Academics disgust me. This week was the second time that I witnessed what looks very much like anti-military discrimination. We were doing telephone interviews for a replacement position, and one candidate seemed particularly strong. Great vita. Ivy League. Post-doc at an impressive place. Good publications. Math whiz. Then I heard the man speak. I literally thought to myself, "This guy sounds like Steven Pinker." Beautiful answers.
When we hung up the phone, a committee member beat me to the punch and started rattling off all the reasons why we didn't want the guy. They were all bogus. I'm a little slow on the uptake, but then it hit me that she didn't want him because he is ex-military. Of course she is not going to admit that. Either she outright dislikes the military, or she sees it as a sign that the candidate probably does not have a lifetime subscription to The Nation like she does. I proceeded to debate her but then the others jumped in and took her side. And veterans are supposed to get a break--what a joke.
I consoled myself that he's too good for us anyway and will do very well somewhere. Who knows, maybe he'll be out with his own Blank Slate in a few years, and I'm damn happy it won't have our university's name on it.