Bye-bye bites; fired for bad attendance

I love my job.

I love my wife and family.

So when Dr. Amy Hubbell, formerly of Kansas State University, was offered a faculty appointment at the University of Queensland amy.doug.sorenne.xmas.12in Brisbane, Australia, I was supportive.

I consulted with the dean of the vet college, and my dept. chair and, given the electronic and eclectic nature of my research, extension and teaching, they agreed to experiment with me being based in Brisbane.

I was hired by K-State in 2006 for my food safety outreach activities, research and teaching.

I was promoted to full professor in 2010 in recognition of successfully fulfilling those objectives.

I consistently publish 5-7 peer-reviewed journal papers per year, publish approximately 1,000 blog posts per year on, publish approximately 400 editions of bites-l per year, conduct approximately 600 media interviews per year, successfully graduate 2-3 graduate students per year, manage a research budget averaging $200,000 per year, and teach a food safety risk analysis graduate course by distance.

Today I was told my contract would not be renewed beyond June 30, 2013, because of bad attendance.

I had presented options for on-line course in food safety policy, a massive open on-line course (MOOC) in food safety, and was repeatedly told my performance as a faculty member was above average – but I’m getting fired for not being there to hold my colleagues hand during tea.

I love my wife and family. And that’s where my allegiance lies.


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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time