Monday, July 23, 2007

In Brigadoon again

Oh dear. My former employers still persist in trying to make everyone believe that Dr Bill Cooke really, really, was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Buffalo (2003-2006). So determined are they to prove white is the new black that they have now amended Dr Cooke's bio to include a link to a jpg of his letter of acceptance and his staff card. They really are trying very hard.

It won't work. As I observed in a previous post, there is no University of Buffalo and the Department Chair of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo has said that Dr Cooke was never a member of the Faculty.

In particular, the NZARH have not addressed the explanation given by the Department Chair, in a letter to me:
As I observed in my previous communication about this matter, the Philosophy Department has often offered courtesy appointments to resident fellows at the Center for Inquiry to permit them to get a parking tag and to use the library at the University at Buffalo. In the past we were required to submit paperwork that appointed people as visiting professors in order to establish this relationship, although in our “in-house” language the relationship was called “research fellow”. (I suspect that Dean Sukhatme, who was new to the university at the time, may not have been aware of the terminological disparity.) At any rate, these appointments were not true appointments to the faculty, for the fellows did not teach for us or receive salaries.  In order to remove misunderstanding that this situation sometimes generated (more than once I should add), we now use different titles and do not submit paperwork that appoints people as visiting faculty.
I find it pitiful that the governing body of an organisation which is supposedly based on Reason is prepared to put its reputation at stake for the sake of someone who is on record as having lied to them and of having used his position for personal gain. But that is their problem. Here's Nick Lowe:


Red said...

I think your bitterness has led you to lose perspective on the situation. Surely you have to admit that prima facie, the letter completely legitimises Cooke's claim to the position.

My perception is this: Bill Cooke probably has not misrepresented himself. Even if he has misrepresented himself, it was almost certainly not deliberate; and in any case the end result is relatively trivial.

You need to be careful that you don't start sounding like a bitter, obsessive crackpot.

I say this as someone who has had minimal dealings with the NZARH, and someone who admires you a great deal, especially for your work on the former incarnation of 'The Fundy Post.'

Rob Davies said...

There are those of us out there, trapped knee-deep in muck in outer Absurdistan, who might be interested in being kept abreast of any developments in Cooke's straits.

Stop acting the herring, Red. It's not always to indulge himself that he publishes here. More often it's to indulge the rest of us.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Red, and have said much the same before. It is obvious Dr Cooke never held an academic appointment at the disputed university. That he displays the things he used to delude himself that he did is not sinister, it is not actionable, it is simply sad and displays his manifest inadequacies.

By pointing this out continually Paul you are mocking the afflicted which does not make you look good. This move by the NZARH is presumably a response to your appearance at the AGM. It therefore represents a victory for you. Be magnanimous in that victory, you will look much better for it.

In very sunny Dundee, the whole of the UK is NOT under water.