Today’s Higher Ed Meltdown News

Thus far college applications for next fall are off sharply—as much a 35 percent below where they usually are at this point in the school year. Maybe there will be a surge after the first of the year and we get more visibility about whether campus life might return to normal by next fall, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Last week we reported on faculty cuts at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and at the University of Vermont. Now comes news that Marquette University will cut 225 faculty and staff positions starting in January. Marquette believes it has to cut its “academic expenses” by 25 percent to remain solvent.

Faculty is not happy, naturally. Among other things, critics point out Marquette currently has a $12 million surplus, but that would likely disappear in a hurry if the university continues business as usual. The complete story from Wisconsin Public Radio sounds very familiar, especially this bit of meaningless drivel from a campus spokesperson:

In response to a WPR request for comment on the Marquette University budget, campus spokesperson Kevin Conway said in an email that Marquette has been discussing “smart investments in new growth and innovation strategies” as it plans for a successful future, while maintaining a commitment to providing students with a “transformative education.”

I can see one staff position that can be eliminated without any detriment to Marquette. They actually pay someone to spout marketing cliches like this? No wonder universities are in financial trouble.

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