An outrage. Ending deanship is one thing; revoking tenure and firing him as a professor quite another. http://t.co/zP7ckbUHr5It seems pretty clear that the administration at the U of Saskatchewan had a bad idea and then got super-defensive when they faced some criticism. Indeed, this Dean had been warned not to speak up.
— jtlevy (@jtlevy) May 14, 2014
I doubt that this will stand as the contract of U of S is pretty specific apparently about freedom of expression including the ability to criticize the administration. So, Prof. Buckingham is likely to get part of his job back, if I had to guess.
Professors are always going to criticize administration--it is what we do and who we are. If you want to fire anyone who does that, it might be a good strategy for getting rid of all tenured profs. But it is a lousy strategy if you want to keep and attract talent. Who is going to accept a job offer at U of S besides entry level folks who have no choice? Perhaps they do not want any "rock stars" or "rainmakers" or any other kind of academic that might be trouble despite the grants they bring in, the students they attract, the reputation they help to promote.
In most grant reviews, there is a portion that asks: is the institution sufficiently supportive for this project? I would be tempted to say that U of S is going to lose out on many grants if outsiders take seriously the environment that now exists there--a hostile one for free inquiry and expression.
Amateur administration is both alliterative and accurate. If you cannot handle the slings and arrows of outraged professors, you do not belong in the business of administrating an university.