Higher education is dangerous because it raises expectations.
That was the argument Professor Gordon Lafer of the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon made in a speech to AAUP members. What’s more, he said, academics are those who are best positioned to lead the fight to protect higher education in a positive, active way. His talk came on the heels of a busy day of lobbying and meetings on Capitol Hill, where AAUP members from across the country were doing exactly as he advised.
As part of the AAUP Annual Conference, faculty visited the offices of members of Congress from Ohio to Connecticut to Texas and beyond. Their message was clear: make college accessible and affordable and block harmful Trump budget cuts to student aid and federal research and humanities programs.
The work of the AAUP members on Capitol Hill was reinforced by thousands of you–11,000, to be precise. That’s the number of people who signed petitions in support of the College for Act and against the harmful cuts to higher education proposed by the Trump budget. Those petitions were delivered directly to Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who serves as the vice ranking member of the House Budget Committee. She plans to have the signatures and comments against the cuts to higher education introduced into the official record of the Budget Committee. Copies of the petition were also delivered Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and to education staffers at the offices of Bernie Sanders (the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee), Elizabeth Warren, and Chuck Schumer.