The new issue of Academe, which looks at the public policy landscape for higher ed, has just been posted online.
The issue is guest-edited by Brian Turner, a professor of political science at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and chair of the AAUP’s Government Relations Committee. Turner tells a story in his introduction to the issue which is very telling: He writes that when he started organizing lobbying days for faculty to speak with members of the Virginia legislature and their staffs, the officeholders were confused: Didn’t they already know about higher ed issues? After all, they met with college presidents and administrators all the time! It had never occurred to them until those meetings that the faculty might have views and opinions different from the administration. Needless to say, those meetings have become a regular feature of the Virginia state conference.
In this issue, our authors describe the current state of politics and policy on higher ed. In Ohio, the state legislature is no longer responsive to the will of the people – so popular ballot initiatives have become the best way to make changes in policy. Across the country, states are racing to implement performance-based funding for higher ed. In California, state employee pensions are coming under attack. In Kentucky, the state’s higher education board now includes a faculty representative, who writes about her experiences. And in Washington, DC, the National Labor Relations Board is considering a case that could dramatically expand the opportunities to bargain collectively at private institutions.