In the recent problems with Maria, there was much concern, sound and fury about what was happening and who knew what when and everything else, including the potential for world peace.
There is a fundemental tension here. Many of the jr faculty in Maria’s dept (and other related depts) had lots of questions about What Was Happening. Was this because Maria is female? Why did she not get more time, more acknowledgement for her achievements? A lot of was said about transparency and the lack thereof and how all of this reduced morale in jr. faculty.
The tension comes in Maria’s right to confidentiality in this process. She did say quite a lot (which is her right), although much was her perception, and not necessarily that of the promo committee. But when people went to her chair, and to the chair of the school’s promo comittee demanding information, there was a line drawn. To discuss, with anybody, any of the deliberations that applied to Maria was considered, and is, inappropriate.
Junior faculty need transparency. They need to know how to process works, what happens at each step, and the importance of various components of their portfolio. They need to know that the steps and processes are applied equally. Knowing the details of any person’s process and outcome may be something others want, but it is not going to happen. We, as scientists, mentors and human beings, have to make decsions about the priorities of rights.