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Dec 11 eBulletin

Dec 11 eBulletin

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Published by txcollegeteachers

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Published by: txcollegeteachers on Dec 06, 2011
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Volume LXV Number 2
October/November/December 2011
The TACT Quarterly eBulletin
October/November/December 2011 - Volume LXV Number 2
In this quarter’s TACT newsletter...
TACT Board of Directors2011-2012PresidentPeter HugillTexas A&M UniversityPast-PresidentGary CoultonUniversity of Texas -San AntonioVP of Financial AffairsFrank Fair Sam Houston State UniversityVP of MembershipMark GausSam Houston State UniversityVP of Legislative AffairsCindy SimpsonSam Houston State UniversityDirectors At LargeElizabeth LewandowskiMidwestern State UniversityAllen MartinUniversity of Texas - Tyler Debra PriceSam Houston State UniversityExecutive Director Chuck Hempstead(512) 873-7404Texas Association of College Teachers5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, Texas 78731
[p] (512) 873-7404[f] (512) 873-7423
Copyright © 2011 by the Texas Association of College Teachers. All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be produced in any form without permission; Chuck Hempstead, Editor.
Contact us!
5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201Austin, TX 78731tact@bizaustin.rr.com[p] (512) 873-7404[f] (512) 873-7423
The TACT Quarterly eBulletin
Texas Association of College Teachers
Defending Academic Freedom
President’s Letter
by Peter HugillTACT President
As many of you are aware Lieu-tenant Governor Dewhurst and Speaker of the House Joe Straus recently estab-lished a Joint Committee to inquire intothe governance of higher education in theState of Texas. On the House side this ischaired by Representative Dan Branchand on the Senate side by Senator Judith
Zafrini. Senator Kirk Watson is also
on the Joint Committee. Several of theTACT Board, myself included, visited
with staffers from the ofces of SenatorsZafrini and Watson at the joint meeting
with AAUP and TCFS this past October.Much of the reason for this Joint Com-mittee was the high level of problemscaused by the appointment by Governor Perry of persons associated with theTexas Public Policy Foundation to theBoards of the University of Texas andTexas A&M University. Although theTPPF has put forward a few useful ideasits “Seven Breakthrough Solutions” seemdesigned more to hinder and harm higher education than to help it. The TACTBoard is, in general, of the opinion thatthe Joint Committee is well aware of the problems and seems to be working toimprove governance at our Universities.But there are other Boards thatare causing problems for our Universi-ties, with at least one of which I have become familiar of late. A recent,worrisome development has been theattempt by the Texas Board of Profes-sional Geoscientists (TBPG) to force allGeoscientists in the state to be licensedunder their rules (I’m in the College
of Geosciences at TAMU). In its rst
iteration these rules would have requiredlicensure for any public contact, includ-ing teaching. Most Engineering Depart-ments require a small number of their faculty be licensed by their professionalorganizations, mostly to testify in public
hearings. At rst glance this may seem
no different, but, despite its name, theTBPG is NOT a professional organiza-tion of Geoscientists but a Board of three public and six professional members thatcame into existence in 2001 and whichhas been entirely appointed by Governor Perry. The Board states its goals as to protect public health, safety, welfare andthe state’s natural resources by ensuring
that only qualied persons carry out the
 public practice of geoscience, and it wasinitially set up to deal with oil and gasissues. Only two of the current the Boardhave Ph.D.s. The claim is that:“Licensure is a means to protectthe public, and the licensed profession,
from unqualied and unethical practitio
-ners of the profession. Licensing estab-lishes a degree of legal accountabilityfor the work product of the regulated

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