Texas Lt. Gov. Links Tenure Abolition to Banning Critical Race TheoryBreaking News
tags: Texas, academic freedom, tenure, critical race theory, Dan Patrick
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday that he will push to end professor tenure for all new hires at Texas public universities and colleges in an effort to combat faculty members who he says “indoctrinate” students with teachings about critical race theory.
“Go to a private school, let them raise their own funds to teach, but we’re not going to fund them,” said Patrick, who is running for reelection. “I’m not going to pay for that nonsense.”
Patrick, whose position overseeing the Senate allows him to drive the state’s legislative agenda, also proposed a change to state law that could make teaching critical race theory grounds for revoking tenure for professors who already have it. His announcement tees up the next major fight at the Texas Capitol over how college students learn about the history of race and racism in the United States.
Conservatives over the past year have used “critical race theory” as a broad label to attack progressive teachings and books in college and K-12 schools that address race and gender.
Tenure is an indefinite appointment for university faculty that can only be terminated under extraordinary circumstances. Academics said Friday that tenure is intended to protect faculty and academic freedom from exactly the kind of politicization being waged by Patrick.
“This kind of attack is precisely why we have faculty tenure,” said Michael Harris, a professor at Southern Methodist University studying higher education, who likened tenure to lifetime appointments given to federal judges. “The political winds are going to blow at different times, and we want faculty to follow the best data and theory to try to understand what’s happening in our world.”
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