I received the most unusual e-mail today from someone concerned that I am wasting the hard-earned dollars of the average Georgia taxpayer on my blogging pursuits. Here is the e-mail, reproduced in full except for the name of its sender:
While searching for weblog information recently, I came upon the site you maintain. I found the information and postings there to be insightful and well written. However, I also noticed that you are a professor of law at my almamater. In this regard, something struck me as being a bit out of line.
The vast majority of your postings are done during what one might term, "working hours." I realize that while you are a professor which likely entitles you to liberal time requirements certainly as an employee of the State of Georgia you are held to similar rules as the most basic civil servant. Having worked for the government myself, I am certain that I would be unable to leave my office to play a round of golf or take care of other
personal chores without taking personal leave. In this regard, I find it striking that you are entitled to persue your daily activity of "blogging" while on the taxpayers of Georgia's nickel. This website, replete with sarcastic and juvenile attacks on a wide range of things, is certainly not within the scope of "academic pursuits" required of those employed by the University System of Georgia during their daily work.
Be certain that I fully respect your right to produce this material on your own time. I do not intend this letter to portray any sentiments otherwise. I find no conflict of interest in your maintenance of a professorship and your voicing of political views, this is certainly within your rights as an American. I do find an enormous conflict with your performance of this habit while "riding the clock" of the University System of Georgia and the salary it provides for you through taxation of the citizens of Georgia. To that end, I am forwarding this complaint to both
the Georigia House and Senate Committee on Higher Education, the Department of Human Resources of Georgia, the Chair of the Board of Regents, Michael Adams, President of the University of Georgia and Dean Rebecca White, Dean of the Law School. I also intend to file formal written complaints with each of these entities and will not cease doing so until this misuse of taxpayer dollars and abuse of position ceases.
P.S. Please note that this PERSONAL matter is being attended to outside of my PROFESSIONAL working hours.
I don't think the e-mail requires a response -- other than to say that I think the author has a very narrow understanding of what my academic duties are. Blogging is an extension of my research and teaching, not a digression from them.
I'm curious -- has any other professor/blogger at a public institution ever received a similar e-mail?