Rep. Skyler Wheeler

A majority of the Republicans on the Iowa House Education Committee have voted to get rid of the tenure system at Iowa’s three public universities.

Representative Skyler Wheeler, a Republican from Orange City, said tenure protects bad professors.

“Tenure was originally designed to protect diversity of thought on college campuses, however as we have seen clearly in our Regents universities, there is no longer diversity of thought,” Wheeler said. “According to a study of the top 40 colleges, this is about four years ago, on average for every one Republican college professor, there are 12 Democrats.”

Iowa would become the only state in the country to ban tenure if the bill becomes law.

“I’ve always believed Iowa is a quality place and we stand alone, but I don’t believe this would create a good impression of our state and our educational system because it would suffer greatly if we were to abandon or eliminate tenure,” said Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, where the University of Iowa is located.

The move to ban tenure at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa is now eligible for debate in the full House.