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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

city administration politics

Gov. Holcomb signs Senate Bill 202, increasing legislative oversight on higher education

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Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 202 on Wednesday, increasing the state legislature’s oversight on Indiana’s public universities and changing the criteria for tenure. 

The controversial bill is designed to increase “intellectual diversity” among higher education. It will require university boards of trustees 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 will also require review of tenured professors every five years based on criteria the boards establish and faculty performance.  

Faculty and administrators statewide opposed the bill, with IU President Pamela Whitten saying in a statement that the university is “deeply concerned about language regarding faculty tenure that would put academic freedom at risk.”  

The bill was authored by Sen. Spencer Deery, R-West Lafayette, who said it is a response to concerns about the perception and experience around higher education among conservative students. Deery released a statement following Holcomb’s signing. 

"Indiana just sent a strong signal that our state is committed to academic freedom, free expression and intellectual diversity for all students and faculty,” part of the statement reads. “Universities that fail to foster intellectually diverse communities that challenge both teachers and learners fail to reach their potential. This measured bill makes it significantly less likely that any university will shortchange our students in that way.”

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