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More News from the NEA Office of Higher Education

Way to go, P-fac!!!

It's hard to believe how far this union of part-time faculty has come in just one year. Last summer, the president was trying to save her teaching job. This summer, they're celebrating a tentative contract, which may be the best new contract for part-time faculty in the country. Read more.

Finally, WIA!

After 15 years, it appears that the Workforce Investment Act may be headed for reauthorization. Find out what this means for community college faculty.

Student borrowing

Interest rates on some federal student loans for low-income students doubled July 1 -- a bad thing! But the Senate's fix in late July isn't a great deal either. Learn more.

Community College Completion

Far too few students are graduating from Massachusetts community colleges, according to a new report from MTA, which also outlines recommended actions to turn the tide. Read on.

Latinos and STEM

Despite gains, Latino students still are disproportionately missing from STEM fields. Learn how one NEA Higher Ed member is making a difference.

Latinos and STEM

Despite gains, Latino students still are disproportionately missing from STEM fields. Learn how one NEA Higher Ed member is making a difference.

Affirmative Action Recognized by Court

Take a look at the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling,which recognizes the legal footing of affirmative action in university admissions.

Why are colleges handing out money to rich students?

A recent report shows that financial aid isn't what it used to be...

NLRB rules in favor of Columbia College faculty

The NLRB has ordered Columbia College to return to the bargaining table -- and pay those contingent faculty whose classes were unilaterally cut by college administrators. Read more.

Budget cuts put state economies at risk

A recent report from the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities shows clearly how the deep cuts sustained by public colleges and universities has endangered state economies. Learn more.

Work-Study: How will cuts affect your students?

Soon sequestration's effects will extend to the federal work-study program. Find out how many of your students will lose this critical support.

NEA Seeks U.S. DOL Unemployment Insurance Clarification

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, on behalf of NEA adjunct members, wrote to the Department of Labor seeking additional guidance on the law that first brought higher education faculty within the unemployment insurance program in the Employment Security Amendments of 1970, which required states to provide coverage to persons working in certain non-profit institutions and to professionals working in public colleges and universities. Read more.

What's the story with MOOCs?

Affordability and accessibility is a good thing -- but so would be assurances around the quality of massive, open, online courses, the latest thing in public higher education. Read more.

WIA? Don't be MIA

Learn what's going on with the reauthorization of the landmark Workforce Investment Act, the law that steers money and resources to job training programs at community colleges. Why did Democrats walk out of their committee meeting en masse? Learn here.

Obama's College Score Cards

What information would make these more useful for college applicants and their parents? How about the percentage of faculty working on part-time, contingent contracts? Read more.

Take the pledge: Campuses Not Cuts

Sequestration -- across-the-board, mandatory spending cuts to federal budgets -- have been activated. Now NEA Higher Ed members must continue to advocate for their students and programs. Learn what you can do to help.

Why Can't College Be Free?

The authors of three working papers from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education outline ways that high-quality public higher education could be fully funded.

Read them here.

Removing barriers to Latino college success

NEA Higher Ed members at LaGuardia Community College recently were honored for their achievements in the area of Latino college student retention and graduation.



Learn more.


More relief for those drowning in student debt?

You can discharge credit card debt during bankruptcy, but you can't discharge private student loans, thanks to a recent change in bankruptcy law. But now Sen. Dick Durbin is seeking to restore fairness in bankruptcy law. See how you can help.

Is this the best new contract in America?

Read the story behind Western Washington University's new contract -- and learn how to approach the bargaining table on your campus.

Obama and HBCUs

With recent grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the President and his administration have shown their support for the access provided by these institutions. Read more.

Sequestration and higher ed

The across-the-board cuts to federal spending, due to take effect on Jan. 1, could have devastating effects on students and faculty. Learn more.

Staff organize for fairness

Employees at the University of Vermont voted earlier this month for a union. Find out why.

Affirmative action in higher ed

The Supreme Court will decide the fate of affirmative action in college admissions -- but not before hearing from NEA and its allies. Learn more.

Who is Professor Staff?

A new report from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, based on survey results from the New Faculty Majority, illuminate the growing trend toward contingency on college campuses. Read more.

What we learned about Mitt

A Bristol Community College professor wants her colleagues to know more about her former governor. Read here.

Kudos to California

After more than two years of negotiations, the California Faculty Association has ratified a tentative agreement, forestalling a planned statewide strike this fall. Learn more.

Low pay, and little opportunity for advancement

A recent survey by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) of 30,000 contingent faculty members and instructors has identified some disturbing trends among what is now the fastest growing and largest segment of the academic workforce: extremely low pay; little opportunity for advancement; and poor working conditions. Read more.  

