"The Un-Retiring," an article by the pseudonymous "M. Douglas," is online at Inside Higher Ed.
For those who don't have time to read it, here's the short version: "To older professors: hurry up and die, already. Or retire. We don't care. Just go away."
Now, some of the behaviors Douglas describes (borderline harassment and trying to block tenure on the grounds that the person is a "feminazi") are unnerving, no question. But Douglas's concerns seem to be more that (1) Professor X is old; (2) he's really old; (3) old enough to be the grandparent of other faculty members; (4) and did he mention that Professor X is really old?
I don't think that age necessarily has much to do with being obstructionist, driving people out, and generally making life miserable in a department; to judge from Ms. Mentor, various academic blogs, and my observations, those are pretty much equal opportunity behaviors.
A few questions:
1. Don't most departments have some mechanism for turning over the position of chair so that this kind of thing can be avoided, or at least a chair review and evaluation every so many years?
2. Are there really that many "deadwood professors" out there? The, ahem, very senior faculty I see at conferences don't strike me that way. Of course, they're at conferences, which may be the difference.
3. What about deadwood female professors? It's rare to see a post about them.