NH Public Higher Education Faculty Fight for NH Students

Keene, NH. Friday, January 18, 2019

Representatives from faculty unions at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, and New Hampshire Community Colleges met on January 18 at Keene State College to discuss shared challenges and to look for ways to address common issues within higher education.

This group came together in the summer of 2018 and has now organized as New Hampshire Public Faculty Coalition (NHPFC). The Coalition seeks a stronger faculty voice in policy development and decision making in public colleges and universities. “While faculty voices are often unheard, we are essential to student success and we work tirelessly on their behalf,” said Cliff Brown, member of the UNH AAUP.

“This is a critical juncture for higher education, especially in NH where we find ourselves imperiled by declining public funding, misguided priorities, and soaring costs. By necessity, we need to collaborate across campuses to find ways we can serve the common interests of our students and communities,” said Scott Coykendall, chief negotiator for the Plymouth State AAUP.

“For years, New Hampshire higher ed boards of trustees have met to make important decisions affecting the academic environment without direct faculty input. Faculty from across the state are now also meeting routinely to advance our mission,” said Pete Stevenson, Vice President of Keene State College Education Association (NEA).  Neil Nevins, member of New Hampshire Technical Institute faculty representing the New Hampshire Higher Education Union (IBEW) said, “We take seriously our role and responsibility as faculty to advocate for access to affordable quality education.”

The group will be reaching out to elected state officials in the month of February to advocate for significantly improved state support for the education of New Hampshire students. NHPFC will convene again on April 26 in Durham.

New Hampshire Public Faculty Coalition (NHPFC) is an association of faculty across the University System of New Hampshire and the Community College System of New Hampshire. The mission of the NHPFC is to advance education in the state of NH. We are committed to affordable, quality public higher education for students and their families. Our members uphold and ensure fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, including academic freedom, shared governance, and working conditions that promote faculty excellence. We work toward the betterment of public education as an investment in the state of New Hampshire and our communities.

Contact: Evelyn Stiller email: plymouth.state.aaup@gmail.com

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