Board votes to rid clause from Faculty Handbook

The board of trustees will vote next week on a resolution that proposes the removal of one of the last remaining vestiges of the anti-communism McCarthy era from the Faculty and Staff Handbook.Provost Nowell Donovan said he will bring the resolution to the board next week.

On March 1, the Senate unanimously voted to suggest to the board that the loyalty paragraph, referencing anti-government groups, be edited out of the handbook. The section states that no person employed by TCU should be affiliated with an organization that advocates governmental change of the United States.

Suzy Lockwood, chair of the Faculty Senate, said the paragraph was added when the world was a different place. She said the paragraph contradicts portions of TCU’s vision statement because it does not fully respect diversity.

“In the academic arena, one thing that we really do value is that we can have discourse about different viewpoints,” Lockwood said, “and the loyalty paragraph doesn’t really support that.”

Andrew Fort, former chair of the Faculty Senate, said the paragraph was noticed in passing and was seen as “embarrassing and from another era.”

Lockwood said the Statement of Professional Ethics section added in 1993 covers any important aspects of the loyalty section that need to remain in the handbook.

According to the Statement of Professional Ethics, professors have the rights of all other citizens but need to avoid creating the impression of speaking for their college or university when speaking as a private person.

“We’re updating and bringing the handbook more in line with where we are in society right now,” Lockwood said.