In May, I wrote an opinion piece for The Dallas Morning News on a topic that holds profound
implications for the future of Texas’ students and professors and our role as a leader in science and research: preserving tenure. That same week, the Legislature approved a diluted version of Senate Bill 18, which would have fulfilled Lt. Dan Patrick’s pledge to abolish tenure in its original form.
Often regarded as the holy grail of academia, tenure embodies the essence of academic freedom and safeguards intellectual diversity. The final version of SB 18 safeguards tenure in state law but grants state lawmakers more authority to change tenure in the future. It’s a small victory for the higher education community, but it still poses a threat both to tenure and to faculty recruitment and retention.
Tenure plays a pivotal role in attracting and keeping exceptional faculty members. By offering job security and long-term prospects, tenure allows institutions to attract scholars of the highest caliber, ensuring a vibrant academic community that can compete globally.
Undermining tenure could create profound consequences for the future of Texas’ higher
education institutions. It would keep our colleges and universities from hiring exceptional talent and lead to an exodus of seasoned professors, causing a significant brain drain and impeding the progress of our institutions.
Preserving tenure is a critical element to sustaining the intellectual fabric of our educational
As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, we must nurture an environment where our faculty can flourish, our students can thrive, and our institutions can continue to serve as centers of knowledge and enlightenment.
Without tenure, this healthy higher education environment will be ‘Gone From Texas’ for good.