For decades, students, faculty, parents and former students have paid an increasingly steep price for the corporatization of higher education. Record amount of debt and the rise of a contingent, underpaid instructional workforce means universities are investing less and less in their core mission – and faculty and students have been paying the price.
But in just a few short years, faculty have stood up in record numbers and we are getting real results. Growing out of SEIU Faculty Forward’s efforts, the Faculty Forward Network unites faculty with students, parents, allies who believe that higher education needs to once again serve all students, faculty, non-faculty higher education staff, and the surrounding communities.
Developing out of the SEIU Faculty Forward movement, we demonstrated that by joining together online and in unions, we can win higher pay, longer appointments and other benefits. Standing with our partners in the student debt movement, we are holding bad actors in higher ed accountable, recently winning half billion dollars in debt relief for former students of the now defunct Corinthian Colleges. And we have been shining a bright light on the crisis for our profession when nearly half of college professors are part time and 25% of us are so underpaid that we qualify for food stamps. This crisis in higher education is no longer something we just quietly debate within the academe.
The Faculty Forward Network is born of a feeling of excitement and momentum based on what we’ve accomplished and what’s possible when we unite thousands more in our organization. The FFN is about bringing together faculty, students, parents and allies who feel higher education needs should be about classrooms over profit and degrees over debt.
That’s what the Faculty Forward Network is all about – working with faculty and other activists across the country to build on our success and boldly demand investment in and higher standards for faculty and students.