Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Shulem »

Tom wrote:I notice that Dr. Gee’s profile has been removed from the MI scholars page: https://mi.BYU.edu/personnel/scholars

The MI needs to put out an announcement.

What section of ANE will Dr. Gee be in? (I notice that he’s teaching Akkadian this fall.) http://ane.BYU.edu/department-administration/


Wow, he was there just a few hours ago.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Midgley wrote:I first heard about this from one of the Brethren ten days ago. Fluhman may or may not have known that John Gee would soon escape from his control. Like Dan Peterson, I have also seen a copy of the memo to Fluhman that shifted John Gee, with the Bill Gay chair


So Midgley both heard about this from one of the Brethren, and also he saw a copy of the memo of the realignment? Essentially, a person has no privacy rights when employed at BYU? This is a little ridiculous.

by the way, I take it with a real grain of salt when an apologist says they've "seen a memo" about something. I don't know, but I think it might be a kind of deep (and lets face it, borderline psychotic) longing to be one of the celebrated witnesses to the golden plates or a beholder of a patriarchal autograph. When reality stands or falls upon witness statements about source documents, the incentive to fantasize about source documents in a way that allows the testifier to stick fingers in ear and trump anything anyone else is saying, surely on occasion brings such a fantasy into imagined reality.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Doctor Scratch wrote: then what is the explanation for the move?


According to Midgley, it seems as if the ark door opened for Gee to enter prior to the floods coming.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Doctor Scratch wrote:Has John Gee Been "Booted"


I'm starting to think so.

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by kairos »

Wait a minute- this move indicates no one is protecting Joseph Smith papyri from attack ! This cannot happen- "Kerry, we want Kerry!" and Kerry bring your sword with you, it's better you fall on your own Sword than get kicked to the curb and run over by a MI bus!

I also nominate Woody M. As the Mopologist snitch of year - I had no idea he was so close to the Brethern as to be a confident on personnel Issues. Go Woody, but check your back - I think I hear a bus revving up!

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Stephen Smoot wrote:blah blah


Smoot baby likes boys?

:wink:

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Tom wrote:I notice that Dr. Gee’s profile has been removed from the MI scholars page: https://mi.BYU.edu/personnel/scholars

The MI needs to put out an announcement.

What section of ANE will Dr. Gee be in? (I notice that he’s teaching Akkadian this fall.) http://ane.BYU.edu/department-administration/


Hi there, Tom. I wonder if you gave us a bad link? I'm not seeing any signs that Dr. Gee is scheduled to teach in the fall.

I agree with you that it would be useful if the MI would say something. I assume that Blair Hodges et al. have decided that silence is the better move at the moment, and I don't blame them for thinking that. By the way: it appears that all mention of Gee--save for his publications--has been eliminated from the MI website. Scrubbed clean, as it were.

I think that the MI people are in a difficult spot, to be honest. Sometimes, as the B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetics Studies, I feel that I've got a duty to speculate, and so that's what I'll do.

Let's suppose the the Mopologists' statements (vague as they have been) are correct. John Gee has a new appointment, complete with BYU's version of "tenure," and this happened because... Well, I don't know if you noticed, but they gave no reason at all. Peterson noted that Gee was unhappy at the MI, and that things were less than "congenial." (What does that mean, I wonder?) So many details are missing here. Still, in their telling of the story, this was an indisputable positive: it happened for all the right reasons. What would those reasons be, though? In an ideal world, it would mean that Gee's work as an Ancient Near East Languages scholar had distinguished himself in the field, and the ANEL department at BYU would be over-the-moon thrilled to have him on board. But that's not what Peterson said. Even in Peterson's own telling, this isn't about Gee's prowess as an academic; he portrays it instead as a "relief"--like the Maxwell Institute was such a scummy hive of betrayal that merely getting away from it has to be seen as a huge accomplishment. But that says an awful lot, doesn't it? I do wonder what the Mopologists are up to. They may be making their calculations in such as way as to try to deliver the most pain possible to the Maxwell Institute.

