Everyone is happy that justice prevailed in Michigan, and that the Reagan appointed judge smacked the shit out of Regnerus and the other loony tunes testifying against civil rights, but while everyone was celebrating and doing horrid little dances like those smirking christianists from Mercer after the Duke game, something really bad happened on the other side of the country. Something that people like Mark Regnerus and Bradley Wilcox will be quite pleased about. In a case that has been simmering for 7 years in the courts, a conservative christianist criminologist, Mike Adams, won a decision against UNC-Wilmington and his full-professor colleagues (who were sued individually) for discriminating against him for promotion to full professor because of his religious and political beliefs. This is exactly the shit that I predicted would happen long ago. Adams is now a full time right wing ideologue, and has been long before Regnerus came out of the closet.
So, why did he win? Because of public sociology. Because there really are a lot of left wing scholars who get promoted because they are considered the cool people who deserve promotion. They don’t deserve promotion, but since they’re in the political majority (atheism doesn’t help promotion, contrary to popular right wing beliefs, but conservative Christianity can hurt promotion). I’m not familiar with Adams, who got is PhD at Miss State in 1993, nor with any of his colleagues, since he is a minor leaguer at a school that grants a masters degree in Criminology and PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY. I have had some interaction with his current chair, Leslie Hossfeld, who is a full professor who received her PhD in 2002 from NC State. Since she’s listed on the lawsuit I assume that she was a tenured professor in 2007 when Adams was denied, and may well have been a full professor. Hossfeld is a strong advocate for liberal public sociology, who advocates engaging communities in support for progressive political issues. Neither of them list CV’s on the web sites, and google scholar does little to help adjudicate their relative scholarly strengths. But, my cursory assessment is that both are of similar weight (light), as the court appears to have agreed in assessing Adams versus his other liberal colleagues, and the content of the work that they claim is scholarly. Advocacy is not scholarship, but if a sociology department rewards liberal advocacy and does not reward conservative advocacy, then it is discriminating—and feeding the persecution fantasies of the christianist right. It appears that while Adam’s bullshit, pseudointellectual, activist non-publications were not valued in his promotion, the similar products of his liberal colleagues were.
So, while little Marky Mark and his buddies got their wrists slapped by a conservative judge, their value in the academy has also risen, thanks to the public sociology movement. I have no doubt that it will be impossible not to promote Regnerus to full professor. If they deny him, he’ll sue and he’ll win. Public sociology rejected scholarly standards in favor of liberal activism; it redefined success and progress in the field. It counted liberal activism as scholarship, but not conservative activism. So now we have no standards, and the conservatives are going to take over. Thanks, idiots.