Iowa lawmakers consider bill to end tenure for professors at Iowa’s public universities

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:39 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Iowa Republican lawmakers are considering bills that would end tenure for professors at Iowa’s three public universities.

When a professor achieves tenure, it means they can only be fired for ‘just cause,’ or let go due to extraordinary circumstances, like university financial issues.

Lawmakers nationwide continue to discuss tenure after years of debate.

Supporters argue it protects academic freedom while opponents argue it protects bad professors.

Iowa Republicans are critical of what they see as bias against conservatives on Iowa’s campuses.

Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley says tenure is worth a deeper look.

“I think our caucus is really to the point now, where we feel that, you know, we invest millions and millions of dollars every year in higher education.,” Grassley said. “We think it’s something that needs to have a serious look.”

Another piece of legislation would mandate public universities survey their employees on their political beliefs.

The Iowa Board of Regents, which governs Iowa’s public universities, opposes eliminating tenure.

In their statement, the board said, “Our institutions have rigorous accountability procedures in place and conduct annual reviews of faculty at all levels including tenured faculty.”

The board says the reviews ensures all faculty members perform up to standard.

Seee the story on KCCI’s website.

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