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Faculty leaders from 21 states launch national dialogue to save higher ed

More than 70 faculty leaders from universities across the country met in Los Angeles last weekend for a first-of-its-kind discussion on how to assert the faculty’s voice in the national debate over the future of American higher education.

“Watching what is going on at our campuses and hearing from colleagues around the country, we have become convinced that we must act—together and quickly—for the good of our students, our profession, and our institutions,” said Susan Meisenhelder, a retired English professor at CSU San Bernardino and CFA’s point-person for the national meeting.

The faculty members from 21 states – Hawaii to New York – collectively represent hundreds of thousands of faculty members who teach millions of students in colleges and universities throughout the country.

“We discovered a common and disturbing experience – no college or university seems off limits to unproven, untested changes to curriculum, teaching, how the university runs. Across the country we are fighting for quality education in the face of efforts to do it cheaper and ‘faster.’

We came together on a realization that broad access to public higher education is essential to getting our country back on track, economically and in every way. We shared a resolve that we must launch a campaign to guarantee the future of a quality public higher education for our country,” said CFA President Lillian Taiz.

Prior to the meeting, CFA offered a set of principles to explore ideas that faculty can support.

“We need to be for something, as well as critiquing what we know is wrong,” said Taiz. All faculty are invited to review and comment on the principles. At the meeting, attendees agreed to take the document back to their campuses to discuss it with colleagues and garner their support.

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