Iowa Republicans, who are about to control the state House of Representatives, are calling for public universities to stop awarding sabbaticals, saying that the state can no longer afford them, the Associated Press reported. "It seems to be tough budgetary times. Why should the taxpayers of Iowa be paying to basically give these folks a year off from teaching?" said Kraig Paulsen, who is about to become speaker of the House. Edwin Dove, president of the Faculty Senate at the University of Iowa, said that while on sabbaticals in 2009, professors wrote 26 books; published 147 research articles; created and updated nearly 100 classes; and submitted 50 grant applications.Obviously, one can't expect a person capable of uttering monstrosities like "to basically give" and "it seems to be tough budgetary times" to understand what it is that scholars do during their sabbaticals or that teaching is only a part of our job responsibilities.
Some people are still naive enough to think that anything Republicans do is even remotely related to fiscal responsibility and their purported concern for the deficit. According to Chicago Tribune, just last year sabbaticals helped generate $5.2 million in research funding for Iowa's public universities. Even the most mathematically challenged person in the world can see that it is a lot more than the $255,800 needed to hire instructors to substitute the faculty members who go on sabbaticals. This is obviously not about money. It is about Republicans hoping to prevent us from doing research.