Some at Texas Tech Leery of Gonzales's Hiring

The hiring of former attorney general Alberto Gonzales has worried some in the Texas Tech community.

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A few weeks ago, we wrote about Texas Tech's hiring of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Turns out some professors at the seventh-largest public university in the Lone Star State aren't exactly thrilled about Gonzales joining their ranks, the Daily Torreador reports.

A nine-page petition signed by 70 professors opposed Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance's hiring of Gonzales, who will teach a political science class in the fall and recruit minority students to the school. The petition, which was created by Walter Schaller, a Texas Tech philosophy professor, says that Hance's hiring of his friend Gonzales "cannot be seen as a commitment to ethical conduct."

Gonzales, a native Texan, earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Rice University in Houston. He was the Texas secretary of state and also served on the Texas Supreme Court before joining George W. Bush's administration as White House counsel. But his legal career took a beating once he became the first Hispanic to serve as U.S. attorney general. He resigned from the position as controversy surrounding the firing of U.S. attorneys and the Bush administration's wiretapping policies grew.

According to the Daily Torreador, Schaller and his fellow petitioners question Gonzales's ethical credibility and call his hiring a "troubling example of a celebrity hire."

"With the emphasis on ethics the university has adopted, a guy that misled Congress is not the kind of person we want to represent Texas Tech," Schaller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Hance told the Avalanche-Journal that the petition won't have any effect on the hiring. And Gonzales said he'll do everything he can to win over the skeptics.

"We live in a country where, in the academic world, people can express publicly their approval and disapproval of various issues," Gonzales told the Daily Torreador. "What I'm focused on is demonstrating that I'm serious about this teaching responsibility. I'm also serious about promoting diversity within Texas Tech. I hope that people will treat me fair and give me an opportunity to demonstrate that."