Legislative Agenda 2022 - 2023
1. Academic Freedom and Tenure Ensures World Class Teaching.
Academic freedom in universities and colleges is essential for the critical thinking required by the Texas Coordinating Board of Higher Education Student Learning Outcomes. It also leads to not only honest, impactful research and teaching, but also for the broader societal and economic benefits derived from research and teaching grounded in reality. Since 1976 TACT has endorsed the 1940 Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors.
Tenure is essential for Texas colleges and universities to ensure professional working environments and to attract and retain top academic talent.
2. Campus Safety
As university facilities age, they are damaged by natural disasters and deferred maintenance. TACT advocates funding for the following.
Improvement of air and HVAC systems to decrease the spread of viruses and disease.
Environmental flooding response and mitigation.
Restore and modernize plumbing in response to ice storms.
TACT recommends permitless "constitutional carry” exclude higher education institutions which already have campus police and LTC stakeholders. Untrained gun holders can facilitate safety issues (misfires, mishandling, accidental death, suicide, etc.) with the related financial costs due to liabilities.
3. Higher Education Funding for Faculty, Staff and Research
TACT requests the Legislature incentivize universities to provide raises for university faculty and staff to keep up with the cost of living. As inflation rises to 10%, a 1-2% raise does not retain the State’s best employees.
Additionally, the Legislature should support veterans by fully funding Hazelwood mandates. Unfunded mandates increase the financial burden for other students.
As research is becoming more diversified among Texas universities, state support should be more equitably distributed across university systems to include regional schools. An investment in university research today creates a Texas that leads the nation in economic growth.
Educational Topics of Interest
TACT continues to expect that the quality and student expectations of dual credit courses are equal to university curricula. TACT endorses the 2019 “Statement on Dual Enrollment” and its best practices by the American Association of University Professionals (AAUP).
Based upon the complexities of dual enrollment/dual credit programs, it is recommended that multiple stakeholders, not solely faculty, be involved in recommending decisions regarding these programs.