US

Iowa GOP lawmaker wants to poll university employees on their political party affiliations

Iowa GOP lawmaker wants to poll university employees on their political party affiliations amid accusations that conservative speech has been suppressed on campuses

  • Iowa state Senator Jim Carlin introduced bill this week to poll university workers
  • Anonymous poll would be conducted by the state’s Board of Regents 
  • Includes University of Iowa, Iowa State U and University of Northern Iowa
  • It comes after all three schools apologized for ‘egregious’ free speech violations
  • Republicans have accused the schools of repressing conservative students 

A Republican state senator has introduced a bill that would require the state’s Board of Regents to survey all employees at the main public universities to determine their political party affiliation.

Senator Jim Carlin did not offer an explanation for his bill, but it comes after accusations that Iowa‘s public universities repressed the free speech of conservative students.

The order would cover all employees at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa.

The bill, introduced this week, would require the survey to hide the personal identity of the respondents but would separate the results out by job classification.

Senator Jim Carlin (above) did not offer an explanation for his bill, but it comes after accusations that Iowa’s public universities repressed the free speech of conservative students

Carlin’s bill requires the anonymous survey results to be delivered to the Iowa legislature by December 30. 

Earlier this month, all three of Iowa’s public universities apologized for ‘egregious’ incidents suppressing free speech on their campuses, largely affecting conservative students.

In one case, Michael Brase, a conservative UI dental student, was summoned for a disciplinary hearing for debating a dean who condemned then-President Donald Trump’s executive order banning some types of diversity training.

‘I would like to start by apologizing,’ UI College of Dentistry Dean David Dean Johnsen told the legislature earlier this month, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

‘Michael’s comments in front of the committee on Wednesday laid bare his concerns and fear that he felt regarding his educational future at our college, and, for that, I’m sorry. 

The order would cover all employees at the University of Iowa (above), Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa

The order would cover all employees at the University of Iowa (above), Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa

In a related move, the Iowa House’s education committee voted on Wednesday to advance a bill that would make Iowa the first state in the nation to eliminate tenure at public universities.

Tenure is a lifetime academic appointment that is meant to allow scholars to pursue free lines of inquiry, but Republicans in the legislature are arguing that it just protects ‘bad’ professors.

‘As we have seen clearly in our regent universities, there is no longer diversity of thought,’ Republican Rep. Skyler Wheeler said, according to the Sioux City Journal.

‘Why are we giving professors a lifetime appointment on the taxpayer dime?’ Wheeler asked. ‘This simply removes a mechanism that protects bad professors.’ 

Rep. Mary Mascher, a Democrat, said she plans to fight the bill.

‘I don’t believe this is creating a good impression of our state and our educational system,’ she said. ‘It will suffer greatly if we were to abandon or eliminate tenure.’ 

Advertisement


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button