Dr. Laughlin, a Stanford physicist, is a talkative man quick to express his opinions.KAIST hired Laughlin to come in and shake things up. When he did, he did so in characteristic Bob fashion, and they reacted negatively. Things went south from there:
In an attempt to assert his control, Dr. Laughlin in December 2005 set out to personally interview and evaluate every one of Kaist's 400 or so faculty members, focusing mainly on the quality of their research projects and academic work. For those professors who agreed to the interviews, he gave them a one-paragraph summary grading their work from "unimportant" to "very important."Yeah, that may have rubbed people the wrong way.
To be fair to Bob, the leaders of KAIST were crazy to hire him - all issues of personality clashes aside, he'd never managed a group of more than a handful of people, let alone an enormous research institution with a complex bureaucracy, large staff, and huge budget. Surprise: a Nobel prize in physics doesn't automatically imply success in extremely sophisticated management problems. It's also entirely possible that his assigned task was essentially impossible by design. An interesting read, anyway.