- The Courier reports on new legislation which proposes to eliminate the tenure systems for Iowa's public four-year institutions and community colleges.
- Sen. Brad Zaun has proposed Senate Filing 41, which would end the promotional system for faculty members and allow schools to fire academic employees with just cause or financial hardship.
- Observers say the bill, which previously did not receive support from state lawmakers, could earn significant consideration under a now mostly-conservative state Senate.
Iowa joins Wisconsin in the legislative effort to end tenure and promotion systems at colleges and universities. On its surface, the move may appear to be an easy opportunity to save costs in compensation and retirement benefits. But colleges will likely lose a significant portion of the talent which attracts federal research dollars, encourages graduate school enrollment and builds the institutional profile in media and industrial circles.
College leaders must begin to do a more efficient job of outlining how the higher education enterprise generates self-propelling revenues and works to enhance the productivity of states and municipalities through research and teaching. If these efforts do not sway lawmakers, they could at least help motivate private donors and corporations to fill in the gaps.