On June 29, 2004, I sent the following note to Sen. John, Kerry, former Lt. Gov of Massachusetts and current candidate for president. It is in response to media reports regarding the candidate's admirable goal of broadening access to higher education.
Today I read with interest that Sen. Kerry is interested in broadening access to higher education. As a professor and advocate of public higher education, I applaud this.

As a victim of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the long-standing, bipartisan sport of assaulting public higher education in Massachusetts, I am skeptical. The BHE (Reps) and the legislature (Dems) each blame the other, but neither is willing to take action on behalf of public higher education.

Highly-dedicated and qualified state college faculty members -- already the lowest-paid in New England -- have been without a contract for a year, and BHE will not sit for bargaining. The legislature refuses to curb BHE's power, or to move Massachusetts out of last place in per-capita spending on higher education.

I am still fairly new to Massachusetts, but my impression is that the situation was not any better when Sen. Kerry was in state government. I hope that today's news article reflects a change of heart, and that he is willing to use his influence with Massachusetts legislators to get something done. We are not as beligerant as the Boston police, but we are at least as deserving of the senator's support.

The following page has not been updated lately, but it still provides a fairly accurate overview of the higher-ed crisis in Sen. Kerry's back yard:

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