Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, plans to withdraw from the university because of his concerns about the campus carry law that will go into effect in Texas in August 2016.
According to a Tuesday report from the university’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan, Hamermesh will teach at University of Sydney next fall.
Texas Senate Bill 11 was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in June. It allows for concealed handguns into buildings on the state’s public campuses. (Private schools can opt out.)
All colleges are allowed to set their own rules on how firearms can be carried and where. UT Austin has yet to announce its policies.
Hamermesh taught at UT Austin from 1993 to 2014. Following his retirement in August 2014, he agreed to teach Introductory Microeconomics in fall 2015, 2016 and 2017, he wrote in a letter to university President Gregory Fenves.
With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law. Out of self-protection I have chosen to spend part of next Fall at the University of Sydney, where, among other things, this risk seems lower.
Hamermesh’s letter also suggested the new law will make it harder for the university to attract new faculty members.
This semester he’s teaching 475 students.
Here’s his full letter to UT’s president, via The Daily Texan: