Author Archives: Tiffany Kraft

Dr. Miranda Merklein, In Remembrance

Dr. Miranda Merklein, In Remembrance

With deep sadness and appreciation, we honor the life and work of Dr. Miranda Merklein who passed away on October 14th, 2017. Miranda is a former adjunct professor with a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and a BA in Political Science from College of Santa Fe. She worked as a faculty organizer in higher education with SEIU 925 in Seattle, Washington and was a Faculty Forward Network member. Miranda was a fierce adjunct a ...

We Will Defend Civil Rights

We Will Defend Civil Rights

In post-Charlottesville U.S.A., everyday is a fight for civil rights. University of North Carolina System students and faculty realize this acutely, as the ongoing battle to remove the Confederate statue of Silent Sam illustrates. It appears that UNC cares more about protecting a racist statue than it does defending civil rights. This is the time for visionary leadership and action. We look to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to avoid undue political influence and protect stud ...

We won't sit by idly while students face rule rollbacks that signal "open season"

We won’t sit by idly while students face rule rollbacks that signal “open season”

Faculty Forward Network signed a joint coalition letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on July 12 expressing opposition to “the delay, dismantling or weakening of the gainful employment regulations finalized in October 2014 and the ‘borrower defense to repayment’ and college accountability regulations finalized in November 2016.” Students and taxpayers should not be on the hook for fraudulent and deceptive business practices that fail to deliver quality education at a reasonable cost. In man ...

Campus Resistance: Rise Up March 1st

Campus Resistance: Rise Up March 1st

The assault on campus values, traditional learning, and professional working conditions in higher education is a widespread problem. Many students are faced with debt until death and teaching is hardly a middle-class profession anymore. This isn’t education—it is exploitation. Recently confirmed Secretary of Education billionaire Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration will not be the leader that American higher education needs. That’s why it’s time to take a stand and make real change in highe ...

Betsy DeVos: Not My Choice for Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos: Not My Choice for Secretary of Education

The nomination of Betsy DeVos to the Department of Education as Education Secretary in the coming Trump administration is an affront to public education at all levels. DeVos has no public education experience, personally or professionally. She is a billionaire with a penchant for privatizing education for profit and funneling millions to conservative and religious causes, including political contributions to oppose same-sex-marriage laws. She’s also anti-union and omitted a $125,000 political do ...

Our drumbeat is growing louder

Our drumbeat is growing louder

As we look back on 2016, let’s remember that we kept the drums beating for all faculty to live and work more openly and freely. This type of bravery in the face of oppression and exploitation speaks truth to power and defends the American dream—thank you. ...

Critical Thinking and Composition in Contentious Times

Critical Thinking and Composition in Contentious Times

Critical Thinking (CT) is a concept embedded in student learning outcomes attached to composition courses at many colleges and universities nationwide. At first, the concept may seem rather abstract, but when you start to unpack it it’s pretty clear that CT invites challenging assumptions, self-reflection, thinking through intrinsic and extrinsic values, and questioning beliefs and ideas, which may affirm, alter or negate them. One useful open educational resource (OER) maintained by associate p ...

Student Debt Disparity: It's Got to Go

Student Debt Disparity: It’s Got to Go

Though we’ve previously discussed the “The Disparate Truth of Debt in Higher Education,” on this blog, it’s time to revisit it from a new angle with fresh evidence that amplifies the need to act now to reduce debt disparity because “[o]nly when equity is combined with access will the full promise of American higher education truly be fulfilled.” Right now, too many students of color are falling through the cracks and missing educational opportunities or struggling to finance their education, and ...

Faculty Move Forward Together, Not One Step Back in Richmond, Virginia

Faculty Move Forward Together, Not One Step Back in Richmond, Virginia

“People who work for fast-food corporations like McDonald’s led the way, but the Fight for $15 is now for everyone” (Derick Smith, Adjunct Faculty at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University). As Spelman adjunct philosophy professor Tara Holman knows, “[teaching] would be the best job in the world if I actually made a sustainable, living wage.” Too many of us in higher education know the truth, though: there is no such thing as a sustainable, living wage for most adjunct facul ...

The Disparate Truth of Debt in Higher Education

The Disparate Truth of Debt in Higher Education

At the outset, I knew that I would have to overcome systematic racism, transphobia and homophobia. I knew my learning disabilities would make it difficult as well. Yet, the most forbidding boundary in my way is the tremendous debt I have accrued, a fact compounded by the prospect that my calling is not known for being financially lucrative. … I have grown to fear that the pursuit of my passion, which is ultimately to help and liberate others, has doomed myself and my family to captivity; working ...

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