There is sobering news in higher education. It did not start with the Covid19 crisis, but that is certainly the flashpoint in what appears to be the early stages of a collapse. We are seeing more and more evidence of furloughs, layoffs, non-renewals of contracts, mergers, and outright shuttering of some colleges. Choose your metaphor–house of cards, demolition derby, imploding sky scraper–it is a film that will surely make you wince.
For a while now, the winds have not been favorable. Declining pools of first year students due to demographic realities, the student debt debacle, obscene tuition hikes–all have indicated that the higher ed biz was overripe. Now the fruit is dropping off the trees, and it looks like the branches have rotted through. The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking the damage. You can even input news from your own college. For those of you who work in higher-ed, I hope you survive the cuts. For those about to be cut, brace yourself for a career change. A lot of these jobs aren’t coming back, I’m afraid.