Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Fake University Home. In the News.

Canned for Speaking Out?

Colleen Flaherty

It's not unheard-of for a college to tell a faculty member partway through a probationary period before tenure that things just aren't working out. And that may well be why Weber State University failed to rehire Jared Lisonbee, a professor of child and family studies. But the timing of his termination – after he and his wife spoke out against plans to name a new family program after a Mormon leader who has expressed controversial views on gays, women and intellectuals – has raised suspicion about what motivated the decision.

“Because there was no discussion or justification given for the decision not to renew my contract, I can only speculate,” said Lisonbee, who recently completed his second year on the tenure track at Weber State. But because his department chair’s behavior became “hostile” following his speaking out against the naming of the center, Lisonbee said the decision was “likely” related to his comments.



  1. I don't know. It always looks like a lovely campus.

  2. Sounds like a messy situation. If I were Lisonbee, I'd probably put some energy into appealing the decision (if only to gain more time), but at lot more into searching for another job (and publishing; upping service commitments, except perhaps in a window-dressing way, doesn't seem like the way to go right now). Little as I like the context in which the department chair uttered the phrase, "not a good fit" is probably right.

    So is CM going to decamp in protest? Do they even know we're there (here)?

  3. Another thought: it's easy to see this as a Utah/lack of separation of church and state thing, but I'd argue that Lisonbee crossed a line that is much more widely in force: don't diss actual or potential donors.

  4. Yeah... there's a Faculty Gay Straight Alliance where lots of people have complained about the name publicly and on the Facebook page. None of those people have been reprimanded, let alone fired. Lisonbee's not in the Alliance, but you know, a champion for gay students.