Remember Geoffrey Miller, the visiting NYU professor who tweeted a fat-shaming message to potential PhD students and then tried to excuse it saying it was “research?” To refresh, he wrote: “Dear obese PhD applicants: If you don’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth.” His bosses at University of New Mexico, where he’s on staff, didn’t believe the “research” line any more than the rest of us. “The board concluded that Miller’s tweets were self-promotional in nature and did not follow research criteria which require specific research questions or hypotheses, systematic methods for collection quantitative and/or qualitative data and criteria for selecting respondents,” the university’s review board wrote last month. On Monday the university announced it was censuring him.
Miller won’t lose his job, or any pay that the university made public, but he does face administrative consequences: He must apologize to his colleagues and the psychology department, have his work monitored, be assigned a faculty mentor for three years, and work with the Psychology Department’s diversity organization to come up with a sensitivity training plan for obesity. And of course, he’s not to sit on any graduate admissions committee.