Save Ohio Higher Ed
Formed in May 2020, Save Ohio Higher Ed (SOHE) is a coalition of higher ed workers and students across Ohio who have come together to protect higher education as a public, accessible, and equitable good. Our events educate on key issues and bring faculty, staff, students, and community members into conversation. The founding members of SOHE are Ohio State AAUP, Miami University AAUP, and Ohio University AAUP. We welcome ties with other AAUP chapters and other organizations.
What we do:
See our Solidarity Pledge and sign on.
April 16, 2021 @ 3pm: "The Debt Trap"
Students hamstrung by student loans and transcript debt. Universities choking under vast levels of capital (building) debt, constraining them from carrying out their educational mission. It's time to call a halt.
In this forum, we'll discuss the state and university origins of the student debt trap--and how we can move forward to equalize access for all Ohioans.
Register here! http://tinyurl.com/fu8459x8
February 12, 2021: "The Economic Importance of Higher Ed"
Higher education in Ohio is crucial to the state's future. It's not only key to informed citizenship; it's a powerful economic engine for broad-based prosperity. But our institutions of higher education are in grave trouble after decades of declines in funding. In this forum, we heard about how the state's starving of higher education strains university budgets, eliminates jobs in local communities, and drives up tuition for students. Speakers included:
- Sara Kilpatrick, Director of Ohio AAUP
- Jim Mosher, Political Science Department, Ohio University (slides)
- Shammas Malik, Akron City Council
- Steve Patterson, Mayor of Athens, Ohio
- Zack Space, Sunday Creek Horizon Center, Former US Congressperson
October 22, 2020: "Shared Governance for the Current Crisis and Beyond: A Primer"
The presentation was aimed at helping faculty senators and other faculty involved in shared governance to understand their shared governance rights. It explained why shared governance matters and proposed pathways for making a difference.
September 4, 2020: "Where Does Tuition Go?: Students Speak Out"
COVID-19 is not the main culprit in today's higher education crisis. In reality, the crisis stems from years of state defunding and financial mismanagement based on private-sector principles. Together, students and faculty are taking action to address systemic failures at both state and institutional levels. At this forum, two student activists - Abby Stidham, a University of Cincinnati undergraduate and cofounder of BoldlyBankrupt.com, and Angela Glotfelter, a graduate student at Miami University - analyzed the misplaced budget priorities that have led to the current crisis in Ohio higher education. Hope Jennings, professor at Wright State University, described the importance of student/faculty solidarity in the success of the 2019 Wright State strike. Past Ohio AAUP president John McNay discussed the firings and other mission-eroding cuts at Akron University and elsewhere, along with with proposals to the Ohio legislature to give voting rights to students and faculty on Boards of Trustees.
(video; list of video contents)
June 19, 2020: "Overcoming Inequities"
This event took place during the mass protests against the police killing of George Floyd. Our forum asked: what are the austerity effects of the public defunding of higher education, and how are these related to the inequities of well-funded public services? Chris Newfield, an expert in critical university studies, showed that state disinvestment in universities is historically parallel to the increased admission of students of color. Speakers also included Sarah Szilagy, an editor of OSU's student newspaper, the Lantern, who recounted being teargassed while covering the Columbus Black Lives Matter protests; OSU Undergraduate Student Government president Roaya Higazi, who discussed her group's joint effort to cut OSU's ties to the Columbus police; and Genesis Vaughan, an organizer against the 2015 killing of Sam Dubose by a University of Cincinnati police officer.
May 13, 2020: "Academic Workers Speak Out"
This was our inaugural meeting, and it drew people from across Ohio. Cathy Wagner, president of the Miami University AAUP, laid out the political economy of higher education. Her presentation traced links between the state legislature, Boards of Trustees, and university administrations. We also heard from Ohio University faculty speakers recently laid off despite longstanding employment and work in crucial programs, and about other threats to academic mission in university responses to the pandemic.