointing the shotgun at a vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop....Another officer, Timothy Murphy, seized the shotgun, and Dr. Bishop was handcuffed and transported to the police station under arrest." (ibid NYT)

Despite a mother lode of complaints and evidence of Bishop's irascibility, inability to teach or relate to students and consistently sociopathic behavior, the New York Times attempts to soften her image. They describe her as "a respected scientist,...a grant-winning scientist and mother of four,...(whose) business prospects seemed bright."

They portray her attempts to have Harvard's president censured as some sort of student advocacy effort and minimize her aberrant behavior as

"perhaps a little quirky, but no more so than most scientists."

Really? While scientists like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla were certainly eccentric, there is a big difference between quirky and homicidal. It appears that the tenure killer's extreme left-wing politics were also confrontational. Her obsession with Barack Obama was reported in the Boston Herald article cited earlier.

This case highlights the fact that our academic institutions in America have developed an alternative universe view of morality and performance. While it is nearly impossible to get fired once tenure is obtained, even a combative, insular, incompetent wack-job like Amy Bishop was kept employed as a professor when it was clear that she had no business interacting with other students or faculty.

As a matter of fact, she should have been in prison. While the reformation of our educational institutions is an essential component of the resurgence of conservatism in America, the elimination of tenure and the establishment of regular performance reviews for teachers and professors at every level is absolutely necessary.

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target