Last Friday morning Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced he wants to end tenure for all new faculty hires at public universities and revoke tenure for any professor who teaches critical race theory. TACT spoke to the offices of Senator Creighton, Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and Representative Wilson, Subcommittee Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, on February 18th, the same day the Lt. Governor announced his intentions.
TACT Board members explained how the implications of this are more far reaching than they realize. We expressed our desire to help inform the discussion at the Capitol about tenure and academic freedom. TACT President Jim Klein, a history professor at Del Mar College, explained to the legislative aides that there is much in the history of these topics. He communicated how the AAUP statement on academic freedom tenure was created in 1940 from many professors fleeing Europe and restrictions made on their freedom to teach.
We reminded them how tenure helps attract faculty to Texas and how academic freedom breeds innovation, which Texas is known for. Tenure and academic freedom protect those who teach on the 'far right' side, as well as the 'far left,' and the majority who want to educate students about all sides and allow them to think for themselves.
This is just the first of many discussions we'll be having in the future with legislative offices on these topics. If you are not already a member of TACT, join the fight today!
If you are a member, share this critical information with a colleague.