California votes for massive strike

After 22 months of fruitless negotiations, your colleagues in California have authorized what could be the largest ever faculty strike in the nation. Read more. 

Help your Florida colleagues save their jobs!

The first victims of the Florida legislature’s wicked $300 million cuts to higher education appear to be students in the flagship university’s highly acclaimed computer science department. What, Florida? You figure you won’t need computer scientists in the 21st century? Read more and sign the faculty petition.

Protect pensions, not corporate tax loopholes

In Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana and elsewhere, state pensions for employees at public colleges and universities are under attack. Learn more.

Welcome MT grad students!

More than 600 graduate students at the University of Montana at Bozeman have joined MEA-MFT, after an overwhelmingly positive union vote earlier this month. NEA Higher Ed is proud and happy to have them as our newest affiliate! Learn more. 

Organizing in Vermont

As retirement benefits are slashed, salary cuts imposed, and colleagues laid off, academic staff at the University of Vermont know they need a voice at the table. That's why they're organizing themselves into a union with a strong, coherent voice. Learn more. 

Voter rights under assault

Learn what you can do on your campus to protect the rights of young voters, whose rights to vote have been threatened by new voter-suppression laws across this country.

$8 billion for community colleges!

President Obama's proposed 2013 budget puts public higher education front and center. Not only does it include $8 billion in new funding for career-training programs at community colleges, it also protects Pell Grants and other college affordability programs. Learn more.

Marching for the rights of part-time faculty

Attendees at the NEA Higher Ed conference in Chicago this month took to the streets to rally for the rights of contingent faculty at Columbia College and East-West University. Learn more.

College affordability: The key to the American Dream

Urging students to attend college doesn't make you a "snob" -- it makes you an advocate for their dreams. Increasingly, it takes a college degree to access jobs and home ownership. Learn more.


Congratulations to the two NEA Higher Ed members who have won NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards this year. Mary Ann Pacheco, English professor at Rio Hondo Community College, has been honored with the George I. Sanchez Memorial Award, while Paul Hernandez, assistant professor at Central Michigan University, has been awarded the Reg Weaver NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards.

Community Colleges: An $8 Billion Budget Line

In his proposed 2013 federal budget, President Obama has set aside $8 billion for career-training programs at community colleges, where American can unlock the key to the American Promise, he said. Learn more.

Part-time faculty organizing for rights and respect

Curtis Keyes, Jr., has been fired three times in his fight for a union at East-West University in Chicago. None of that will stop him. Across the country, tens of thousands of contingent, or non-tenure track faculty members, are denied fair pay and rights. Read more.

Why you should care about the Occupy Movement

NEA's Office of Higher Ed sat down with Henry Giroux to talk about the Occupy Movement and what faculty and staff might learn from its student protesters. Read more.

Help for aging community colleges

The proposed Fix America's Schools Today Act includes $5 billion to rebuild and modernize community colleges. How do you prepare students for 21st century jobs in 20th century facilities? Learn more and help NEA to lobby effectively for this much-needed money.

Where are the graduates?

The nation's economic future rests on an educated workforce, says President Obama. But it's no coincidence that college completion rates—and funding for higher education—have both declined. Learn more.

College affordability

President Obama has unveiled a comprehensive plan to make college more affordable. And certainly, today's debt-burdened students and graduates could use some help! Learn more. Also, Vice-President Joe Biden visited a Pennsylvania high school on talk about the White House's commitment to college affordability. He asks: Is the American Dream broken? Read more here.

Welcome Lake Tahoe members

During these tough economic times, it's not enough to rely on the goodwill of administrators. Employees who want job security need a union. Just ask the new association of education support professionals at Lake Tahoe Community College in California. Learn more about their story.

Walking the Line in California

Thousands of California faculty members and their supporters walked the picket line in a one-day strike on Nov. 17 that stood for the rights of faculty and their ability to teach students effectively. Read more about the strike.

Talking about Student Debt

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held his second “Twitter Town Hall” on November 14 and it was dominated by talk of student debt. Duncan vowed to “fight every day” against potential cuts to Pell Grant. Learn more about the town hall and about efforts to cut 500,000 students from Pell Grants.

Strike Vote in California

Pushed to the brink by a state Chancellor who refuses to pay previously negotiated faculty salary raises, even as he lavishly compensates executives and two neutral fact-finders have rejected his lame “there is no money” arguments, the California Faculty Association has voted overwhelmingly (93 percent!) for a one-day strike on two state university campuses on Nov. 17. Learn more.

Strike Over in Illinois!

