UMass Boston Finance Forum

[v. 8-23-18]

Increasing Federal and State Investment in Public Higher Education -

Invest in Minds not Missiles.

Thursday Oct. 4, 4 - 6 pm, Small Science Auditorium, UMass Boston

            Public education is under siege across the country: From budget cuts by Republican-controlled state legislatures and administrations; from charter school, voucher and other privatization campaigns led by Hedge Fund managers and their allies; most recently from the Supreme Court Janus decision undermining pubic sector unions. These factors also weaken public higher education, which in addition have to fight off the campaigns of the Koch Brothers and their allies to limit progressive education and speech on campuses.

            Though almost all of our institutions of higher education are under pressure, one of the most critical and most vulnerable institutions of higher education in Massachusetts is the University of Massachusetts at Boston, originally chartered with the mission of ensuring quality higher education for disadvantaged urban residents. The recent Court rejection of the millionaire’s tax exacerbates the situation. Countering the efforts to shrink access to higher education, the Bernie Sanders campaign, Our Revolution and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have called for four years of tuition free public higher education for all qualified high school graduates. These proposals finance the program through the federal budget by reversing the Republican tax cuts, and by cutting the bloated Pentagon Budget.         

Welcome: Representative of the UMass Administration:

Panel 1: The Value of UMass Boston to the Boston-area Community:

Chair: Prof. Jane Regan (BU College of Communication, Dept. of Journalism)

  • The Role of UMass in Providing Urban Access to Higher Education: Prof Marlene Kim, Dept. of Economics, UMass Boston.
  • Public Research for Public Good: Prof. Randy Albelda, Dept. of Economics, UMass Boston.
  • Obtaining a College Degree while Raising a Family: Ms. Jelena Mitic-Elliott, Undergraduate, UMass Boston.
  • Graduate Programs as a Key Public Service Resource: Andrew King, Graduate Student, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Affairs, UMass Boston.
  • Responding to our Immigrant Communities: Jean Lesly Rene, Haitian Creole and Culture Institute, UMass Boston

Panel 2: Financing Public Higher Education

Chair – State Rep. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex)

            -Contributions from State, Federal and Private Sources: Josh Hoxie, Institute for Policy Studies

            - Pressing the State Legislature to Increase its Education Budget: State Rep Natalie Higgins, 4th Worcester District (former leader of PHENOM Public Higher Education Network of Mass).

- The Continuing Struggle for Inclusion: Prof. Tony Van Der Meer, Africana Studies, UMass Boston.

            - Efforts of the Mass Teachers Assn, American Federation of Teachers Ma, and other Unions to Support Higher Education: Barbara Madeloni, Past President, Mass Teachers Assn.

            - Four Years of Tuition Free Public Higher Education – The Peoples Budget: Prof. Jonathan King, Our Revolution National Campus Faculty and Staff Committee, and Mass Peace Action.

            - Make our Tax Dollars Available for Public Education, Veterans Affairs, and other Essential Needs by Cutting the Inflated Pentagon Budget: Senior Lecturer Paul Atwood, American History, UMass Boston Honors College and Veterans for Peace.

Closing Remarks: Where Do We Go From Here? Zac Bears, PHENOM; Anetta Argyres, Professional Staff Union, SaveUMB; Juan Blanco PHENOM-UMB.

Program Committee: Paul Atwood, Marcus Breen, State Rep. Mike Connolly, Michael Gilbreath, Jonathan King (Co-Chair), Jelena Mitic-Elliott, Jane Regan (Co-Chair).

[Co-Sponsors: American Friends Service Committee, Institute for People’s Engagement; Mass Peace Action; national Our Revolution; Our Revolution Somerville; People’s Budget Campaign, PHENOM, SaveUMB, SEIU Local 888, UMB Professional Staff Union: Veteran’s for Peace].