On Tuesday, March 4, the Ohio Higher Education Coalition (OHEC) held its first press conference announcing the formation of the coalition, highlighting student debt stories, and calling for restoration of the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG), which gives need-based aid to lower income students.
OHEC is a statewide organization representing faculty,
staff, students, parents, and the community at large. Our goal is to organize the voices of those who are demanding affordable and accessible higher education in high quality colleges and universities that treat those they employ with dignity and fairness.
Founded by a diverse coalition of leaders and activists interested in advancing fairer higher education policy in Ohio, including OCAAUP, OHEC addresses three major issues that threaten the quality and sustainability of higher education in Ohio: massive student debt, decreasing state support for higher education, and exploitation of campus labor. These three issues are closely interconnected; decades of defunding public institutions of higher learning has resulted in universities both shifting the costs onto students and exploiting the labor of faculty with part-time teaching contracts that do not provide benefits or a living wage.
At Tuesday’s press conference, current college students shared personal stories of their struggles to afford college; and because of changes and reductions in OCOG, they are receiving even less state assistance than they were previously. Additionally, OCAAUP President John McNay spoke at the event, highlighting how little money at Ohio’s public institutions of higher education is actually spent on instruction. McNay said, “Students should be asking where their tuition dollars are going.”
The 2014 Ohio Conference AAUP Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Collective Bargaining Congress (CBC) Midwest Regional Meeting, Friday, April 11 through Saturday, April 12 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel. The Friday evening dinner will feature a provocative presentation by One Ohio Now’s director Gavin DeVore Leonard on tax policy in Ohio and how it’s impacting higher education funding. Professor Chad Hanson of Casper College in Wyoming will deliver the Saturday luncheon talk, entitled “Talking Higher Education: Metaphors That We Live By.” In addition, National AAUP Senior Legal Counsel Aaron Nissenson will provide an update on recent legal cases impacting academia.
There also will be a “Midwest Government Relations Round-Up” highlighting legislative activity in Midwestern states.Moreover, the Saturday afternoon workshops include:
1) Through the (One Way) Looking Glass: Focus Groups, Polling, and the AAUP Message
2) Building Advocacy Chapters, General Best Practices, and Attracting and Engaging Faculty of Color
3) Battling “Right-to-Work”: The Facts and Messaging
4) Building Effective Contract Campaigns
Below are details for meeting registration and hotel reservations: An online registration has been set-up by National AAUP, which you can access by clicking here. Registration is only $25.A block of guest rooms has been reserved for that Friday and Saturday night at a special rate of $115/night. Reservations must be made by Friday, March 14 in order to receive the reduced rate. While you may still be able to reserve a room after March 14, it will be at the regular hotel rate, which is significantly higher.
To make your hotel reservation online, click here.You can also reserve your room by calling toll-free at (877) 901-6632 or locally at (614) 228-5050. You must mention that you are with the “Ohio Conference AAUP Annual Meeting” to receive the special rate.