As we reported to you earlier this month, Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland) introduced Ohio Senate Bill 135, which contains a myriad of proposed changes to public higher education, most of which we believe would be detrimental to institutions and faculty.
The proposals could impact college and university finances, program and degree offerings, and free speech/First Amendment policies, including academic freedom for faculty.
We are asking you to take action by sending emails to members of the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee through this Action Network page.
You can easily send a message through that page to all seven members of the committee with just a few clicks. A form letter is provided, but you are welcomed and encouraged to personalize your message.
SB 135 has received two hearings to date: one for sponsor testimony and one for proponents. The Ohio Conference AAUP will be testifying as an opponent when the opportunity arises, which could be next week. While there are some aspects of the bill we support, we believe it mostly would cause serious damage to Ohio’s system of public colleges and universities in its current form.
We have had conversations with the sponsor’s office to discuss our concerns, and we appreciate that Sen. Cirino has been open during this process. We hope that we can continue to work with him and other members of the committee to make the legislation more palatable. We appreciate the goals of affordability and student success, but we believe there are better solutions.