This past academic year, an ad hoc subcommittee of the Faculty Senate was created, that called itself REHEFT (Committee to Review Higher Education Funding and Tuition). Membership on the committee was not limited to senators, nor to faculty, so we were joined by Jessica Butkovic; from the Institute for Civic Engagement and Mary Jean Hall, a civically-engaged student. Faculty members included Angie Mackewn, Brian Donavant, Nancy Sonleitner, Paula Gale, David Barber, James Smart, Beth Powell and me.
One of the things we decided to do this Fall, was to hold an essay-writing contest, to be organized by Beth Powell, with student essays being submitted following this theme: “How has your education changed you, your understanding of the world, and your understanding of your place in it?” [this theme was suggested by Leslie LaChance] The exact details of this contest are being worked out and will be announced soon.
Also, I have decided to center our Fall FS retreat around the issue of: ” The future of higher education in today’s economic climate.”
It would greatly aid our discussion if you could read the articles linked below in anticipation of that meeting. The first link is to a position paper created by the Campaign for the Future Of Higher Education, which had a kickoff meeting in Washington, D.C. this past May. The second link is to an article that does a good job of characterizing the threat faced by higher education and the humanities in particular.
I look forward to our discussion. The plan will be to discuss and take the results of the discussion back to the REHEFT Committee for their analysis and any recommended action.