Midwestern Legislators Take Aim at Academic Tenure-for-Life

Higher Ed Watch:

Following in the footsteps of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, which in 2015 and 2016 weakened tenure protections for public university faculty, legislators in Iowa and Missouri have introduced bills to eliminate the practice in their states.

“I think the university should have the flexibility to hire and fire professors and then I don’t think that bad professors should have a lifetime position guaranteed at colleges,” Iowa State Senator Brad Zaun told the Des Moines Register. “It is as simple as that.”
State Representative Rick Brattin of Missouri offered similar reasoning in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education: “Where else in any other industry do you have tenure, do you have a protection to where after you work somewhere for so long you’re basically immune?,” he asked. “That doesn’t exist anywhere except for our education system, and that’s just un-American. If you’re doing your due diligence as a professor or any profession, you shouldn’t have to worry about termination.”