David Price has an article in CounterPunch about Janice Harper, an Assistant Professor with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville whose tenure review and subsequent firings seem rather suspicious. In particular, she says that she was told her tenure “would not have been an issue” had she not raised concerns which led the college to call for a sexual harassment investigation against one of her colleagues. What is worse, is that it seems that in retaliation she was also subject to an investigation which involved both Homeland Security and the FBI:
Dr. Harper says that in early June, the University of Tennessee’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) revoked her standing research clearance on the grounds that the police and FBI investigations and the seizure of her research materials exposed her informants to risks. She was told that she “could not use my data until I had assurance from the FBI and university that I was no longer under surveillance.” As these investigations continued, however, they found nothing to indicate that she had made threats or was somehow building a hydrogen bomb. Yet, Dr. Harper was caught in a classic double-bind. Although the FBI did not find that she had done anything wrong, she could not complete her work simply because this investigation had opened her private research records up to FBI scrutiny. This, of course, seriously imperiled her professional activity and development. Last fall, Dr. Harper learned that the faculty in her department voted to deny her tenure application.
There is a petition on her behalf.
(Thanks to the many, many, people who sent this our way. Server was acting sluggish so apologies for the delay.)