Republican Gubernatorial Candidates on University Tenure and Critical Race Theory - Texas Scorecard

As citizens across the nation question the highly contentious critical race theory ideology in classrooms and universities, elected officials and candidates in Texas are discussing their views on the issue.

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for phasing out the university tenure system by removing the option of tenure from new university professors and adding a good cause clause to already tenured professors’ contracts. This clause would allow the school to revoke tenure from professors who teach critical race theory, the racist ideology that states students are inherently inferior or superior and should be punished or promoted because of the color of their skin.

Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott responded to the proposal, stating, “That’s something that will have to be looked at. I’ve heard about the concept being raised. It’s something that I haven’t seen any details about, and so we all need to take a look at it.”

Abbott has recently faced criticism for allowing Texas’ state agencies to teach CRT to public employees.

Gubernatorial candidate and former State Sen. Don Huffines, whose campaign exposed CRT in state departments, has a different take on the issue:

Critical race theory is a poisonous, Marxist ideology intended to divide Texans. It has no place in Texas, but under Greg Abbott’s watch, it is being taught and celebrated at our state universities. This must be stopped immediately. When I am governor of Texas, I will never allow taxpayer dollars to be used to advance leftist indoctrination at any school, agency, or university. Any public employee promoting this evil ideology will be fired.

Gubernatorial candidate and media personality Chad Prather agreed that CRT does not belong in Texas, but he focused his attack on Lt. Gov. Patrick, insinuating that his only reason for the proposal is the ongoing statewide primary election:

We must discontinue the practice of tolerating ideologies that are turned into policies on all levels, but especially those that will affect the next generation. CRT has no place in free society, much less Texas. Professors that push these ideologies must be penalized. The classroom is supposed to teach facts and skills; it’s not supposed to be used as an ideological pulpit. We must hold these professors accountable. Well, Dan, it’s not like we haven’t been saying this for a long time. Welcome to the party. Interesting that you want to get involved NOW.

Gubernatorial candidate and former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West wholeheartedly agreed with ending tenure for professors promoting CRT:

As governor of Texas, I will ensure that Texas taxpayer dollars do not go to any educational institution that promotes the advancement of cultural Marxism. If there are professors who want the academic freedom to teach Marxist principles and theories, they can do so on their own dime. But the citizens of TX will not fund the ideological undermining of the state of Texas and the USA. Taxpayer-funded tenure will be reserved for those who wish to educate our children, not indoctrinate them. Our universities will no longer be propaganda mills for progressive socialism.

The faculty senates of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M recently passed resolutions rejecting Patrick’s call to end tenure in the name of “academic freedom.”

Early voting continues through February 25, and Election Day is March 1.