Like other institutions of higher education in the United States since the early 1900s, those in Texas grant “tenure” to professors – effectively shielding their employment except in the most extreme situations.
Originally established to provide academic freedom in research, some claim it has become a shield for leftwing political activism and wants to end the practice. Others, however, assert providing tenure helps draw prestigious faculty to the state. Yesterday, we asked readers if it should be abolished at the taxpayer-subsidized universities and colleges in Texas.
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Here is a sample of the comments we received from our readers after they voted in the survey.
“As a former Associate Professor (without tenure) at UTSD in Houston, I found tenure to be an outdated concept that only encourages complacency among those who achieve it.” – Dr. Michael Miller
“Tenure is just a get-out-of-jail-free card for professors to treat undergraduates cruelly without repercussions. It used to be for the protection of research, but the men and women of the Academy have perverted its purpose and protections.” – Laura Nunn
“Do not abolish tenure; that would be throwing out the baby with the bath water. Instead, target the administrators and governing boards that do the hiring and monitoring of the faculty. Political discrimination in hiring and spineless pandering to student crybabies and leftist demagogues needs to stop.” – Paul Price
“There is no tenure in the real world. Corporations conduct performance reviews annually, and life conducts them daily.” – Mark Juelg
“Whereas it might feel good to remove the protection of faculty who ‘preach’ leftist beliefs in the classroom, the reality is that removing this protection from conservative faculty, or even those who just refuse to toe the line of leftist ideology, will result in the termination of those the left see as a hindrance since the left has already captured the administration of most state universities.” – Bari Tinker
“I believe tenure is important at every level of the education timeline, BUT it should NEVER be a license for allowing this reprehensible behavior.” – Patt Hoffman
“Tenure has outlived its intended purpose. It has morphed into a means to prevent the removal of poor/bad instructors of our vulnerable younger generation.” – Dennis Scharp
“The very question shows a lack of understanding as to what ‘tenure’ is. EVERY faculty member is on ‘probation’ with his/her department when hired…(s)he must ‘fit’ the department standards of understanding and the ability to convey that understanding to students, or they are simply not needed and can be fired for cause as soon as that becomes apparent. ‘Tenure’ means they are off probation and contribute. They can still be fired just like anybody else, and for all the same reasons, just not for ‘cause.’” – Jerry L. Cooke, Ph.D.
“I associate the word ‘tenure’ in institutions of ‘higher education’ with the word ‘swamp’ in Washington!” – John R. Makow
“Without tenure, professors at Texas universities would have no protection if they teach the truth in defiance of the woke philosophy that predominates on campuses. Conservatives are much more likely to suffer than liberals.” – Jerry Harben
“Tenure falls in the same category of seniority in civil service and the lack of term limits – all harmful to a free and productive society. Besides, Texas does not need prestigious (liberal) faculty from other states.” – Richard Steenson
“Tenure is a concept at odds with capitalism & a free market…concepts that America is proud to cultivate.” – Dana Krasinski
“A two-edged sword, tenure may ensure that quality professors are retained, but it also may ensure that professors who have essentially become worthless are also kept on staff. In my humble opinion, an interesting experiment would be to abolish tenure and observe the results. All of us may be surprised and pleased at what happens.” – Charles Busbey
“Just like the ‘left’ has twisted the meaning of words to their evil purposes, they have done so with tenure.” – Kermit Heaton
“A tenured professor is the only position I know of that pays someone for not doing their job. Colleges and universities should focus on the business of preparing students for real-world employment and nothing else.” – Thomas Camardo
“Tenure has allowed radical ungodly left-wing people to become activists, not teachers, and should be done away with. Our colleges have become indoctrination centers rather than educational facilities.” – Sam Bridges
“There should be right of due process, but not guaranteed employment called tenure.” – Terry Soll
“Abolishing tenure is our only hope to reclaim our universities that have been captured by leftist dogma.” – Tom Bartel
“Tenure: just a kind of union protection. Who needs so-called ‘prestigious hires’ if they’re going to teach woke lies?” – Tim Rhodes
“Employ teachers and professors because they are competent, i.e. on merit. Exactly why would we want to draw prestigious leftist faculty to the state?” – James Moyer
“No professional job in the private sector that I am aware of carries with it the protection of tenure. There shouldn’t be a special carveout for educators, especially since they are employees of taxpayer-funded institutions.” – David Vargha
“Tenure = Untouchable. That’s how you create super-ultra activists.” – Patricia Forsythe
“I voted to abolish tenure because, like labor unions of old, it has long passed its usefulness; but a serious consequence of abolishing tenure should be noted. Since the governor has continued to allow leftist regents to fill our universities with leftist administrators and those administrators fill the university classrooms with leftist professors, every conservative professor will be fired at will. Example: Dr. Johnson Varkey, St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. Tenure is not good, but leftist regents and administrators are worse. Fix the worst problem first, then abolish tenure.” – Gerald Slater
“Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay career-long salaries to college faculty members that don’t live up to ‘prestigious’ expectations.” –Mickey Melton