The AAUP supports Senator Harkin’s Keep Our Educators Working Act, now being considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Education jobs are essential to our economic, social, and political health and to our vitality as a nation. But we must emphasize the importance of including postsecondary educators in measures to support the work of teachers and other vital public service employees. Colleges and universities are major employers in communities across the country, and are currently not renewing the appointments of contingent faculty members and not replacing tenured and tenure-track faculty members by the thousands. Neglecting college and university employment will undermine local economic recovery. Moreover, the current human capacity of colleges and universities cannot accommodate the growing numbers of students, particularly when we are simultaneously working to increase engagement with students and promote student success. To exclude postsecondary educators from this legislation would be to renege on the promise of quality postsecondary education for large numbers of students, and to undermine the vitality of our knowledge-based economy, society, and democracy.
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