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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

city politics

Controversial Indiana bill that would change tenure heads to Gov. Holcomb’s desk

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Senate Bill 202, a controversial bill that would change criteria for tenure and heighten legislative overview of Indiana’s public universities to increase “intellectual diversity,” passed the Senate and was sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk Thursday.  

The bill was authored by Sen. Spencer Deery (R-23), who said it is a response to concerns about the perception and experience around higher education among conservative students. But critics worry the bill would inhibit academic freedom. 

Under the bill, boards of trustees would be required to implement policies prohibiting faculty members from receiving tenure or promotions if they were deemed unlikely to foster free inquiry and expression or unlikely to offer students learning material from a variety of standpoints. The bill would also require review of tenured professors every five years based on criteria the boards establish and if the faculty adequately performed academic duties and obligations.  

The bill would change how university boards of trustees are elected by removing appointment power from alumni councils and giving it to House and Senate Republican majority leaders.  

Many administrators and faculty from universities across the state testified that the bill would inhibit academic freedom. IU President Whitten spoke out against the bill in a statement, saying, “We are deeply concerned about language regarding faculty tenure that would put academic freedom at risk.”

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