Texas Community College Seeks Dismissal of Tenured Professor

The administration of the College of the Mainland, a two-year institution in Texas City, Tex., is recommending that a tenured professor who has clashed repeatedly with its leaders be fired, according to the The Daily News, in Galveston, Tex.

David M. Smith, a professor of political science and president of the college’s employee union, has criticized the college’s administration and has fought with the institution in court over what he said were violations of his First Amendment right to free speech. The college awarded him tenure a decade ago despite the objections of some local residents, who took issue with his self-described Marxist views.

The college’s president, Beth Lewis, told the newspaper that the recommendation to terminate Mr. Smith stemmed from his performance as an employee, and was not an attempt at retaliation, though she did not discuss the details of the recommendation.

Mr. Smith said the paperwork informing him of his termination, which must be approved by the college’s board in order to take effect, contained no mention of his teaching or job duties. But he said there was mention of e-mails he wrote concerning employees’ rights during elections. Ms. Lewis said Mr. Smith has the right to address the college’s board before it takes action on the recommendation and to ask for an extension.

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