So, if you are the "damage control" team at the MI, what do you do? The Mopologists' story doesn't make any sense, but whatever. One option--the one they've explored to this point--is to say nothing, which is usually a good choice when you're dealing with a "yahoo" element like DCP, who carries life-long grudges and will do everything in his power to hurt you and humiliate you. (Hodges knows this from personal experience.) Still, let's assume that the Mopologists' version is semi-true. Does the MI acknowledge that? They could, without so much as skinning their knee: all they would have to do is say, "We are sad to see the great John Gee go, but he is moving on to a Continuing Status professorship over at ANEL, and he will remain the Gay Research Chair. We wish him the very best in his new endeavors." You would expect something like this if the Mopologists' story is correct--even if there are sour grapes over at the MI.

That said, it is far more likely that the Mopologists are lying to some extent. What if the rumor, posted by starsshine1942 is correct, and Gee had been on probation for a long time, and he was basically "ejected" and given some pittance appointment as a favor? If you are the MI, do you affirm that this is correct? The "new" Maxwell Institute wants scholarly credibility, and doesn't want to be dragged into the kind of gossip mongering and smear tactics that are the Mopologists' stock in trade. So what should they say? If sharsshine's post is true, then they cannot give the kind of laudatory announcement that I described above: that would be deceptive. So do they just state the facts, without providing any details: something like, "John Gee is no longer with the Maxwell Institute. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

But we have to remember that there are some significant things in play, such as the Gay Research Chair. The Mopologists are publicly insisting that it is now housed in the Department of Ancient Near Easter Languages. Is there any evidence for that, though? It may be that DCP publicly stated this as a tactic. In order to "clear the air," the MI will inevitably have to wade into the muck of the apologists and dirty their hands, and then Midgley, DCP, Wyatt, Smoot, and others will say: "Look! They are engaging in smear tactics against Gee!" Etc.

I wish the Maxwell Institute folks the best, but they are in a quandary at the moment. I agree with you, Tom, that they should say something, even if via non-official channels.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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DCP wrote:In my experience -- in the wake of the 2012 Purge -- defamation and innuendo were very much a part of the new Maxwell Institute program.

Unlike the old FARMS Review of Books, which was neither of those things?

I had hoped that those days were past, but perhaps I was too optimistic.

Irony much?
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Philo Sofee »

Dr. Shades wrote:
DCP wrote:In my experience -- in the wake of the 2012 Purge -- defamation and innuendo were very much a part of the new Maxwell Institute program.

Unlike the old FARMS Review of Books, which was neither of those things?

I had hoped that those days were past, but perhaps I was too optimistic.

Irony much?


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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Tom »

No, the link was intended to show the current sections in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages (note: starsshine1942 mistakenly refers to it as Ancient Near Eastern Languages). Dr. Gee doesn’t seem fitted to join any of the sections (e.g., Hebrew or Arabic). Perhaps he’ll have his own space as occupant of the Gay Research Chair.

Here’s a link to the BYU class schedules: http://saasta.BYU.edu/noauth/classSchedule/
If you search for Gee using the instructor search box for the fall 2019 semester, you’ll see his class.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Only 100 minutes of class time per week is an enviably light teaching load.

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by kairos »

No one has posited that Gee was a Mopologist
mole at the MI passing on "info" to chief Mopologist DCP so that Dan was always aware of the inner workings and plans of the MI.
So Gee was "discovered" and ousted as far away from the MI as they could toss him. Perhaps the Gay chair was a carrot to keep Gee from
airing dirty laundry.
A puzzlement is the "memo" Woody cited and claimed DCP
had seen as well. Whose memo? Apostles? MI? BYU? and what was it's purpose? Simply announcing a personnel change? Rationale on tossing Gee for scholarly output/ probation reasons?
We need more- calling Woody to mouth off!

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Chap wrote: People can be competent without possessing other, more important, scholarly qualities. It was Gee's lack of those that led Ritner to ask to be relieved of responsibility for him.

I would have assumed the disagreement was over Reformed Egyptian.

Maybe Ritner was concerned that Gee would damage the field of Ancient Egyptian with his studies and writings of Reformed Egyptian, or maybe Ritner was jealous about Gee being the heir apparent of Reformed Egyptian branch of the Ancient Egyptian language.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Chalk up a point in favor of starsshine1942--Dr. Peterson has now admitted that Gee's position *is not* "Continuing Status":

DCP wrote:None of the staff at the Maxwell Institute have CFS, strictly speaking.

