is the Public Higher Education Network of
Massachusetts. PHENOM unites students, faculty, staff, alumni, and
others from community colleges, state universities, the UMass campuses,
and the broader community to advocate for better funded, affordable and
accessible, quality public higher education in Massachusetts.PHENOM's Guiding Principles
The 500,000 people who make up the Massachusetts public higher education community are the sleeping giant of Massachusetts politics. By mobilizing a large and engaged grassroots network, PHENOM is waking up this sleeping giant so we can get the resources to create the public higher education system we and our children deserve. For the first time, all the constituencies in Massachusetts public higher education can speak with one powerful voice. PHENOM unites students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others from community colleges, state universities, the UMass campuses, and the broader community. PHENOM was founded in February 2007 around 5 key principles:
- Fund public higher education so it can serve the Commonwealth: The Commonwealth must provide a substantial increase in year-to-year operating budgets, funds to address long deferred maintenance of buildings, and a means to ensure stable state funding for public higher education.
- Make higher education affordable: All residents of the Commonwealth should be able to afford public higher education, and all costs associated with higher education – from tuition and fees to housing charges and textbook costs – should be made affordable for all.
- Make higher education accessible to all: The Commonwealth should actively provide clear pathways, appropriate supports, and greater resources to ensure that under-represented youth and adult learners have access to, succeed in, and graduate from our public institutions of higher education.
- Hire more teachers, researchers, and staff: Our public colleges and universities must hire sufficient numbers of full-time research and teaching faculty, for whom salaries and benefits should be competitive nationally, and must improve the conditions under which part time and non-tenure-track faculty work, resulting in better service for our students, our communities and our economy. As we rebuild the faculty we must also hire the staff needed to support both students and faculty.
- Honor and expand democratic institutions of governance in public higher education: Colleges and universities should respect the autonomy of campus governance bodies, particularly student governments and student organizations, and increase democracy on campus and throughout public higher education.