As a green card carrier myself, I say to everyone in the academic world that I meet, explore EVERY option for taking care of your own card. Don't let anyone else, even your university carry that ball.It is a sad story in that article, and one that I avoided entirely by doing - and what was thought of at the time as immoderate and overly caution - on my own.
Why the fuck didn't they rehire her? That's the question I really want answered.
See, I'm with you in wondering that. That's some shady bullshit going on. I have enough familiarity with the subject of this tragedy to find it hard to believe any one could have objected to his personality or professionalism, so I am at a loss to explain it.
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It's obviously not a conspiracy, because apparently the one responsible at HR was fired. If there was any conspiracy s/he would have screamed bloody murder. My guess--the writer of the article was a particularly disliked individual, who probably sent out the message that they were "too good" for Susquehanna University. The fact that the writer was pushing for tenure after two years, and told "that has never been done" seems to indicate that. The fact that no one in the department even spoke to hir after they rehired someone else in hir spot tells me the rest. "We don't like you. And now we can make you go away." The "victim" in this case can take some solace in the fact that they never would have gotten tenure anyway. It wasn't going to happen. Hir colleagues hated hir guts.
I've wondered if that was the case, myself. I don't know what it says, though - most of the people I know who know the victim think well of him. My acquaintance with him isn't as close as some others, but I've always gotten on well with him, too. But then, I don't work with him day in and day out, so who's to say. That noted, his research and publication record really is outstanding - if he hadn't gotten early tenure, I think many of us in the (very small) subdiscipline would have been shocked.
As I understand the story, her problem is that once she became ineligible for Permanent Residency (by a blunder of the administration) she became ineligible for her job. Because of that, her contract would be automatically terminated at the end of the academic year. The school could have hired again, with a new contract and, in that case, they would have sponsored first for a non-immigrant visa (H1) and, after getting that one, for permanent residency. But, in order to be rehired, immigration law requires the school to make a full search in which (laws dating back from the Depression) it can be clearly documented that she didn't take away the job away from any American because she was more qualified that any American candidate. At that point, someone more qualified applied and she was toast.
Ah. I'm in the same boat - i'm starting my 2nd year..Spoke to HR a couple of weeks ago. I pressed to meet in the summer, but didn't meet till the 2nd week of the current academic year. The usual HR excuses. Anyway, before meeting HR, I was asked to visit the USICS site to look for the appropriate information, i read it as "do my work for me". Long story short. When i finally meet HR, i'm told "Never dealt with such a case before. What did you find. What is the process?" Mentioned the many forms that HR has to complete to begin the green card process. I also mentioned the 18 month clock. From my research, i learned that the clock starts upon selection, not when I begin my job, as stated on the contract. i.e. If i got selected in March 2012, that's where it begins, not August 2012...the HR officer counted with her fingers, and went "Oh no". There was no panic or concern on her part. She even said. "I don't have time to deal with this now". Foolishly, i didn't press. I had other things on my mind ~ my students, my teaching, my service. In retrospect, i should have pressed. Investing heart and soul into my work won't matter if the school can't keep me (might make me a better candidate for another school!) Unless the lawyers (assuming the school decides to hire one) can conjure some reason to push the clock back, my 18 month window is closed. I still haven't heard from HR. The Dean is in the know, so is my chair. I assured them that i'll do my job. I take pride in what i do. I have one more H1-B cycle, i.e. year 4 through 6 that the school can use to 'keep' me. I suppose i can stick around in 'good faith', but also start looking for another position some place else..
If you school does not have a team who knows how to deal with this -- and if it is not a BIG one it probably doesn't -- you'll have to cook it yourself. Find a (decent) immigration lawyer, pay the big dollars he'll have you pay and make sure that everything flows as it should.True story of a friend: tenured associate professor at a R1 wannabe, ended being put in deportation procedure (a very messed J-1 case). Ultimately he got off, but it was a very close call.