Which is to say, in BYU terms, that nobody there has a BYU "faculty slot" -- i.e., a permanent stream of professorial funding. "Slots" exist in departments. For years now, there has been a set number of them, determined by the Board of Trustees and not subject to increase.

Professor Gee, though, has the Gay Professorship, which works out to pretty much the same thing (if not, indeed, much better). It effectively adds to the number of "slots" at BYU by bringing new monetary stream into the system.


It has not, to my knowledge, been definitively established that Gee still occupies the Gay Research Chair.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Before the thread was deleted, a poster on the r/latterdaysaints reddit had a fair amount to say, plus an exchange re Hauglid's role in this:
dice1899:

He’s just switching departments so that his work won’t continue getting ignored/buried at the Maxwell Institute. There’s been a rift happening there for quite some now, so they’re parting ways. I think it’ll end up being a good thing, rather than a problem.

dice1899:

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... itute.html

There's been a professional rift there for some time, with a lot of bad feelings on both sides over the way things went down. Several members of the MI have taken quite a few shots at him over the years, too.

This seems to be how it all started: https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/wp-co ... Review.pdf

I don't know any of them personally, and I don't know more details than what they've published and what I've seen in various comments on articles at The Mormon Interpreter and the Maxwell Institute. But there's been on-going drama between Brian Hauglid and John Gee for quite a while now, seemingly stemming from this original rift/2012 "purge," so the separation is a good thing for everyone, IMO. The MI can focus on what they want to focus on, and Gee and Peterson can focus on what they want to focus on, and nobody's work will get buried or denied publication based on the direction of the institution.

sillywabbittrix:

So Bushman and Hauglid work at the Maxwell Institute and Gee and Dan Peterson have been kicked out?

I think I’m more of a Maxwell Institute kinda person.

dice1899:

Nope, no one was kicked out. They both voluntarily quit rather than stay associated with a group that was ignoring research and framing things to fit their narrative, rather than follow what the research showed.

Apparently, more big changes are coming for the MI in the near future, so I'd keep an eye out.

sillywabbittrix:

Gotcha. Well I like Hauglid and Bushman. Gee and Peterson seem kinda hackish to me.

dice1899:

I like Bushman a lot, and I like Gee and Peterson. I think Hauglid's shady and unprofessional, and I wouldn't trust anything he has to say these days, which is a shame because he's one of the co-editors on one of my favorite church-related books.

sillywabbittrix:

I’ve seen you and /u/atari_guy really try to demean Hauglid. You never give a reason why you think he is untrustworthy you just imply that he is. I don’t think you are fair to him just because he recently went against things you believe.

dice1899:

Nope, it's because of things like this:

https://mormanity.blogspot.com/2019/03/ ... -book.html

He ignores research that doesn't fit his narrative and pretends it doesn't exist when he gives presentations and writes papers. He only gives one half of the story and shuts down discussion. When you don't allow others to follow and publish research that goes against your narrative, it's shady and unprofessional. And it isn't just the two of us who have a problem with it. A lot of people are concerned with the direction the Maxwell Institute is taking, enough so that changes are coming.

sillywabbittrix:

It seems like the author of the article in the link is just upset that Hauglid doesn’t buy the Egyptologists garbage. I also don’t believe the Egyptologists garbage.

I don’t see how anything in the link you gave could make Hauglid appear shady or untrustworthy. I think you say those things simply because you buy the BYU Egyptologists garbage.

dice1899:

Lol, Dude, I don't care what you believe. I don't care what Brian Hauglid believes. Knock yourselves out. There's plenty of room for a multitude of different theories concerning the Book of Abraham.

But the simple fact is, Brian Hauglid is burying information he disagrees with and publicly insulting fellow scholars. That is shady and that is unprofessional, and that is not trustworthy behavior. You can fanboy him all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that his behavior leaves a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people.


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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Doctor Scratch wrote:It has not, to my knowledge, been definitively established that Gee still occupies the Gay Research Chair.

