CFA President Charles Toombs joined other educators recently proposing a New Deal for Higher Education.
The national effort calls for massive federal investment to make public colleges and universities more accessible to all students, and it lists, among other elements, free college, student debt relief, and sustainable workplaces for faculty as the pathway forward. It also pays particular attention to inequity and access for Black, Indigenous, API Desi American, and Latinx students.
The American Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Professors launched the campaign February 10. Toombs and other activists joined AFT President Randi Weingarten, AAUP President Irene Mulvey, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Roosevelt Institute’s Suzanne Kahn at a panel discussion to lay out a vision of higher education as a public good and discuss a reimagined federal role for the sector under the Biden-Harris administration. You can watch the panel here.
After reviewing CFA’s anti-racism and social justice work, Toombs called on a New Deal to break down barriers in academia.
“For the New Deal for Higher Education, all of you here, and federal and state governments, must finally do the work to dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy culture in higher education,” he said. “For far too long, this has not been a priority of the academy. We can no longer be timid. We must, during this campaign, create real policy changes and actions that chart a new, inclusive, anti-racist, and social justice direction for higher education.”