It's no secret that I work at a public regional university in New York state, so I've seen up close and personal what the chronic underfunding of SUNY means to students, faculty, and western NY. Over the course of 2008, I plan to do an ongoing series on funding public higher education, a particularly relevant topic now that Governor Eliot Spitzer's NY State Commission on Higher Education has released its preliminary report. This post sets the scene for my series, webquest style.
For representative arguments that public higher education should be free, check out Marc Bousquet (How the University Works) and Adolph Reed and Preston Smith (Labor Party). For a representative faculty union campaign, check out the American Federation of Teachers' Faculty and College Excellence campaign. For an attempt to get a discussion of endowment disparities started, see Bill Benzon (The Valve). For my spring 2006 debate with a privatization advocate, go to Objectivist v. Constructivist v. Theist. For further background and resources, check out Workplace, the Workplace blog, and The Rouge Forum.
For initial reactions to the NYSCHE's preliminary report, check out the statement by the Professional Staff Caucus (CUNY), the press release from United University Professions (SUNY), Craig Smith and Barbara McKenna at FACE Talk, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, and Stanley Fish in The New York Times.
[Update 1/10/08: Here's the relevant summary of Gov. Spitzer's State of the State address.]