Working Papers


Back to School in Higher Ed: Who Needs Faculty?

Executive Summary

Although 50 years of research has shown that faculty/student interaction is crucial to student success, recent trends and newly-adopted practices in higher education actually decrease the possibilities for faculty to interact with students in the amounts and the ways that matter most.


The “Promises” of Online Higher Education: Access

Executive Summary

The “promise” that online learning will dramatically expand access to higher education is at the center of the recent push in the MOOC/Online movement.  This paper examines research that can help us answer a crucial question: do online courses provide meaningful access to quality higher education for underserved students, who are those most in need of expanded educational opportunities?


The “Promises” of Online Higher Education: Profits

Executive Summary

With so much national focus on the “promises” of online higher education to expand access and to reduce costs, one truth about online higher education rarely mentioned is that it is big—Very Big—business.   Understanding and assessing developments in online higher education require that we look at them not just through the lens of industry slogans—“innovation,” “expanded access,” and “reduced costs,” but also through the lens of corporate interest and influence.

Post By Bob Samuels

Making All Public Higher Education Free

By Bob Samuels
President, University of California-American Federation of Teachers
Lecturer, University of California at Los Angeles

The notion of making public higher education free is not currently “on the table” for discussion, at least in part, because the actual cost of doing so is so rarely discussed. The goal of this paper is to provide an estimate of just how much it would actually cost to make all public higher education free in the United States.

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Post By Stanton A. Glantz and Eric Hays

Financial Options for Restoring Quality and Access to Public Higher Education in California: 2012/13

Executive Summary

Huge cuts to state funding and steep increases in student fees have eroded access to affordable college degrees in California’s public higher education system. 

This report estimates what it would cost – through restored taxpayer funding or tuition increases – to restore quality and to reopen the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges to the thousands of qualified students excluded by recent budget cuts.

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Post by Rudy Fichtenbaum

How to Invest in Higher Education: A Financial Speculation Tax

by Rudy Fichtenbaum
President, American Association of Universtiy Professors
Professor of Economics, Wright State University

It is accepted as fact that “there is no [public] money” for higher education in our country today. And it is a political reality that the tax increases that could provide more revenue for it are often unpopular. Working Americans, suffering from high levels of unemployment and declining real wages, beleaguered by mortgage, college loan, and other debt, are understandably resistant to the idea of increasing taxes, even though they are being effectively “taxed” through higher tuition and other increased costs for public services.

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