Texas Senate passes bill to end tenure for professors at public universities

The Senate has passed a priority piece of legislation that seeks to end tenure for professors at public universities in Texas.

Senate Bill (SB) 18, introduced by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), endured a lengthy debate on the floor before being passed on party lines by a vote of 18 to 11. The only Democratic vote for the bill was Sen. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso).

Blanco justified his vote by arguing that tenure has been a barrier for minority teachers in higher education.

“Universities have a shameful track record of discrimination and racism,” Blanco said on social media. “Now without diversity, equity, and inclusion, I don’t trust that universities will do any better by minorities. In good conscience, I can’t and won’t defend higher education and the status quo of tenure discrimination.”

Patrick has long campaigned for ending tenure for public colleges, going back to The Texan’s 88th Session Kickoff event where he railed against “professors who don’t like America” and suggested that he “would like to see them go to another state.”

After the vote on the floor, Patrick took to social media to give insight into why he thinks ending college tenure is necessary.

“Tenured university professors are the only people in our society that have the guarantee of a job,” said Patrick in a statement. “Over the past year, it has become abundantly clear that some tenured faculty at Texas universities feel immune to oversight from the legislature and their respective board of regents.”

There is a fair share of opponents to Patrick’s idea of ending tenure. A recent op-ed by a University of Texas at Austin professor challenged some of the comments made during the committee hearing that suggested ending tenure could lead to higher salaries. “If professors wanted to maximize their income, they would not have decided to work in academia,” the professor said.

The bill will now head to the House, but the two chambers have continued to differ on education policy this session.
Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher is the editor and publisher of High Plains Pundit. Dan is also the host of the popular High Plains Pundit Podcast.

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