Friday, March 04, 2011

Nevada Public Higher Ed Going Bust?

I wonder how the whole situation is going to play out for UNLV-Singapore if the University of Nevada system is to declare bankruptcy.

More details here and here.

Faculty Senate President Cecilia Maldonado had prepared a statement to read. In it, she said she was sad and angry and sick.

She said she was sick of political ideology. Sick of people who attack faculty salaries. Sick of hearing that Nevadans don't value education. Sick that this same debate about whether higher education is a "cost" or an "investment" has been going on for 20 years.

"I'm sick that we never seem to learn our lessons," she said.

Maldonado said the cuts will make it difficult to recruit and retain talented faculty and students.

She began to cry, then composed herself and continued, saying the higher education system should impose cuts elsewhere to save UNLV.

The room broke into applause when she was through.

Hat tip: Leiter Reports.

Incidentally, I watched Idiocracy on DVD last night. It scared the hell out of me because that really seemed to be the way the whole society is moving towards, with the all too frequent assaults on academia (see above, and my previous posts) and a rising anti-intellectual movement.

Virginia's state government seems to be bucking the trend of higher education cuts though.

The plan, which has broad support in the state's General Assembly, is meant to fulfill his goal to increase the number of Virginians with college degrees by 100,000 during the next 15 years, and in particular the number who earn degrees in science and technology.

"These reforms will help us attract new employers to Virginia and better prepare our citizens to fill the jobs that already exist in the state today," Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, said at a news conference in January, announcing the proposal. The cost of the legislation, which has not been determined, is an investment in the state's economic future, the governor said, arguing that higher education returns more tax revenue to the state than it costs.

1 comment:

L'oiseau rebelle said...

Here's what I'm thinking: when a corporation declares bankruptcy, it can liquidate and disappear. When a city like Vallejo declares bankruptcy, the city doesn't simply evaporate - there are still residents who need services and all that. A public university is something like a corporation in that it can disappear I suppose (I'm not sure if there are state laws pertaining to this, given that there are students who are midway through their degrees), and it is like a city in that it is financed by tax revenue, debt for capital projects, user fees, i.e. tuition. What exactly would bankruptcy entail? Some debt restructuring, I suppose. Is it another excuse for getting out of employee contracts like tenure and cutting "useless" programs and departments and turning the institution into a vocational school?

As for anti-intellectualism: hey, educated people have the tools to ask inconvenient questions.