Politifact calls Dick Armey’s statement on faculty at Texas A&M ‘false’
A statement by Dick Armey, the former U.S. House Majority leader from Texas, that only 49 out of 3,000 faculty members at Texas A&M brought in enough money to pay their salaries is false, according to an investigation of the data by the Pulitzer Prize-winning site, Politifact.com
“Upshot: Without access to Armey’s data, we couldn’t plumb his methodology. Meantime, our spot-check of Texas A&M’s recent study of faculty costs, which some critics said undercounted faculty contributions, suggests that way more than 49 faculty members accounted for more than they cost in 2008-09,” the site said. “We rate the statement false.”
Armey is the chairman of FreedomWorks and the author of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto.
Politifact reporters found that in a Texas A&M report analyzing professors’ worth, that “We quickly counted more than 49 faculty members credited with generating more than they cost in the studied year, in just the first three of dozens of the university’s academic departments. Specifically, the report lists 21 faculty in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication; 17 in Agricultural Economics; and 18 in Animal Science–56 total–as net income generators. In those departments, 45 teachers ran in the red, so to speak, according to the report.”
Armey, a former economics professor, made the statements, along with other controversial suggestions, in an April 17 opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle.
“Eliminating tenure offers an important step toward improving education,” he said. “ My university experience suggests that tenure provides everyone who has it the ability to bully everyone who does not.”
In the column, he also criticized professors for focusing on research: “A professor’s main goal should be to serve the educational needs of students. Yet in most Texas universities research has displaced teaching. A Texas Performance Review found that the average professor at a research university teaches only 1.9 courses per semester. Roughly 22 percent of faculty members do not teach a single course. We could easily remove administrative bloat and reduce tuition by requiring universities to separate research and teaching budgets.”
Read prior reporting by the Texas Independent](http://www.americanindependent.com/181201/armey-freedomworks-back-perry-in-higher-ed-reform-controversy ) analyzing Armey’s statements in the column.