WASHINGTON, DC—The head of Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors has agreed to undertake the comprehensive review of the university’s controversial tenure and diversity policies that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni called for in a letter sent to board members.
In a telephone conversation with ACTA president Anne D. Neal, John R. Lawson, II acknowledged ACTA’s concerns about the tenure policies—those of the provost’s office already on the books as well as those being considered by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He promised that the board would review all the policies and examine the First Amendment and academic freedom issues they raise.
“The board is to be commended for recognizing its fiduciary responsibility to safeguard academic freedom and intellectual pluralism on campus,” said Neal. “We strongly urge it to perform the review in an open and transparent manner, making the results public.”
Since coming to light, Virginia Tech’s tenure guidelines have been called into question by the Foundation for Individual Rights Education, the National Association of Scholars and the editorial board of the Virginia Tech student newspaper.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is an independent non-profit dedicated to academic freedom, academic excellence and accountability. Since its founding in 1995, ACTA has counseled boards, educated the public and published reports about such issues as good governance, historical literacy, core curricula, the free exchange of ideas and accreditation in higher education.