Thursday, February 02, 2023
The University of Texas System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule: 31004 on Academic Freedom
UT System Friends and Colleagues:
Time to dust off the UT System's Academic Freedom policy as per the University of Texas System of Rules and Regulations (Rule 31004).
Academic freedom is the kind of policy area that we all take for granted until we realized that there are some in power that want to take it down. The legislature is in session right now and here are the bills that have bearing on the matter as follows:
HB 1607 and 1006, Here is a cool link furnished by mycapitol.com to every bill that's been filed to date in the House and Senate in context of the current 88th (2023) Texas Legislative Session. HB 1033 and HB 1046 have negative implications for all higher education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion positions, together with DEI training.
It's a very good thing for us faculty to know our rights, as well as what is at risk across the various bill proposals. Plus, forewarned is forearmed.
Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members
2. Rule and Regulation
Sec. 1 Freedom in Research. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.
Sec. 2 Freedom in the Classroom. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, but are expected not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his or her subject.
Sec. 3 Clarification of Role. Faculty members are citizens, members of learned professions, and officers of an educational institution supported by the State of Texas. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but should make it plain that the faculty member is not an institutional spokesperson.
Sec. 4 Primary Duties. The primary duties of a member of the faculty are to:
4.1 Teaching. Teach in the classroom, laboratory, seminar, or clinical setting.
4.2 Research. Study, investigate, discover, create, and develop professionally.
4.3 Administration. Perform curricular tasks auxiliary to teaching and research, e.g., serving on faculty committees, attending to administrative and disciplinary tasks, fostering intellectual curiosity and integrity in the student body.
4.4 Contribution to Society. Use their professional expertise to benefit society.
Sec. 5 Compensation Restriction. Full-time faculty or staff of the rank of instructor or above on 12-month appointments may receive additional compensation for correspondence course and/or extension center teaching, but may not receive additional compensation for summer school teaching. Full-time faculty on nine-month appointments may receive additional compensation The University of Texas System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule: 31004 for correspondence course and/or extension center teaching during the nine-month period and also may be paid for summer school teaching.
Sec. 6 Textbook and Course Materials. The policy of the Board of Regents concerning textbooks and other materials prescribed for the use of students is as follows:
6.1 Choice of Materials. Individual faculty members or the department should have discretion in the choice of materials to be used in the courses offered by the department.
Sec. 7 Materials Authored by Faculty. Although the authorship of books, outlines, manuals, and similar materials by members of the faculty and staff should be encouraged, the prescribed use of these for students is a responsibility that goes beyond that of the individual author. Whenever an approved fee includes a charge for such materials distributed through the classroom, the prices should be as low as possible, consistent with the payment of any required royalty to the author or authors.
7.1 Required Approval. Textbooks, notebooks, manuals, or other materials for the use of students of an institution, written or prepared by a member of the faculty of that institution, shall not be prescribed for the use of students in that institution or sold to such students until approved by the dean, chief academic officer, and president of an institution, pursuant to policies included in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures. At a minimum, these policies should provide for consultation with departmental faculty.
Sec. 8 Nonsectarian. In accordance with Texas Education Code Section 65.38, no course of instruction of a sectarian character shall be taught in the System.
Sec. 9 Fees. Faculty members without previous and special approval of the Board of Regents, shall not collect from students any fees or charges to be expended for institutional purposes, and shall not sell to students books, notes, or similar student supplies.
9.1 Prohibited Fees. A member of the faculty may not accept pay for extra instruction or teaching of students registered in the institution where he or she is employed.The University of Texas System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule: 31004
9.2 Allowed Fees. With written approval, teaching assistants and other like instructional employees below the rank of an instructor may accept pay from students for extra-class instruction or coaching but only in courses or sections of courses with which they have no instructional connection. The Handbook of Operating Procedures of the institution shall specify the procedure for approval at the institutional level.
4. Relevant Federal and State Statutes
Texas Education Code Section 65.38– Nonsectarian Courses
5. Relevant System Policies, Procedures, and Forms
6. Who Should Know
7. System Administration Office(s) Responsible for Rule
Office of Academic Affairs
Office of Health Affairs
8. Dates Approved or Amended
December 10, 2004
9. Contact Information
Questions or comments regarding this Rule should be directed to:
This is harmful policy. There is no permanent, independent funding stream for vouchers. It all comes out of the same taxes that fund public schools. Yes, our taxes. The public's dollars.
Under the guise of "freedom" and "choice," this means that my hard-earned tax dollars get diverted away from funding my neighborhood public school and directly into the pockets of wealthy families who were already sending their kids to private schools.
Members of the Texas legislature should not allow themselves to get arm-twisted into supporting this privatization agenda and focus instead on increasing funding for public schools instead.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Students, Friends, and Colleagues:
Re-posting this important CNN documentary titled, "Deep in the Pockets of Texas," that might be something to do on this blistery cold day in Texas.
It's illuminating, to say the least, about the rightward shift of Texas Republican party politics—out of step, incidentally, with most Texans and the nation.
It's about "policy for sale" via the bankrolling of campaigns of extremist candidates—many of them, nobodies—who get funding pending their passage of a litmus test regarding just how much they oppose gays, transgender kids, women's reproductive freedom, and other signature issues of the republican right in Texas. To wit, according to a June 2, 2022 Navigator poll, Hispanics, who are stereotyped as conservative on such matters as abortion are largely pro-choice (61%) as opposed to pro-life (29%)—8 percent undecided.
Really wealthy evangelical white people on a mission are behind this. Wealthy people. We totally need to reform all this very influential dark money in politics. This begins with voting, as well as the passage of laws that open up the vote to all Texans.
This is the long game. A first step for me today is supporting Blue Texas that represents a collaboration between the proved influential in Georgia, and that has inspired grassroots efforts, providing resources to state legislative nominees together with resources to secure the vote in every district everywhere. Particularly with a great ground strategy, there is always hope. Plus, we really have no choice but to organize.
Inside The Online Community Where Home-Schoolers Learn How To Turn Their Kids Into ‘Wonderful Nazis’, by Christopher Mathias
Disgusting, heartbreaking, profoundly racist, and anti-semitic. Using their own words, who the heck are the "Gay Afro Zionist scum" running the schools? A figment of their own imaginations, to be sure.
Geez, "Nazi homeschooling." This is what happens when homeschooling is completely unregulated with zero enforcement mechanisms of any regulations they do have.
Poor children. They don't know anything different from hating people who are different from them. What a disservice. How irresponsible these adults who live in fear, holding contempt toward those whom they see as "other," less than. What a dystopian world to live in and to create. And for this to be the core of their curriculum is shameless and vulgar. Othering, othering, othering. Dehumanizing the other. So bankrupt. So evil. So sad.
In addition to neo-Nazi homeschooling our free-market-ideology legislatures simultaneously packed with authoritarian, religious-right populists are regelating our youth and society to the Dark Ages with educations that they themselves would never subject their own children to. Such hypocrisy.
These communities need to wake up and see how they're getting played—and very much to their own, and their children's, detriment. Nothing good will come of this. Exposés like these are nevertheless helpful.
On Nov. 5, 2021, a married couple calling themselves “Mr. and Mrs. Saxon” appeared on the neo-Nazi podcast “Achtung Amerikaner” to plug a new project: a social media channel dedicated to helping American parents home-school their children.
Monday, January 30, 2023
actually not so sure about that. I think of Nichols' mother, and how her son meant the world to her and vice-versa. What is tried and true is the enduring love, presence and power of our mommies—especially ones like you. 💕
Tyre Williams called out for his mother as the police beat him to death.