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Reframing the Debate

By Dan Berrett

Faculty leaders from 21 states on Tuesday formally launched a nationwide effort to fight cuts to their institutions’ budgets and to make higher education more widely accessible, and they announced the formation of a think tank to advance those purposes.

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, which resulted from a January meeting of leaders of faculty unions, espouses goals that are, at this point, more conceptual than concrete. The possible exception is the think tank, which was described as a virtual operation (that is, not housed in an actual building) and whose staff either has not been determined or was not divulged. It is designed to produce “actionable” research that would lead to new legislation.

But one larger goal, which organizers say already has been achieved, is fostering communication between faculty members on how to respond to political and economic pressures being felt at campuses across many states. Other goals include placing faculty members in the thick of conversations (from which they have largely been excluded, deliberately or otherwise) about assessment and budget priorities and, especially, reframing the larger debate about the declining resources available to higher education.

Continued at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/05/18/faculty_leaders_launch_campaign_for_future_of_higher_education

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