July 13, 2009
On August 1, Alberto Gonzales will start working at Texas Tech University, where he will teach a seminar in political science while helping the university (and Angelo State University) recruit and retain first generation college students. In announcing the appointment last week, Texas Tech officials praised his "experience" and "expertise," noting the important legal jobs he held in Austin and Washington working for George W. Bush.
In most cases, landing a former U.S. attorney general would be a coup for a university, and law schools would be lining up with job offers. But the ties between Gonzales and Bush -- and the role Gonzales played in decisions that critics view as unconstitutionally eroding civil liberties -- mean that this appointment isn't escaping notice, even at the generally conservative Lubbock campus. Criticism has come both from those offended by the Gonzales record and those disturbed by the idea that -- at a time of tight budgets -- the chancellor of the university (Kent Hance, a politician turned educator, who was once a Democrat but became a Republican during the Reagan administration) would find $100,000 to create a job for Gonzales.