In his missive from London, Dr. Peterson affirmed that Professor Gee will continue being the Gay Professor and that Gee is relieved at being rid of those infidels at the Maxwell Institute and happy to be a part of the Ancient Near East language department.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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The concept of "burying" or denying publication sounds weird to me. I once worked at a US national lab where all our papers had to be cleared to make sure we weren't giving away secrets. Short of that, I don't see how any institute or colleague can bury a researcher's work.

I guess it can happen that one or more co-authors of a joint paper refuse to submit the work for publication, but the other authors' contributions weren't big enough to make a viable paper on their own. By definition that's not a case where so much is lost, though. And the other authors can always lift their unpublishable parts above the threshold for publishability by doing additional work.

Papers are often rejected from prestigious journals and have to settle for being published less prominently. That's not being buried, though.

The only scenario I can see where research could get denied publication would be if the research is in such a small niche that there is only one possible journal and that journal has a dodgy enough review process that papers can be unfairly rejected through influence. Usually small fields just define themselves as part of a larger field, though, until they can appear in more journals. Conversely a journal without any competitors is just too narrow a journal. And a paper that could only be published in a single journal can't be much of a paper.

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Lemmie:

That's incredibly interesting. And you say the thread was deleted? That's pretty remarkable. I know that there has been a lot of tension between the Mopologists and Brian Hauglid--I believe this stems from the role that Hauglid played in helping to get Schryver's work suppressed. (I assume that's what "dice1899" is referring to when he mentions that "Brian Hauglid is burying information he disagrees with." Perhaps "dice1899" is a Schryver sock puppet?)

I do wonder how many of the Mopologists' insinuations have been made with Hauglid in mind. We know there are certain, specific people at the MI that they hate: Morgan Davis, Blair Hodges, and Brian Hauglid are certainly three of them. (Kristian Heal might be among them, too. And now Spencer Fluhman, too, I guess?) And they are constantly "winking" and "nudge-nudging" each other about MI personnel. They seem to think that merely not mentioning the name somehow absolves them from what they're doing.

Still, I am genuinely starting to wonder at this point of "starsshine1942" was a Hauglid sock puppet. Pure speculation on my part, I admit, but you have to admit that the comment was--how shall I say?--"confidently assertive"? And no one has done anything to clarify questions surrounding the Gay professorship.

(Also: I LOL'ed that Kiwi57 is using some personal blogspot post as "evidence" that Gee has the rank of full professor. If that's his rank at BYU, then there should be evidence of it somewhere on BYU's website. Titles and ranks aren't the same thing.)
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
DCP wrote:None of the staff at the Maxwell Institute have CFS, strictly speaking.

Which is to say, in BYU terms, that nobody there has a BYU "faculty slot" -- i.e., a permanent stream of professorial funding. "Slots" exist in departments. For years now, there has been a set number of them, determined by the Board of Trustees and not subject to increase.

Professor Gee, though, has the Gay Professorship, which works out to pretty much the same thing (if not, indeed, much better). It effectively adds to the number of "slots" at BYU by bringing new monetary stream into the system.


It has not, to my knowledge, been definitively established that Gee still occupies the Gay Research Chair.


That is very strange. I don't know how you get an endowed professorship housed in one part of the school to another one like that. Maybe BYU isn't rigid on these things, but I have seen attempts to do that elsewhere, and it was contentious and legally complicated. One department I was in tried to snag an endowed chair that was housed in another department (how I wish to god there were actually real chairs involved); a successor hadn't been named for some time and the chair was a better fit in our department in many ways. The emeritus professor who had held that chair, who happened to be a mentor of mine and is now of blessed memory, opposed the move and that alone held everything up. It was one of oldest chairs in the country, so the drastically altered educational and legal environment was also an issue. At one point, the original department was looking into ways to sue my department (according to rumor, anyway), which finally just gave up. I don't know if that would have been possible, but it was an indication of how difficult it was to just move the thing around like that and the level of rancor that an attempt to do so could incur. As I say, though, maybe at BYU it's no big deal, and maybe it's significant that Gee has not been in any department. Maybe everyone is excessively collegial drink orange juice together in the Wilkinson Center every Thursday, and maybe no one at the Maxwell Institute, past or present, would ever fight over money and prestige.

