Tenure Legislation

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Governor Bill Owens says it might be time for the state to take over the responsibility of setting tenure policy for university professors.

Universities right now set their own tenure policies. But Owens says he believes tenure shouldn't protect people like University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill from being fired. The Republican governor says he might ask lawmakers next year to approve a tenure law.

An essay Churchill wrote just hours after the September eleventh terror attacks likened the victims to a notorious Nazi and said they were not innocent victims. Churchill got a standing ovation during a speech last night on C-U's Boulder campus when he said he doesn't work for taxpayers or for Owens, but for C-U students. Owens says he hopes that soon, Churchill won't work for the C-U.

Owens has been strongly critical of Churchill in the past month since Churchill's essay became widely publicized. Several universities canceled scheduled events with Churchill, citing security concerns.

Owens says he knows that giving the state control over tenure would be challenging and controversial, but he says he wants to try.