Late on Nov. 9, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Faculty Association ended their 9-day strike, after receiving much improved offers from administrators around issues like tenure, shared governance, and academic freedom. The faculty union has gone nearly 500 days without a contract. Their fundamental issue never has been salary—it's about protecting the rights of faculty. Learn more of the history here. Also, sign the online petition of support for the faculty (and read their strike statement) here.

Community Colleges could get a big boost

The Fix America's Schools Today (FAST) bill includes $5 billion to improve facilities at college with two-year degree programs. Just think about the ways that money could be used to improve classrooms, laboratories, and job training facilities. Learn more.

Congratulations to MSU faculty!

History has been made at Montana State University, where tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty ratified their first collective bargaining agreements on Oct. 26. Now the faculty can speak with a strong, unified voice on such issues as academic freedom, workloads, and intellectual property. Learn more.

Fighting back in Ohio

Higher-ed faculty and staff in Ohio have been knocking on doors all over their state, making sure voters understand the implications of Senate Bill 5, a measure that would kill collective bargaining for public employees. Learn more.

NEA President talks about higher ed

In this video interview, recently filmed on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel talks about the state of higher ed today, equity issues for contingent faculty, and what we can learn from teacher colleges abroad. Check it out.

What you should know about Rick Perry

There is no “Texas Miracle” as far as jobs creation—or higher education—is concerned. Learn more.

Is the U.S. Falling Behind in Higher Ed?

The United States, once the global leader in its production of college-educated employees, is slipping in college participation rates behind emerging countries like Korea and China, according to a new OECD report. Read more.

Not in my Backyard: St. Xavier U. Fights Union

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that, although St. Xavier University was affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy, its education was secular and its part-time faculty was entitled to form a union. But ballots from a union election earlier this summer have been impounded until St. Xavier's appeal is decided. Learn more. NEA to the White House!Congratulations to NEA-VP Lily Eskelsen, who has been invited by President Obama to serve on the White House commission for Hispanic education. While enrollment by Hispanic students in higher education has hit an all-time higher, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Learn more here.

What you should know about online education

NEA senior policy analyst Mark Smith recently participated in a discussion with Crain's Detroit Journal about online education. What are the challenges? What are the worries? Read it here.

Online learners fail more frequently, study shows

A recent study of community-college students found that online-course takers were more likely to fail their classes than similar students who took the same classes in person. Better learning opportunities—and quality control—should be pursued through negotiations at the bargaining table. Learn more.

Building better math and science teachers

In Washington State, higher-ed members are working collaboratively with secondary school teachers to improvement the quality of instruction and better prepare students for college. Learn more here.

Congratulations to East-West adjunct faculty

Despite the intimidation tactics of university administrators at East-West University in Chicago, adjunct faculty finally have won a union! It took two years of hard work—and the support of NEA and the Illinois Education Association—but the ballots have been counted and certified by the National Labor Relations Board.Learn more here. Reining in For-Profit Colleges

The for-profit colleges that rely on millions of federal dollars will be held accountable to new federal rules that tie federal aid to specific standards. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel praised the step forward, saying taxpayer money must be used responsibly and students given access to quality higher education. Learn more here.

Assessments? Be careful.

Faculty members must be involved in efforts to measure learning outcomes, warns NEA and its partners, AFT and AAUP, in a paper recently released by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. The paper also cautions against relying on the same kinds of standardized tests that have narrowed curriculum and hampered instruction at the K-12 level. “As inappropriate as these proposals are in K-12 education, they are even more inappropriate in higher education situations where the goal is not simply to learn content but also to develop critical thinking and interpretive skills,” wrote NEA senior policy analyst Mark Smith.

As Pell Grants go...

So goes this country's economy. Because when students can attend college, they're more likely to earn more, pay for taxes, and rely less on public service programs. So why would right-wing politicans want to cut $5.6 billion from Pell Grants, the lifeline to the American Dream for 9.4 million Americans? Learn more and take action to protect college affordability and accessibility.

Support the DREAM Act

Every year, thousands of undocumented students graduate from American high schools. They include valedictorians, straight-A students, future scientists, teachers, and entrepreneurs. But sadly, because of barriers created by their lack of legal status, they are unable to pursue higher education. It's a lack of opportunity that doesn't just punish them—it costs this country as a whole. Learn more about the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to legal status for college students and military veterans, and ask your Congressman to support the bill.

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education

Join a national campaign to revitalize higher education across the country. Endorsed in March by the National Council for Higher Education and involving faculty from at least 21 states, “The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education,” calls for faculty, students and communities to be part of future decisions impacting higher education. Learn more via a recorded “webinar” of the campaign's launch in May in Washington D.C.