Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Unkindest Cut

Campus spokespeople and student activists are turning to online video to present their cases to the public, as states struggle with budget shortfalls and conservative legislators unwilling to see higher education as part of a comprehensive economic stimulus policy call for deeper cuts, despite the importance of universities to business sectors that have remained profitable during the current downturn, such as information technologies and medical innovations. Many see self-perpetuating cycles ahead driven by undergraduates from families in reduced circumstances, graduate schools with an upsurge of applicants fleeing the job market, and administration shrinking as class sizes grow.

For example, the college network at produced the following video about the Utah State University system, where programs are being slashed, student fees are being hiked, and an academic press known nationally for its publishing record in composition studies and folklore is threated with the chopping block.

In a statement about pending budget cuts, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow supplements his online message with the following Internet video that explains the plight of higher education in his state.

(See this link for information graphics that depict the higher education crisis on a state-by-state basis.)

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