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NEA 2011 Higher Education Conference

Join us in Boston for NEA’s 29th annual higher education conference, March 25-27, 2011, at the Park Plaza Hotel. The conference theme is: “Radical Transformations in Higher Education.” The term “radical transformations” is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, higher education has been buffeted over the past few decades by a series of radical transformations:

• Less institutional support from states and increased reliance on tuition
• Introduction of customer-satisfaction business models into institutional governance
• Changes in the employment characteristics of the faculty with fewer tenure-track appointments and an increased reliance on contingent faculty
• Increased privatization of the work done by higher education support professionals
• Proliferation of online approaches to instruction, and more.

On the other hand, the term “radical” also has meaning in a political sense—as in the need for radical transformations to create a more just, equitable, and democratic world. We’ll explore questions such as:

• Should higher education have a radical impact on students and society?
• Or should higher education simply impart a credential and a few useful skills?
• Can we have a radical transformation that is both intellectual and technological?
• Is higher education at a crossroads of some sort?
• What are our union locals doing to effect radical transformations and improve the work lives of our members and the success of their students, and how are they doing this? • How might new coalitions of faculty, staff, students, and other allies redefine the academy?

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