Lt. Gov. Patrick Wants to Remove Tenure, Ban CRT in State Colleges, Universities

Texas lieutenant governor wants to remove tenure for new hires and change the education code to revoke tenure if CRT is taught

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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) announced his plan Friday morning to ban the teaching of critical race theory in publicly funded state colleges and universities.

In a statement delivered from his office on Thursday, Patrick said during the upcoming 88th Legislative Session he plans to introduce legislation that changes the rules around tenure for faculty and makes teaching critical race theory a way to revoke tenure.

Patrick said he wants to remove tenure for new hires and change the review period for those who have tenure from every six years to annually. Patrick said he wants to add language to the education code that says tenure can be revoked if good cause is present and that teaching critical race theory would be prima facie evidence of good cause.

"We're not going to allow a handful of professors who do not represent the entire group to teach and indoctrinate students with critical race theory, that we are inherently racist as a nation," Patrick said. "We're not going to allow it to happen. We will change those rules."

Patrick said Friday the "woke left just continues to go too far" after The Austin American-Statesman reported UT Faculty Council passed a resolution supporting the freedom to teach Critical Race Theory. Patrick responded Tuesday, tweeting his intent to use legislation to prevent it from being taught at the university level.

In the tweet, Patrick said: "I will not stand by and let looney Marxist UT professors poison the minds of young students with Critical Race Theory. We banned it in publicly funded K-12 and we will ban it in publicly funded higher ed. That’s why we created the Liberty Institute at UT."

"So, tenure, to these professors who voted 41-5 telling the taxpayers and the parents and the legislature and your own board of regents to get out of their business, that we have no say in what you do in the classroom. You've opened the door for this issue because you went too far and we're going to take this on. It'll be a top priority, we'll have interim hearings on it and that will be the plan," Patrick said Friday. "They can hide behind academic freedom all they want but we're not going to put up with it here. We're going to pass this legislation and we're going to do something about tenure."

Patrick's tweet also caused concern among some UT faculty who questioned the purpose of the university think-tank referenced by the lieutenant governor in his tweet -- the Liberty Institute. Faculty members have asked the university for clarification on the purpose of the institute in response.

The 88th Legislative Session begins on Jan. 10, 2023.

What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. Scholars developed it during the 1970s and 1980s in response to what they viewed as a lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society. The architects of the theory argue that the United States was founded on the theft of land and labor and that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race. Proponents also believe race is culturally invented, not biological. Read more about CRT here.

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