The University of New Mexico has announced that its Institutional review board (IRB) has found that Professor Geoffrey Miller’s tweet telling Ph.D. applicants who were obese not to apply was not “research.” After the tweet went viral, Dr. Miller lamely defended it as part of a research project. It wasn’t.
The University said that it was proceeding with a “disciplinary process” against Dr. Miller. An earlier communication from the University stated that Dr. Miller was not involved in any faculty searches at UNM. The University statement notes, “Whether Miller will continue at NYU or return to UNM is under discussion , but has not been determined.”
Interestingly, an article by Burmeister, Kiefner, Carels and Musher-Eizenman, “Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions”, was published on-line June 20, 2013 in the journal, Obesity. While this is a small study, the researchers found no evidence of bias in letters of reference but there appears to be evidence of discrimination against applicants with obesity who had face-to-face interviews.