Professors at the University of Arkansas criticized proposed changes to the school’s tenure policy Tuesday that could potentially make it easier to fire conservative professors.
UA law professors criticized the proposed policy, which awaits review by the school’s faculty senate, reported Campus Reform.
“Cause is defined as conduct that demonstrates the faculty member lacks the willingness or ability to perform duties or responsibilities to the University,” said the proposed policy, which includes eight ambiguously-worded causes for termination such as demonstration of a “pattern of disruptive conduct or unwillingness to work productively with colleagues” and “unethical conduct related to fitness to engage in teaching.”
“I think this is an awful change,” said Josh Silverstein, a UA Little Rock law professor, to Campus Reform. “The proposed revisions dramatical [sic] increase the power of the university to terminate tenured faculty. And the changes also limit the scope of academic freedom in ways that will both silence faculty and create additional potential grounds for dismissal should faculty speak out on issues of public policy and on matters internal to the university.”
Silverstein speculated that the policy could be detrimental to minorities of any variety, rationalizing that since “conservatives are a political minority in higher education,” they would be impacted more than their left-wing counterparts.
Richard Peltz-Steele, another UA law professor, agreed that the proposed policy “threatens faculty academic freedom.”
“My research, teaching, and service were all attacked because I had the temerity to use hard data to demonstrate that the left’s dogma regarding law-school admissions doesn’t line up with reality,” said Robert Steinbuch, who also teaches law at UA, to Campus Reform. “Imagine what would have happened under the proposed policy.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the university for comment, but received none in time for press.
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