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Effort to End Tenure at Iowa Universities Advances at the Statehouse

Today the state of Iowa is reporting another 22 COVID-19 deaths and an additional 841 confirmed cases, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

At 10 a.m. today, the state was reporting 5,196 COVID-19-related deaths, according to the state's website. In Woodbury County, there have been 21 new cases added to the total case count in the last 24 hours and no further deaths. The 14-day positivity rate is 6.9%.

The Catholic Church apparently is Iowa's largest recipient of money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program intended to help small businesses, a Des Moines Register review of the program shows.

The finding comes as a new investigation by the Associated Press shows that the church's U.S. arm received at least $3 billion through the forgivable loan program, even as many dioceses remained financially healthy.

In Iowa, the church's total was more than $50 million.<--break->

Iowa House Republicans are considering a bill to end the tenure system at the universities in Ames, Iowa City, and Cedar Falls. In previous years, a few Republican lawmakers have proposed ending tenure for professors at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. Still, for the first time, a bill to accomplish that goal has received committee approval.

House Speaker Pat Grassley says GOP lawmakers have been frustrated with what they see as unfair consequences for students who express politically conservative views.During a recent statehouse hearing, the presidents of Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI said ending tenure would prompt professors to leave and make it harder to hire staff. Ag commodity groups have expressed concern that ending tenure will be a set-back for critical research at the three state-supported universities.

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