Zaun, Behn offer bill to end tenure at universities

Iowa Board of RegentsBy Bob Eschliman


State Sens. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) and Jerry Behn (R-Boone) have offered a bill this week that would direct the Iowa Board of Regents to prohibit the establishment of a tenure system “for any employee” at the universities under its oversight.

Senate File 380 also provides that Iowa Code provisions authorizing Iowa’s community college administrations to establish quality faculty planning committees “shall not be construed to authorize a community college to establish a tenure system for any employee.” It provides that acceptable grounds for termination of employment of any member of a Regents university’s faculty shall include, but not be limited to, just cause, program discontinuance, and “financial exigency.”

SF 380’s explanatory statement says: “Each university is directed to adopt a written statement enumerating employment agreements, annual performance evaluations of all faculty members, minimum standards of good practice, standards for review and discipline of faculty members, and policies with regard to dismissal for cause, program discontinuance, and financial exigency. The bill provides that each dean of a college at a Regents university, under the authority of the president of the university and the state board, shall employ faculty as necessary to carry out the academic duties and responsibilities of the college.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education.


Senate Republican Caucus files bills

The entire Iowa Senate Republican Caucus offered Senate File 389 this week, as well. If approved, it would require the Iowa Department of Human Services to adopt rules that require applicants for program services supported by public funds be a citizen of the United States. Qualified aliens as defined by Section 1641 of the United States Code would also be eligible for DHS program services.

The Republican Caucus also offered Senate File 390, which would make personal information of Iowans contained in concealed weapons permits confidential.