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On the Road

With Valerie Wilk

In November 2007, I traveled to Malaga, Spain, as part of the NEA delegation to Education International’s (EI) Sixth Higher Education and Research Conference.

NEA delegates included NEA board members Theresa Montaño and Ann Shadwick, National Council for Higher Education President Jim Rice, Cecil Canton, California Faculty Association, Ronald Mosley, Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, Kathy Sproles, chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the NEA Advisory Committee on Membership, and NEA staff member Jill Christianson.

This was the largest EI higher ed conference yet, with more than 260 delegates from 56 member organizations in 39 countries. The meeting was conducted in English, Spanish, and French, and our attentive Spanish union hosts even surprised us with live performances of Spanish music, song, and dance at some of our conference meals.

Plenaries focused on academic freedom, contingent faculty, gender equity, privatization, various international initiatives, including attempts to create a global higher education version of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Jim Rice described NEA’s history in defense of academic freedom. Theresa Montaño chaired a rich discussion in the gender equity workshop, which resulted in various recommendations to EI, including finding ways to include discussions of gender equity in future EI higher ed conference plenary sessions and the importance of continuing to promote reconciliation of family and work as an equal responsibility of both women and men.

For more on the conference, go here and click on the conference icon.

—Valerie Wilk coordinates NEA higher ed activities

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