Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has vowed to end tenure for new hires at public universities and colleges in an attempt to stop the teaching of critical race theory.
Patrick spoke at a press conference Friday where he responded to a resolution by the Faculty Council at the University of Texas this week that affirmed the “fundamental rights of faculty to academic freedom,” including the teaching of race and gender theory.
“Hiding behind this academic freedom argument just doesn’t work,” Patrick said. “We believe in academic freedom, but everyone has guidelines in mind. Everyone has barriers, everyone has boundaries, everyone’s held accountable to someone.”
Critical race theory is an academic concept which acknowledges that racism is systemic and institutional in American society, and it examines the beliefs that allow it to flourish.
Some two dozen states have banned critical race theory or introduced legislation to ban it from being taught in the classroom.
Patrick said that the legislators and parents should have a say in what the curriculum is.
“What we said is you’re not going to teach a theory that says we’re going to judge you when you walk in the classroom,” Patrick said. “That if you’re white you were born a racist and that’s normal, not an aberration, and you’re an oppressor. And if you’re a person of color, you’re a victim.”
Tenure is reviewed every six years. Patrick would like to change that to once a year.
“We are not going to allow a handful of professors to teach critical race theory, we aren’t gonna allow it to happen,” Patrick said. “We will change the rules and have tenure reviewed annually.”
The University of Texas told CNN they have no comment at this time.