The ballad of Leeroy Hargis

Burns Hargis.

If Burns Hargis were a gamer, hed be Leeroy Jenkins.

Hes a newb. He messed up. And its screwed over everyone.

Apparently Hargis admitted he 'messed up', personally deciding to reject NIH funds:

Hargis told faculty Thursday that he erred in not talking to OSU scientists before quashing a research project that involved euthanizing baboons.

Hargis said he wasn't influenced by animal rights activists but said his decision was complicated and there were "confidential factors" that he couldn't discuss.

"To go through every lurid detail is simply not prudent," he told the OSU Faculty Council. He said not speaking first to campus scientists was a "rookie mistake" and pledged better communication with researchers.


Shutt said that the president acknowledged that he had made the decision "without consulting the faculty and said that wouldn't happen again." Shutt said that while the president was committed to working on "the process" for future consultation, he would not reconsider this decision.

Well thats a weird response. A notpology mixed with 'this is for your own protection, trust me'. And 'its complicated'. What a weirdo.

But you know what?

I believe him.

I believe Hargis did not recieve a phone call from a screeching Pickenses, and they were not personally consulted on this decision.

No, I think Hargis is just a stupid newb.

Dude just became Pres of Oklahoma State University last March (2008). He was just an accountant or something-- he doesnt know anything about basic science or how it is funded. So inexperience + stupidity + a shiny, irresistible opportunity to boost his standing in the eyes of Teh Pickenses... how could anyone expect him to resist?

I mean common, no one cares about science in Oklahoma! And what an opportunity to win praise from Teh Pickenses, increase his financial and perhaps, political clout among the Oklahoma glitterati!

So Brave Leeroy Hargis stormed the dragons keep... AND PISSED EVERYONE OFF.

Everyone from SCIENCE to ALF is talking about it. GREAT publicity, Leeroy Hargis!

So what do you do when you have a stupid newb in your guild? Well, an option, of course, is to kick him out of the guild. Leeroy Hargis didnt think about that before hand. Unfortunately, he is not being fired. But OSU faculty and admins are trying to do something.

OSU's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee had approved the projects after months of study.

That committee asked the OSU Faculty Council to consider a resolution asking Hargis to talk with them and scientists directly involved in projects before shutting down research. The resolution was referred to a faculty council committee.

Charlotte Ownby, chairman of the animal care and use group, said scientists feel Hargis bowed to political views and external pressure when making his decision.

Well, thats a start. Before Leeroy Hargis can do anything stupid again, he has to sit through a lecture about why what he wants to do is stupid. Probably having to sit still for ~60 minutes and listen to 'science crap' before he can make a decision like this again will be enough to prevent him from making more... 'unwise' executive decisions.

Ugh. What a fucking mess.

Great job, Leeroy. Hope you at least got some chicken.

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By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Oh man, you've already got a whiny animal rights activist troll.

By Katharine (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

While I know you were just being snarky, I would like to at least make it clear that there are some Oklahomans, not many, but some that are into science. I live about thirty minutes from OSU, so I see the quality of backwards thinking science deniers that OSU produces, but I can say that the majority of the faculty are actually supportive of science and reality. I know we are behind the curve when it comes to clinging to our superstitous past, but know that this is now being challenged like never before. Hell, Tulsa got it's first pro-atheist sign ever this week. There are many other States in the Union that cannot boast of such an accomplishment.

Kathrine-- Yeah, Doug poops on threads and runs away when people start asking questions. However, there have been comments here from professional animal liberation 'activists' who havent had the balls to use their names or even web addresses, so I will tip my hat to Doug for that.

TheGodless-- Sorry, yes, snark :) I go to school in OK and I love it here :)

I beernosed at "Oklahoma glitterati." Having been raised in Dallas, I know exactly what sort of person you're talking about, and "glitterati" is pretty much the funniest term for it possible. Even though Madeleine Pickens' hair mysteriously hangs downward to some extent, she still somehow gets the "higher the hair, closer to God" award.

