Saturday, December 09, 2023

MORE OF THIS, PLEASE: Florida State Dumps Race-Baiting Fraudster Professor

Here’s your feel-good story of the day, courtesy of Florida State University…

A Florida university has fired a professor after an investigation concluded he “demonstrated extreme negligence” in the data management of racial bias studies that could cause “unalterable” damage to the school’s reputation.

In a scathing five-page termination letter penned by Florida State University’s (FUS) Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, James Clark informed criminologist Eric Stewart that decades of his research “once thought to be at the forefront” of the profession were shown to contain “numerous erroneous and “false narratives.”

“My specific concerns are related to the details of your behavior and the extreme negligence and incompetence that you demonstrated in the performance of your duties,” Clark wrote.

“As outlined in the Notice of Intent to Terminate letter, you demonstrated extreme negligence in basic data management, resulting in an unprecedented number of articles retracted, numerous other articles now in question, with the presence of no backup of the data for the publications in question,” he added.

As reported by The College Fix and corroborated by the letter, Stewart had previously refuted the evidence of FSU’s misconduct inquiry committee’s lengthy investigation and stated the reports “indicate that the misconduct claims were rejected by multiple panel experts.”

However, Clark’s termination letter to Stewart suggested the criminologist did not take “any meaningful steps” to remedy the situation in the four years since the issues came to light and did not attempt to re-create any of the studies.

“You have not pursued any remedial action, and you have even refused to cooperate with your FSU colleagues and coworkers who requested to work with you on these matters,” the letter continued.

That’s a typo in the Fox News article, by the way, Florida State is FSU, not FUS.

Anyway, this guy put out six different studies accusing the public of racism and stating that black criminals have it worse than everybody else. Then when people over there finally started getting wise to the fact that there was serious fraud involved in the crafting of those studies, rather than address their concerns he just clammed up and collected his 190K salary for nothing.

The real question here is, particularly in sociology, criminology and related “soft-science” fields, how much fraud is there?

Well, from the article…

Justin Pickett, one of the study’s co-authors, previously claimed that the “identified discrepancies” in Stewart’s work could not be attributed to “researcher error.”

“Scientific fraud occurs all too frequently….and I believe it is the most likely explanation for the data irregularities in the five retracted articles,” Pickett said.

There is no reason to doubt that.

The good news is that Florida State did the right thing and publicly fired this guy for putting out fake research to drive a political narrative. We’d love to see a whole lot more universities do just that. But for public colleges in states without governors like Ron DeSantis who are paying attention to this kind of thing, or for private colleges who don’t have a strong hand on the tiller, the prognosis isn’t great.

And we demand that universities engage in copious amounts of research – rather than focus on instruction – to prove their quality. This case is an example of how that’s a double-edged sword, because if you’re trying to compete based on how much research you do you’ll have scam artists like Eric Stewart fudging the numbers in support of an agenda.

At some point we’re going to need to reexamine the entire structure of higher education. If Pickett is correct, and we think he generally is, we’re subsidizing fraud on a massive scale in these universities and getting bad policy impetus for our trouble.