Legislator proposes political balance in faculty hiring
- Citing an expansion of diversity hiring philosophy in the academic enterprise, Iowa Sen. Mark Chelgren has proposed a new bill that would require public institutions to balance their faculty along personal political affiliation, with a goal of schools ensuring one party does not outnumber another by more than 10%.
- Data on faculty members would be cultivated from state voter registration records, and exemptions would be provided for potential faculty members who do not declare as a Democrat or Republican.
- State education officials and members of the senate's education committee denounced the proposal as an infringement upon academic freedom.
This kind of legislation could dissuade quality faculty members and researchers from applying to or staying in certain states, so it is up to college leaders to promote to legislators the negative effects that accompany proposals like these.
Potential on-campus issues like employee discrimination, free speech infringement, oppression of the student press and other hot topics are too easy to envision as a result where politics is a forced matter in teaching and learning space. Campuses may be considered to be liberal hotbeds, but good campus leaders are known for their ability to create equal time and space for all perspectives while ensuring that those resources do not turn into weaponized rhetoric for intolerance.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Iowa bill would force university to consider political affiliation in faculty hiring