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This week (June 8-11) is the annual AAUP Conference on the State of Higher Education in Washington, D.C.

When we began to talk about what is now the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE), several of us discussed ways to get the word out about what was needed and what we stood for and what we were fighting against. We talked about the various national forums where we could present a panel, and the AAUP meeting was the first opportunity with a deadline that came up (as I recall, proposals were due in October). Lil Taiz (California Faculty Association president), Mark Smith (Higher Ed Policy Director for the National Education Association)and I proposed a panel that would hit various points from what we could see would be CFHE’s guiding principles. AAUP accepted the panel.

  • Lil is speaking on the overview of the campaign and how pursuing a No Child Left Behind policy for higher ed is a major policy mistake for this country.
  • Mark is talking about the flaws in the current metrics used to judge and value teaching.
  • My talk is about those basics of the new academy model — larger classes, distance education and liberal arts program elimination — all in the name of efficiency. After a definition of efficiency in the context of economics and the business model, I go on to provide research and examples that show the false efficiencies found in all three of these vehicles for efficiency. As with the whole of the Campaign, the end message is that we should stop trying for false efficiencies and do what every advancing nation has done since the Roman Empire and invest in education to broaden access to promote innovation, creativity and real productivity in America.

As of now, I am aware of at least one media opportunity while in D.C.; hopefully, there will be more in the press about the Campaign’s efforts to change the discourse about higher ed in this country based on some of what is said there.


— Steve