The House Higher Education Committee heard SB 18 on Monday, May 8, 2023, at 8am. Here’s the hearing notice.
SB 18 As Passed by the Senate, April 20, 2023
- Prohibits hiring of tenured and tenure-track faculty after Jan. 1, 2024
- Allows faculty tenured before Jan. 1, 2024, to remain tenured
Committee Substitute for SB 18, May 8, 2023
- Completely different from the version passed by the Senate
- Allows the continuation of hiring of tenured and tenure-track faculty
- Adds Legislature and Governing Board involvement on tenure and post-tenure review processes that are normally institutional decisions
- Provides several reasons for cause to terminate tenured faculty members that are not defined and open to wide interpretation by administrators
- Severely limits faculty due process rights to respond to notice of termination
Joint TACT-TxAAUP Statement Against SB 18, May 10, 2023
Why testify on May 8th?
- Last chance for public testimony on SB 18
- If the committee approves SB 18, then SB 18 could have a clear path to become law
- Any changes to SB 18 made by the House Higher Ed Committee could be reversed later on the House floor or in Conference Committee
Testimony presentation options
- In Person: 2 min. (250-270 words) and have an additional 1 min. ready if allowed -OR-
- Electronic: submit a testimony online of 3000 characters or less until Monday 8am
- Start with something like “I’m ____, and I’m speaking for myself as a private individual. I am testifying [against/for/on] SB 18. I am also a [professor/staff member/student] in [discipline] at [institution]”. If you are a professor, then you could include your tenure status in your testimony, esp. since this is about SB 18.
- Tell your story; e.g. in your experience,
- how has tenure helped you and others on your campus?
- why did you take a tenure-track position (if applicable)?
- Tenure is a necessary guarantee of academic freedom in teaching, research, and expression. (Academic freedom is the freedom from censorship by the institution or the government.) Tenure protects developing and disseminating new knowledge from all viewpoints, including conservative, moderate, liberal, and apolitical
- What effect would SB 18’s ban on the future granting of tenure have?
- Recruiting & retention of students, staff, faculty, and administrators
- Workforce development — training the next generation of workers
- Financial impact
- External grants? These grants are used to train the next generation of workers (workforce development)
- Faculty hiring? Need to raise salaries to compete with compensation at companies (salaries, bonuses, stock, etc.)
- Quality, prestige, and ranking of public colleges and universities.
- Please see additional talking points next
Talking Points and Resources
- Joint TACT-TxAAUP Statement Against SB 18, May 10, 2023
- Analysis of Committee Substitutes for SB 17 and SB 18, May 7, 2023
- Talking points on SB 16, 17 and 18 by Texas AAUP, April 29, 2023
- Tenured & Tenure-Track Faculty in the United States, Texas A&M & UT Austin, Apr. 2023, shows the mixture of tenure-track, tenured and contingent faculty vary with the institutional mission
- “How Senate Bill 17 and Banning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Jeopardizes University Research Funding: A STEM Perspective“, April 15, 2023. Discusses STEM research funding in Texas public higher ed.
- One-page white paper and two-page talking points by TFC
- SB 18 testimonies from the Senate Higher Ed Subcommittee Hearings
- Contacting House Higher Ed Members and the colleges/universities in their districts
- Advocacy Resources and Higher Ed Bill Tracker by Texas AAUP
Logistics on May 8th:
- How to testify infographic (parking, registration to testify, etc.)
- Guide to Testifying by the Texas Election Reform Commission (more details)
Here’s example timeline on May 8, 2023:
- 7:15am Park in Capitol Visitor’s Parking, 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
- 7:30am Register at the kiosks in the Capitol Extension.
- 8:00am House Higher Ed Committee hearing starts in E2.010
- 9:45am House Higher Ed Committee hearing will be suspended until 6pm or 7pm for the House to convene. While the committee hearing is suspended, you can stay on site (e.g. in the Capitol Grill) or go off site.
- 6:00pm or 7:00pm House Higher Education Committee resumes and will likely continue past midnight.
Acknowledgement. We’re a collaborative effort among Texas American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Texas American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Texas Faculty Association (TFA), Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT), Texas Faculty Coalition (TFC), NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Black Brown Dialogues on Policy, and many more advocacy organizations.