National faculty group reaffirms commitment to defend public higher education, urges rejection of Betsy DeVos as Ed Secretary
As the Trump administration wages its war on science, on the free flow of people and information that is at the core of higher education and democracy, and as it propagates clear untruths as “alternative facts” about publicly, empirically verifiable phenomena, the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CFHE) recommits to defending and advancing affordable, quality public higher education for all who pursue it, and joins thousands of educators, organizations, and critics from various political persuasions to denounce and oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
The CFHE, an organization of higher education faculty members and faculty unions from across the U.S., is urging U.S. Senators to reject Trump’s nomination of DeVos, a billionaire who is religiously biased, hostile to the basics of widely accepted science and scientific understanding, and who is committed to subsidizing private and religious education at the expense of public education.
During a recent confirmation hearing, the responses of this pro-voucher defender of charter schools, raised alarms among educators. DeVos’s financial entanglements with a student loan collection agency, her resistance to protecting students from sexual assault and gun violence and to ensuring the rights of immigrants and students with disabilities should disqualify her for this important position, according to CFHE’s statement.
The full statement is available on the CFHE’s website.
In addition to speaking out against the confirmation of DeVos, the CFHE also is reinvigorating its efforts to protect and defend public higher education nationwide. CFHE feels that its work is more important than ever because, “there is [now] a president 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,” the CFHE states.
CFHE believes that now, more than ever, access to higher education must:
- remain accessible and affordable
- include a broad and diverse curriculum
- maintain academic freedom and investment in faculty
- avoid false economies and simplistic metrics, and
- involve increased public investment over current levels.
Members of CFHE—who are faculty are various public higher education institutions in California, New York, Pennsylvania and beyond—are available for comment to news and campus media outlets via the media contacts above.
About CFHEThe Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, which includes hundreds of members and dozens of member organizations nationwide, was launched in 2011 as an effort to guarantee affordable quality higher education is accessible to all sectors of society. To learn more about the campaign, click here.