[FoRK] Another reason why it's going to stop conversation when I mention my grad advisor's name...

Ken Meltsner < meltsner at alum.mit.edu > on > Sun Jun 25 21:36:52 PDT 2006

This used to be an MIT phenomenon -- my grad advisor's name used to
close more doors than it opened; she was remarkably outspoken given
her lack of tenure.  In my opinion, between her political views and
her outspoken, no-BS attitude,  the MIT administration was going to
find a way to get rid of her, and they did -- she ended up at the
University of Washington after failing to receive tenure, although I
don't know what happened to her lawsuit against the Institute.

I lost touch with her after a few years.  I'm no longer working in
materials science research, and she was moving towards expanding
opportunities for women and minorities in science.  If you're going to
tilt at windmills, you may as well pick important ones after all.

I hadn't followed the recent controversy in the UC system about her
new job there.  Now "out," she was the partner of Denise Denton, the
chancellor of UCSC.  There was a tsimmes about the perks granted
Denton -- a massive upgrade of the chancellor's house, the charge that
Kalonji's position at UCSC was created just for her -- but nothing
sounds like it would have merited Denton's suicide yesterday.

I fear that Gretchen will be remembered now for this unfortunate end
to Denton's career, and the controversy that preceded it.  This is
tragic, while over the years I became aware of how flawed an advisor
she was, she was also an exceptionally brilliant professor as well as
one dedicated to her students.

Ken Meltsner

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