Stellar Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez Denied Fair Hearing by Iowa State Board of Regents

The Board of Regents of the State of Iowa has denied the tenure appeal of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Iowa State University (ISU). Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal has been ongoing since the summer of 2007, when he was first denied tenure by ISU.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Board of Regents refused to give Dr. Gonzalez a fair hearing in his appeal,” said Gonzalez’s attorney Chuck Hurley. “They say in Iowa that academic freedom is supposed to be the ‘foundation of the university.’ That foundation is cracked.”

ISU has consistently maintained that Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure denial has nothing to do with intelligent design (ID). But secret e-mails exchanged by ISU faculty who voted against his tenure and statements in Dr. Gonzalez’s tenure file showed that intelligent design was the overriding factor in his tenure denial. The Board of Regents refused to admit much of this evidence into the record in Dr. Gonzalez’s appeal.

“The Board of Regents would not allow into the record extensive e-mail documentation showing that Dr. Gonzalez was denied tenure not due to his academic record, but because he supports intelligent design,” said Casey Luskin, Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute, where Gonzalez is a senior fellow. “Then the Board refused to grant Dr. Gonzalez the right to be heard through oral arguments. Does it come as any surprise that now they denied his appeal?”

“They’ve denied his due process rights throughout this entire appeal,” Luskin continued. “This kangaroo court decided its verdict long before today’s deliberations even began.”

“The most disheartening part of this appeal is that they refused Dr. Gonzalez the opportunity to present his case fully to the Board and to have face-to-face contact with the Board through oral arguments,” said Chuck Hurley.

“The Board of Regents had an opportunity to give justice to an outstanding scientist who is a leader in his field,” Luskin concluded. “Instead, they caved in to political pressure and threw academic freedom to the wind.”

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