I am pleased to see that there is real discussion about whether my former employer, Texas Tech University, ought to have hired former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a faculty member (and student recruiter).
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports that a petition protesting the decision to hire Gonzales has been signed by at least 40 members of the faculty.
I have made clear on this blog that I am no fan of Mr. Gonzales, and certainly no fan of his interpretations of the Constitution and of the law. But the debate to hire him misses a point: Unless it can be proven in a court that he violated U.S. or international law, then there is no justification for not hiring him.
Let's put it more bluntly: If the decision whether to hire a person was based on his or her political beliefs, then it would be a sad day. We see that happen far too often in political administrations, and they lead to an erosion of confidence in the political process and system. We don't need that in higher education.