Access to free public higher education and strong protections for faculty? That’s a bill we can get behind.
Last month the AAUP endorsed the College for All Act, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, which would make four-year public college free for families making less than $125,000 and community college free for all. Former students would be able to refinance their student loans with lower interest rates, easing the burden for those who may be struggling. The funding would come from a Wall Street speculation tax. The bill also includes provisions to increase the percentage of faculty jobs that are full-time and on the tenure track, compensate faculty on part-time appointments for work done outside the classroom, and support faculty access to professional development and shared governance.
Next month (June, 2017), AAUP members will meet with members of Congress as part of Capitol Hill Day during our Annual Conference. We’ll be delivering a letter of support for the College for All Act to members of Congress.
The College for All Act reaffirms a commitment to quality, public higher education as a right for all Americans. It will help current and former students tackle crippling debt by refinancing loans. Crucially for faculty, it would cut down on the abuse of adjunct labor and strengthen academic freedom protections by increasing the percentage of faculty positions that are on the tenure track.