Saturday, October 25, 2008

Again, Tell Me How We Aren't In A Depression

Our college budget is getting cut by $2 million. This is after a $4 million cut last year, and a request last January that the college return $1million. Since faculty salaries constitute 80% of the budget, the college has warned us that the next cut will most likely be there. They want the faculty to decide how much of a reduction we can take.

On the one hand, the proper reaction to this is "WTF?!?!" On the other, a lesser salary with benefits beats the hell out of unemployment.

Meanwhile, they are anticipating increasing enrollment as people turn to community colleges to retrain for other careers. Although, I wonder how that will actually work out, given the rising cost of tuition and the crisis in banking that could affect loans. I also wonder how much four year colleges and universities are feeling this, as well. Is anywhere safe?

So, I ask once more, how are we not in a depression? Is there no end in sight; and how do we survive in the meantime?


GayProf said...

More and more colleges are going to start feeling this pressure. Maybe it's just my imagination, but it already seems like there are fewer ads out this year.

Clio Bluestocking said...

I've spared myself from the masochism of looking at job ads this year!

I also wonder about all of these students whom we see at all levels. They are going through college, taking out loans, and now facing this uncertainty in the job market. It makes me wonder if Sallie Mae is going to go the way of the other two in a few years.

Rufus said...

I think enrollments usually rise by quite a bit when the economy is in trouble. I'm not sure how that's going to work out though since so many universities are cutting back on their spending. Our university is cutting its budget as well and I think it's happening throughout the state.

Clio Bluestocking said...

Hi Rufus!

That's another factor here. Enrollments, especially at 2 year colleges will go up as people decide to re-train for new careers. At the same time, the cuts come. So, that could mean larger classes for fewer professors, more and more of whom will be adjunct. That has to have some sort of impact on quality (not the adjunct vs. full-time, but the size of the classes placed upon ever-more overextended faculty).

I also wonder what people -- as in the students and possibly us -- retrain for? What industry is expanding enough to risk a lifetime of debt to enter?


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