Here is the explanation the funding agency uses:
Putting on my 'dealing with faculty and grantsmanship' hat, I would bet good money he was confrontational in his application and that more than anything was why it didn't get funded. There are definitely faculty out there who don't get funded simply because they are too difficult to deal with.
In parallel, no one is going to check or hold you accountable on these things and they list the criteria. They don't hide it, its right there. They are the funding agency, the government directs them to set priorities and policies and they did. Stating up front that you believe their policies and priorities are stupid is not a great way to get anyone to give you money.
He's just participating in performative nonsense.
> “I’ve had two people say that was the kiss of death,” said Kambhampati.
> the council said, “the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient.”
So he might have a point.
And he's the one participating in performative nonsense and not the government and funding agency?
If he’s hard to deal with as the true reason, then did this funding agency cook some bullshit reason up to reject him? In that case I support this hard to deal with asshole.
Lastly, when did we get to a point where cutting edge laser-research requires ‘easy to deal with people’? He’s a fucking professor at a research university, that’s pretty good in my book for achieving culture-fit (the workplace analogy).
Repeat after me - we do not need the guy building us cutting edge laser technology to be easy to deal with, we do not need him to be a people person. We need lasers.
My take is he’s hiring mostly Indians. It might be worthwhile to sit him down and say ‘look, you are literally only hiring Indians’ lol. Not giving either side a pass here, but devolving the argument down to semantics always leads us to the war of semantic attrition. The funding body should clearly say ‘you cannot literally just hire only Indians, please be reasonable’, and then have the dipshit explain how ‘only Indians understand and care about lasers and no one else’. Then all of the cards will be face up.
This stands in contrast to e.g. the Quebec equivalent, FRQNT, which has always provided me detailed 'rejection' reports