New Deal for Higher Education Organizational Sign On Form
The undersigned organization formally endorses the vision, values, and goals of the AAUP/AFT New Deal for Higher Education campaign. We recognize the importance of higher education to our communities, our economy, our democracy, and the goal of human advancement. Robust higher education will:
BUILD PROSPERITY FROM THE BOTTOM UP
Education and educated people drive economic success, from the vibrancy of our communities to the health of the whole economy. Higher education provides these tools by preparing students to be the workforce of the future, from teachers, nurses, and technicians to programmers, paralegals, and IT specialists. As large employers, universities and colleges have the ability to reverse course and lead with truly high road practices that strengthen the stability of their workforces, the educational experiences of their students, and their local economies.
ADVANCE SOCIAL, RACIAL, AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
Teaching and research should raise our awareness of systemic inequalities and racism, and pioneer new ways to address them. The education and training available to students in higher education should also create economic mobility and reverse economic disparities. If our system of higher education is affordable and accessible to all, it can be a pillar of a more just world.
STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Participating in democracy requires the ability to recognize truth, to challenge our understandings, and to think critically about the world in which we find ourselves. Higher education challenges all students to build these abilities. Strengthening higher education makes our democracy stronger because it empowers people to think about their lives and make meaningful change in the world.
FOSTER KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION
Higher education must inspire the free exchange of ideas and the search for truth. All scholarship and teaching creates value--whether it is social, economic, or cultural. Scholarly work advances us as a society and prepares us for the challenges of our world.
A true New Deal for Higher Education will reauthorize the federal Higher Education Act and create other federal higher education policies that establish stable and dedicated public funding streams and hold administrations accountable for how those monies are spent. This campaign will advocate for:
--prioritizing teaching, research, and supporting student success;
--allowing all students to access higher education regardless of their ability to pay;
--ensuring job security, equitable pay, professional voice, and sustainable careers for all faculty and staff;
--creating academic environments free from racism, sexism, and other bigotries that prevent learning, degrade research, and perpetuate inequality; and
--canceling student debt for borrowers who have unjustly shouldered the burden of financing higher education the last 40 years.
With meaningful public funding for teaching and research across all academic departments our institutions can excel as drivers of innovative thinking, economic growth, dynamic citizen engagement, and creative solutions. We must advocate for specific federal, state, and institutional policies that will drive fundamental reform and fulfill the promise of higher education as a public good. We invite students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, trustees, community members, and community, academic, labor, and business organizations to join us in creating a New Deal for Higher Education.