Michael Mann's boss at Penn State, Bill Brune, has suddenly announced that he is standing down as head of department. Brune, as readers of Hiding the Decline will know, was a consultant to the Penn State inquiry into Mann's conduct. He also spoke about the inquiry a year or so ago. According to my correspondent, an email was sent out to faculty by the dean of the School of Geosciences, William Easterling. This is is the relevant section:
It is with mixed feelings that I announce Bill Brune's intention to step down as department head effective January 1, 2014, after a stellar 13 year term as Head of Meteorology. Bill has led the Department through a period of expansion into new and important areas, including eddy flux measurement and modeling, tornado genesis, climate variability and change dynamics, surface-atmosphere interactions, and weather and climate risk. Outstanding faculty members were recruited into all of those areas under his leadership. Bill also oversaw the transformation of the Weather Station into the state of the art Joel N. Myers Weather Center. His reorganization of business operations in the Department now stands as a model for other departments. Bill led the Department through the first National Research Council ranking of meteorology doctoral programs; Penn State Meteorology is now ranked among the nation's elite doctoral programs. Bill is a highly respected atmospheric chemist and currently holds one of EMS' distinguished professorships. He plans to rejoin the faculty to devote more time to his research and teaching.
It could be nothing. But then again it could signify something. Penn State still seems to be in a state of upheaval with the state auditor general calling for an overhall of the university. Meanwhile, there is continuing speculation that the recent firing of the president of Mann's former base at the University of Virginia was linked to climate change controversies.