I agree and though I've supported Gates I believe he should have gone to the wall on this.
Here is the first part of the offical bio from the defense dept website:
"Dr. Robert M. Gates was sworn in on December 18, 2006, as the 22nd Secretary of Defense. Before entering his present post, Secretary Gates was the President of Texas A&M University, the nation's seventh largest university. Prior to assuming the presidency of Texas A&M on August 1, 2002, he served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001."
Not exactly good "go-to-the-wall credentials: ivory towers inhabited largely by academic weasels.
No wonder Obama kept him on.