Also, if he has not been in a department, how were his raises and promotions (e.g. potentially to "continuing status") advanced and approved (or not)? It would certainly be an usual for a fresh Ph.D. to get an endowed chair as a full professor, so if he was awarded BYU's version of tenure, I wonder how that process worked. This doesn't really seemed like an endowed chair in the usual sense. That it was a "research" chair with outside funding housed in an institution at BYU but not in a department suggests that it was never a tenure-stream position in the first place. In other words, it might be more a long the lines of a fellowship, and those do tend to be revolving, nor are named-fellowships uncommon. I wonder whether, again, it is just something more pedantic at work here: perhaps this wasn't supposed to be a permanent position, or the current MI people want to be like other places that usually have revolving fellowships.

In any case, why not go to the College of Religion? Their standard seems to be only that you have to be as publicly and fervently traditional as John Gee. Seems like a good fit to me.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Shulem »

Scott Lloyd wrote:Those who wonder, as I have done, about the genesis of this notion that Gee was “dismissed” from the Maxwell Institute might take a gander at the Mormon Discussions thread. I’ve noticed that a lot of the silly back-and-forth over there bleeds over onto this board in one form or another.


Take a gander over here, at Mormon Discussion? Yeah, take a gander, Scotty baby.

:lol:

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Symmachus wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:It has not, to my knowledge, been definitively established that Gee still occupies the Gay Research Chair.


That is very strange. I don't know how you get an endowed professorship housed in one part of the school to another one like that. Maybe BYU isn't rigid on these things, but I have seen attempts to do that elsewhere, and it was contentious and legally complicated. One department I was in tried to snag an endowed chair that was housed in another department (how I wish to god there were actually real chairs involved); a successor hadn't been named for some time and the chair was a better fit in our department in many ways. The emeritus professor who had held that chair, who happened to be a mentor of mine and is now of blessed memory, opposed the move and that alone held everything up. It was one of oldest chairs in the country, so the drastically altered educational and legal environment was also an issue. At one point, the original department was looking into ways to sue my department (according to rumor, anyway), which finally just gave up. I don't know if that would have been possible, but it was an indication of how difficult it was to just move the thing around like that and the level of rancor that an attempt to do so could incur. As I say, though, maybe at BYU it's no big deal, and maybe it's significant that Gee has not been in any department. Maybe everyone is excessively collegial drink orange juice together in the Wilkinson Center every Thursday, and maybe no one at the Maxwell Institute, past or present, would ever fight over money and prestige.

Also, if he has not been in a department, how were his raises and promotions (e.g. potentially to "continuing status") advanced and approved (or not)? It would certainly be an usual for a fresh Ph.D. to get an endowed chair as a full professor, so if he was awarded BYU's version of tenure, I wonder how that process worked. This doesn't really seemed like an endowed chair in the usual sense. That it was a "research" chair with outside funding housed in an institution at BYU but not in a department suggests that it was never a tenure-stream position in the first place. In other words, it might be more a long the lines of a fellowship, and those do tend to be revolving, nor are named-fellowships uncommon. I wonder whether, again, it is just something more pedantic at work here: perhaps this wasn't supposed to be a permanent position, or the current MI people want to be like other places that usually have revolving fellowships.

In any case, why not go to the College of Religion? Their standard seems to be only that you have to be as publicly and fervently traditional as John Gee. Seems like a good fit to me.


Good points, Symmachus. My understanding has always been that Gee's position was something akin to a postdoc (he went straight into it out of grad school, didn't he?), but this was a postdoc that he was allowed to keep for years and years and years. So, no matter how you slice it, it is a *weird* position. As for your points about the difficulty in getting chairs shifted from one department (or institute) to some place else--yes, if it is something that's awfully difficult to accomplish, then it makes sense that the Mopologists would be crowing about this victory over the Maxwell Institute, whom they hate with a white-hot, boiling rage. But, no one to date has posted definitive evidence one way or another about the Gay Research Chair.
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