- Steven Taylor expresses confidence that Dan will land on his feet and considers the question, “do we blame the blog?”
- Leopold Stotch emphatically says yes. Juan Non-Volokh is not so sure. Both (who are not tenured) will remain pseudonymous for now.
- Ann Althouse points out that ”[t]ime spent on a blog is visible in a way that time spent watching movies or talking with friends or reading mystery novels or engaging in physical exercise or playing with your kids or daydreaming is not.” (þ: PoliBlog)
- Matt Stinson reminds the gallery that Dan’s denial probably had nothing to do with his politics, as the U of C has historically been relatively friendly to conservatives and libertarians.
- Tom Smith extrapolates to the wider question of the value of tenure in the modern academy, and finds the case for tenure today to be wanting.
Stotch also raises an interesting point that is worth discussing at greater length:
Drezner made another huge mistake in trying to conflate blogging and scholarship, and I can only assume that his colleagues deemed this type of work unserious—a perspective with which I largely agree. Looking at his CV, however impressive, might have led his colleagues to believe that once granted tenure, his focus might shift away from his serious work toward more articles, books, conference papers, etc. about blogging—which I assume is hardly what they were looking for when they hired him.
I don’t necessarily believe that Dan’s primary area of expertise (international political economy) is any more “serious” than studying the role of weblogs in domestic political discourse, but it is quite definitely different, and to the extent that institutions hire people to “fill holes” (rather than based on their innate abilities or general competence) I think that could be an issue. Quite clearly, Dan was not hired by the U of C to be a political communications person. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that Dan has neglected scholarship in his primary field.
And I probably need not point out that plenty of tenured faculty take advantage of the security of tenure to spend more time with their families, stagnate scholastically, dodge professional responsibilities, and/or bed undergraduate and graduate students. Somehow the idea of Dan potentially doing research on blogs post-tenure seems like a de minimis concern compared to the other possibilities.