Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier’s ‘Austerity Blues’ Drawing Attention

A new book by Professors Stephen Brier (Urban Education) Michael Fabricant (GC/Hunter, Social Welfare) on the declining public investment in higher education is the focus of a prominent Inside Higher Ed Q&A.
In Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press), the authors argue that a decrease in funding by states has led to “an era of austerity undercutting public institutions’ ability to serve the poor and working-class students who need them the most — an effect that has broad ramifications for society,” the article notes.
“Investment needs to be made in enhancing both the quality of a public higher education and its affordability,” Fabricant said. “The emphasis on both affordability and quality is of great significance to students. They are being cheated every day as their tuition increases and the quality of their education is threatened by diminished public funding.”
“It is not surprising . . . that fully 40 percent of all federal student loan money is borrowed by students enrolled in private, for-profit institutions and that the highest student loan default rates are in private, for-profit institutions,” said Brier (pictured at left). “This is not a record that can or should be mimicked in any way, shape, or form by public institutions.”
Brier, the coordinator of the GC’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Program, is the cofounder of CUNY’s American Social History Project and the coauthor and coproducer of the ASHP’s Who Built America? multimedia curriculum. 
Fabricant, the author of Organizing for Educational Justice: The Campaign for Public School Reform in the South Bronx, is the vice president of the Professional Staff Congress, the union that represents more than 27,000 faculty and staff at CUNY and the CUNY Research Foundation. 

Listen to a WNYC interview (11/3) about the book. 

Submitted on: NOV 3, 2016

Category: Faculty Books | General GC News | Social Welfare | Urban Education