PDA

View Full Version : Professor Reportedly Shoots Colleagues For Denying Tenure



Pages : [1] 2 3

agalisgv
02-13-2010, 05:17 AM
Authorities say a woman opened fire during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama's Huntsville campus, killing three biology professors and injuring three other school employees.

Several students identified the woman who was being taken into custody as Amy Bishop, an instructor and researcher at the university.

...Sammie Lee Davis said his wife, Maria Ragland Davis, was a researcher who had tenure at the university.

In a brief phone interview, he said he was told his wife was at a meeting to discuss the tenure status of another faculty member who got angry and started shooting.

He said his wife had mentioned the shooter before, describing the woman as "not being able to deal with reality" and "not as good as she thought she was."

Bishop, a neurobiologist from Harvard University, joined the UAH biology faculty as an assistant professor in fall 2003.

...The Huntsville campus has about 7,500 students in northern Alabama, not far from the Tennessee line. The university is known for its scientific and engineering programs and often works closely with NASA. [Article is from Yahoo--can't get the link to work though]

uyeahu
02-13-2010, 05:23 AM
This happened at my University and I can literally see the Shelby Center from my living room. Nothing ever happens in this town full of boring engineers but in the past month we've had a plane crash that killed two, a middle school shooting (just last Friday) where one 14 year old shot and killed another 14 year old in the hallway at school (funeral was today) and now this woman flies off the rails. It's like I'm living in an alternate reality.

Unfortunately, the man quoted above lost his wife. His daughter was interviewed by one of the local news channels earlier this afternoon before they'd learned the identities of the victims. She was standing outside trying to get information and got the call to go to the hospital during the news broadcast.

Here's a link to local coverage. (http://www.al.com/news/)

agalisgv
02-13-2010, 06:18 AM
Thanks for sharing uyeahu. What an awful tragedy for the families, school, and community :(.

Angelskates
02-13-2010, 06:20 AM
:(

overedge
02-13-2010, 06:44 AM
How awful. Something similar happened in Montreal in 1992 (a professor shooting colleagues over an academic dispute), and it really is scary, in an occupation that's supposed to be civil and collegial.

MOIJTO
02-13-2010, 02:06 PM
With the pressure that exists in the world today for people this is something that I feel we will hear more of. Its very sad to me.

NinjaTurtles
02-13-2010, 02:15 PM
With the pressure that exists in the world today for people this is something that I feel we will hear more of. Its very sad to me.

Eys. Many departments in larger research institutions have reputations of back stabbing and sabotage between colleagues and graduate students, apparently due to the pressure to reach tenure and publish. Scary stuff.

Bandana
02-13-2010, 02:17 PM
I agree Moijto. Academia is extremely cutthroat, nasty, and filled with jealousy and bitterness. I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. I'd bet for every prof passed over who actually does pull out the gun there are a hundred that want to but think the better of it.

duane
02-13-2010, 07:43 PM
So, this woman shot and killed her brother in an "accidental" shooting 24 years ago? Makes one now wonder if it were truly accidental.

agalisgv
02-13-2010, 08:52 PM
Police say a University of Alabama professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues at a faculty meeting this week shot her younger brother dead in Massachusetts more than 20 years ago but records of it are missing.

Police Chief Paul Frazier says Amy Bishop shot her brother in the chest in 1986 in the Boston suburb Braintree. He says Seth Bishop's shooting was logged as an accident but detailed records of it have disappeared.

Frazier says people who worked for the police department then remember the incident. He says before Amy Bishop could be booked the police chief back then told officers to release her to her mother.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100213/ap_on_re_us/us_ala_university_shooting_brother;_ylt=Ar9Y8BIxFk Cz3fwTePlrOIBvzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTMzbGo0ZGt2BGFzc2V0A2 FwLzIwMTAwMjEzL3VzX2FsYV91bml2ZXJzaXR5X3Nob290aW5n X2Jyb3RoZXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3Rvcn kEc2xrA2NoaWVmYWxhcHJvZg--



The police chief ordered her release before she could be arrested, and the files have now disappeared. Hmm.....

berthesghost
02-13-2010, 09:01 PM
^ OMG (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/02/professor_accus.html)

But Frazier said the media had been fed an incorrect story. He said that there was an argument at the home on Hollis Avenue and Amy Bishop had fired three shots, then fled the house and pointed the shotgun in a motorist in an attempted carjack. She was then arrested at gunpoint by officers.

uyeahu
02-13-2010, 09:05 PM
The Boston Globe has a lot more details on the matter.. (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/02/professor_accus.html)


Frazier said he was basing his statements on the memories of one of his officers who was on the department at the time and had arrested Bishop. He said the records from the case have been missing since at least 1987.

"I don't want to use the word 'coverup,' but this does not look good," he said.

Then-Police Chief John Polio told the Globe in 1986 that Bishop, who was 20 at the time, had asked her mother, Judith, in the presence of her brother how to unload a round from the chamber of a 12-gauge shotgun.

Polio told the Globe that while Amy Bishop was handling the weapon, it fired, wounding Seth Bishop in the abdomen. He was pronounced dead at a hospital 46 minutes after the Dec. 6, 1986 shooting.

"Every indication at this point in time leads us to believe it was an accidental shooting," Polio said at the time.

In an interview at his home this afternoon, Polio, 87, said, "There was no coverup." He said he followed all department procedures and then-District Attorney William Delahunt's office conducted an inquiry and the decision was made not to file charges.

snip

But Frazier said the media had been fed an incorrect story. He said that there was an argument at the home on Hollis Avenue and Amy Bishop had fired three shots, then fled the house and pointed the shotgun at a motorist in an attempted carjack. She was then arrested at gunpoint by officers.

Wyliefan
02-13-2010, 11:02 PM
Awful. :( I have a friend who teaches English there. She's shaken and upset, but safe, thank God.

lulu
02-14-2010, 05:26 AM
What a horrible tragedy. :(

susan6
02-14-2010, 06:54 PM
The tenure process is extremely stressful, and given the fact that this woman seems to have been mentally unstable to begin with (her mom totally got her off the hook for shooting her brother), an unfavorable tenure vote pushing her over the edge is not all that surprising.

Some details are a little confusing. She's 45, so it would seem she didn't follow the traditional "grad school-postdoc-assistant prof" career path which has you going up for tenure in your mid to late 30's. Either she had several long postdocs (possibly an indicator of trouble), or she had a previous professorship at another university and that didn't work out (also possibly indicating problems). There's the fact that she got her degree at Harvard and wound up in Alabama. There's the coworker indicating she's not as good as she thinks she is and doesn't have a grip on reality. It definitly sounds like she was harboring some serious delusions and couldn't handle the harsh reality of the tenure vote.

(That's another weird thing....I was under the impression that the tenure process at most universities starts in spring/summer, the candidate submits their tenure binder in summer or early fall, the department sends the information out and asks for external letters of recommendation to arrive at the end of summer or early fall, and the tenure vote in the department is in Fall. Why was this tenure meeting in February?)