By David Estlund (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Can we use the animal liberation wackjobs for research instead of non-human primates provided we treat them as nicely as we have to treat the mice (read: "food") in snake behavior experiments?

I really don't want to use humans in research, but if we aren't allowed to use model organisms to learn about human physiology, are we supposed to use humans?

I'm no animal-rights activist, but I do think we should exhaust our supply of pedophiles before we turn to more valuable animals like, say, rats.

And after one of said pedophiles is exonerated fully via DNA evidence, what will you do then?

"Oh, fuck, we messed up. But I'm sure he was guilty of something else anyway. Nothing to see here"

IMHO Hargis may not have had communications with Mrs. T. Boone, but her past involvement in getting the OSU Vet school to change their policies on animal surgery certainly had a role in his decision. She has approved of Hargis' most recent decision to ban the baboon research. Hopefully, the OSU Pres has learned from this debacle. He has contributed further to the negative image of the State.

OSU has many excellent scientists and other faculty members that have been instrumental in the defeat of legislative attempts to place creationism in science courses in Oklahoma. It is too bad that OSU faculty were not considered or consulted in this latest event. Hargis will now be watched more closely by OSU faculty and others.

What's up with Watts?

Pity to see such a great name ruined by wankers.

I hope that I'll never be that sorta ivorytower boss. Disgusting that he thinks he can run a uni without actually visiting the labs and paying attention to what people are doing.

I find it very hard to believe that his real name is Burns Hargis. Too good to be true.

One nice thing about doing math. We don't have fucking stupid idiots like Burns Hargis ever trying to mess with what we do. I guess next thing he'll decide that mice can't be used. I wonder how long it will take before he gets to E. coli.

I'm very disappointed that the ALF mentioned in this article doesn't like to eat cats.

I'm no animal-rights activist, but I do think we should exhaust our supply of pedophiles before we turn to more valuable animals like, say, rats.

I'm sure you're just being snarky, but that does lead to a deeper issue. It's very similar to the attitudes regarding the anatomical dissection of humans during the 18th and 19th centuries. In England, the bodies of executed criminals were turned over to the anatomists for study, not so much because it advanced science, but because it was an additional punishment for the criminals because it denied them a Christian burial. Eventually, because the demand for bodies outpaced the number of executions, the government eventually allowed the bodies of the recently deceased poor to also go to the anatomists -- again, a punishment. If we decide there's a group of people who would serve a better purpose by being dissected or treated as lab animals, we've moved beyond the goals and needs of science.

As an OSU grad (wildlife management '97), I'm a very disappointed in el presidente.

Doug, stfu.

By wildlifer (not verified) on 10 Dec 2009 #permalink

Yeah, Sili. My first thought was; he can't spell haggis properly.
On the substantive point: I'm disappointed that, although there's to be some sort of consultation in future. He's not big enough to fix the decision already made. Is this even possible, or have the funding source just put it elsewhere?
Also, what Chyanov said.

No, no: the animal rights activists will _volunteer_ to be subjects for medical experiments, to save the lives of the baboons they love so much. Won't they?

By Stephen Wells (not verified) on 10 Dec 2009 #permalink

"I heard that dude totally eBayed his account, anyway."

That's a shame. Last I heard he was still playing, but that was a while ago. I wonder how much his account went for.

Wasn't it mentioned in the other post (OK, I'm too lazy to look) that Burnt Haggis said, when he took the job, that he wouldn't dick with research. Has anybody called him on this?

Yea, I tried to find the article in the O'Colly, and couldn't find it :/ but I did find this!

Apparently, research is important because it brings in the money....


Yes, it does; but is that really the reason we do science? Why it's important?

It just shows how much he knows about the science community.

kudos for the reference to Dragon's Lair. I put way too many coins in that machine. What can I say.. I was young..