Texas Faculty Council Chair tells profs not to testify in support of campus carry
- Prof. Bill Beckner, Chair of the Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin, warned all faculty members against testifying in support of a bill that would allow campus carry.
- “Individual faculty members,” Beckner cautioned in his email Tuesday, “should ensure they are acting consistently with their institutions’ policies and practices if they choose to come testify.”
Professor Bill Beckner, Chair of the Faculty Council of the University of Texas at Austin, emailed all university faculty members warning them against testifying in support of a bill that would allow the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses.
Thursday February 12th, the Texas State Public Affairs Committee will hold its first public hearings on the controversial Senate Bill 11. The hearing provides an opportunity for those affected by the bill—students, faculty members and the like—to explain to the Texas Senate why the bill should or should not be passed.
“Individual faculty members,” Beckner cautioned in his email Tuesday, “should ensure they are acting consistently with their institutions’ policies and practices if they choose to come testify.
“I'm sorry that this notice is so late but I only learned about this hearing from UT system this afternoon. As I expect that you are aware, both President Powers and Chancellor McRaven have expressed their opinion that this measure will not enhance safety for students, faculty and staff on our campus,” Beckner said.
William McRaven, who serves as Chancellor of the entire University of Texas system, wrote a letter to Governor Greg Abbott (R) and other officials on January 29th, arguing that “students, faculty, administrators, and law enforcement all continue to express their concerns that the presence of concealed handguns on campus would contribute to a less-safe environment, not a safer one.”
In a statement to Breitbart Texas, a UT Austin professor who wished to remain anonymous said there is little doubt that the email was intended to scare into silence any professors who planned to testify in favor of the bill.
The anonymous professor told Breitbart Texas that he was “confident” that negative repercussions lay in store for any UT Austin professor who dared to publicly support the bill on Thursday. The professor also said it was clear that Beckner was “saying ‘your views are important, if you say the right thing.’”
Earl Grinols, a professor of Economics at Baylor University, told Campus Reform that opponents of the bill have largely ignored the facts and statistics regarding the issue, basing their opinions on “emotionalism” instead.
When asked if he believed that university faculty members across Texas have been hesitant to publicly support the bill, Professor Grinols told Campus Reform that he knows “that professors at Texas institutions are hesitant to publicly endorse campus carry, even though they support it.”
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