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Reaffirmation of Principles & Commitment to Action

January 5, 2017

Since its launch in May 2011, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) has worked to advance public policy and practice that provides affordable, quality higher education to all who seek it.

Some progress has been made in pushing back against reduced funding for and access to higher education in the name of austerity and accountability. For example, free public higher education is now part of the national discourse and has become embedded in the policies of more than one state.

Now, however, there is a president-elect who represents the narrowest and worst aspects of for-profit higher education and profiteering by not-for-profit public and private colleges and universities that charge students more and provide them less. From that perspective, and from Mr. Trump’s personal experience in the field, it is inferred that a university is simply a scheme for turning a profit, apparently through misleading marketing, among other means. That model has often proved to be bankrupt, financially, educationally, and morally.

Moreover, we have witnessed a significant rise in hateful acts around the country, both on and off campuses. These acts express the darkest aspects of systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia, and fascistic nationalism that are resurgent in our society. The perpetrators of these acts have been emboldened by the words, policy proposals, and election of Donald Trump and his campaign’s systematically hateful and exclusionary discourse.

Thus, as we approach renewal of a policy regime nationally that is hostile not only to the democratic possibilities of not-for-profit higher education but also to academic science, independent research, and scholarly discussion and critique, the CFHE reaffirms its original seven principles.

In addition to that, the CFHE will continue to defend public higher education, as well as continue to defend and advance the broader democratic values it embodies on college campuses and in the communities in which they are situated. We pledge to:

(a) act to support, define, and affirm our college communities in the most inclusive ways possible;
(b) play an educative role in working through difficult conversations to move us toward some measure of respect for the diversity that is who we are; and
(c) provide progressive, forward-looking democratic alternatives to our present and impending path.

Click here to download a PDF of CFHE’s Reaffirmation of Principles & Commitment to Action.


CFHE’s national report details the impact of faculty hiring, pay on students

CFHE has released a report examining the price students pay due to managerial policies on hiring and pay of faculty in America’s colleges and universities.

The new report, “Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?” analyzes the impact of the latest hiring and faculty salary trends on students. While these trends are often promoted as ways to broaden access, lower costs and foster “scalability,” the burgeoning use of part-time faculty and grim reality of many faculty falling out of the middle class has taken a toll on students.

Click here to read the report (pdf).

For a news release about the paper, click here: CFHE News Release Sept. 16, 2015

To hear an audio recording of the news call, click the audio file below.


National Event



National Event



CFHE will be posting video and photos throughout the Gathering.

CLICK HERE or go to the EVENTS tab to see photos.




National Event


Hanger, secretary of Policy and Planning for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, addressed more than 100 conference participants May 22.

National Event

CFHE 9th National Gathering is underway!

CFHE4The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education’s 9th National Gathering has begun.

The conference, in Philadelphia, started May 22 and will run through May 24. You can view photos on the Events page.

The meeting, hosted by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), is titled “Building Alliances for Quality Higher Education: Theory to Practice.” The agenda includes discussions regarding civil and labor rights in higher education, building alliances between tenure-track and contingent faculty, activating members for success and strengthening alliances with students.

Click here for more information about the 9th National Gathering.

National Event 


Students were a key component of the 8th National Gathering.

Students were a key component of the 8th National Gathering.



More than 100 faculty, students and community leaders met in Los Angeles Jan. 16-18 to discuss ways privatization schemes in higher  education are hurting universities nationwide.

During the eighth national gathering, members of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education called for 10 states, including California, to  institute a student loan refinancing program mirroring one proposed by United University Professions in New York.

“By 2016, we’re hopeful that 10 states can adopt the UUP student loan refinancing program and loan forgiveness proposal for adjunct faculty,”  said Jeffrey Kolnick, a Southern Minnesota University professor and CFHE participant. “This is an idea we can take action on and work to    achieve in the next couple of years,” Kolnick said.

UUP’s plan proposes that State University of New York graduates with state or federal student loans as of Jan. 1, 2008 could refinance their  debt, so long as they earn an associate or bachelor’s degree from a state-operated SUNY school.


New video


Student leaders from across the country discussed student debt, the cost of college and other issues facing students and public higher education during the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education’s Seventh National Gathering, held May 16-18 in Albany, NY.

The panel, titled “Barriers to Access and Equity: Student Debt,” included:

  • Sophia Zaman, President and Maxwell Love, Vice President, United States Student Association
  • Kevin Kang, Program Director, United We Dream
  • Danielle Paris, Dream Defenders
  • Aileen Sheil, Chair and Patrick Krug, Program Associate, New York Public Interest Research Group
  • Rachel Storch, President, New Jersey United Students
  • Kristal Raheem, Students for Quality Education
  • Maggie Thompson, Director, Higher Ed Not Debt

Video courtesy of United University Professions.

Original Video



Since its release this spring, our video has been seen thousands of times and is garnering attention from the media, most recently on The Huffington Post. Click here to read the HuffPost blog.

Stories about the video also have been published by these media outlets:

US News & World Report

Inside Higher Ed

Capital New York

Huff Post Live

Campus Technology

Los Angeles Times


The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education released a new animated video, raising serious concerns about the claims and promises being made by the online education industry. In just a few minutes, you’ll get the real scoop on the hotly contested Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The video was unveiled formally in front of hundreds of faculty at CFHE’s National Gathering in Albany, New York in May. Please help share it!

Want to learn more about CFHE’s research on MOOCs and the “promises” of online higher ed? Click here to read the reports.


The dramatic increase in college tuition and fees over the past dozen years is justifiably big news. Few doubt that the massive disinvestment of public dollars is responsible for much of the rising cost of higher education, skyrocketing student loan debt, and the massive use of low wage contingent faculty. Read more here.


See a new series of working papers about “The ‘Promises’ of Online Education.” The papers “follow the money” to understand the role of profit in the current push to for online teaching, and explore the impact on opportunity for students to get a college degree.


The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education – CFHE for shortis a NEW GRASSROOTS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN to support quality higher education. It was initiated in Los Angeles, California, on May 17, 2011, by leaders of faculty organizations from 21 states.

The mission of this campaign is to ENSURE THAT AFFORDABLE QUALITY HIGHER EDUCATION is accessible to all sectors of our society in the coming decades. This is a time of great change in higher education.

To make sure that these changes are good for students and our country, we need to REFRAME THE CURRENT DEBATE to focus on quality higher education as an essential right for our democracy. Faculty, students and our communities, not just administrators, politicians, foundations and think tanks, need to have a voice to ensure that changes – in emphasis, curriculum, pricing, and structure – are good for our students and the quality of education they receive.

What is at stake is NOTHING LESS THAN OUR DEMOCRACY and our economic standing in the global economy.

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is organized around SEVEN CORE PRINCIPLES that must define quality higher education for the 21st century. We believe these principles provide a helpful framework for developing and assessing proposals for innovation or restructuring in the future.

Contact the campaign to learn more and join!