Urgent Action: Call Your State Senator and Representative

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Defend Public Higher Education

Since the beginning of the pandemic, when Massachusetts public higher ed faulty and staff made unprecedented and heroic efforts to move to remote learning and to keep our campuses and students safe, public higher ed executives have responded to the crisis with unnecessary and cruel austerity measures. Massachusetts has suffered deep cuts, including layoffs, furloughs, and elimination of entire academic programs. In the past month, UMass has seen nearly a thousand furloughs and other personnel reductions, and our state universities and community colleges are fighting cuts to programs and student services in addition to layoffs and furloughs. Class sizes and workloads have grown, as teaching faculty and teaching assistants are reduced.

These cuts are unnecessary, undermine student success, and harm our communities, the cities and towns where we live, and the organizations and businesses we support. Research shows that public higher education is one of the very best investments we can make during an economic crisis. Cutting jobs and funding from public higher education threatens the stability of our local economy. This damage is also exacerbating racial and economic inequalities. We must let our elected officials know what is happening to our colleges, universities, and communities as they meet to finalize the state budget.

We are calling upon legislators to commit to three things:

  • at least the level of funding first proposed by Governor Baker for this fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2021;
  • a requirement that each higher education institution demonstrate that it has maintained or increased staffing and services to students, recalled furloughed and laid-off employees, and made employees whole for the any losses in wages;
  • support the proposals for new revenues through taxing corporate and shareholder profits.


  1. Click here to find contact information for your state legislators.
  2. After you've made these calls, please use our form to let us know how your call went.
  3. Take an extra two minutes to send this message to your legislators by email.


  4. Talking Points: Please Personalize for Maximum Impact!

    This is (name) of (address) and I am a (staff member/student/faculty) at (institution). I am calling with concern for the future of our public higher education system.

    Massachusetts has suffered deep cuts, including layoffs, furloughs, and elimination of entire academic programs. UMass seen nearly a thousand furloughs just this month, and state universities and community colleges have lost hundreds of teaching faculty and staff.

    (give an example from your own college)

    These cuts are unnecessary, undermine student success, and harm our communities, the cities and towns where we live, and the organizations and businesses we support. Research shows that public higher education is one of the very best investments we can make during an economic crisis. Cutting jobs and funding from public higher education threatens the stability of our local economy and makes racial and economic inequality even worse.

    We are calling upon legislators to commit to three things:

    • at least the level of funding first proposed by Governor Baker for this fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2021 Can we count on you (use Senator/Representative name) to advocate for level funding?
    • a requirement that each higher education institution demonstrate that it has maintained or increased staffing and services to students, recalled furloughed and laid-off employees, and made employees whole for the any losses in wages; Can we count on you to advocate for reversing harmful cuts to our colleges and universities?
    • support the proposals for new revenues through taxing corporate and shareholder profits. Can we count on you to advocate for new revenues through taxing corporate shareholder profits?

    Can we count on you to defend public higher education?  Will you (use Senator/Representative name) advocate for level funding for affordable and accessible public higher education?

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