Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Philosophy of What Makes a University - Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed

When Western Illinois University’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved cutting four degree programs as majors and modifying four more, it looked like another chapter of belt tightening at a cash-strapped public institution suffering collateral damage amid state budget difficulties. But administrators didn’t come out and blame finances. The programs arrived on the chopping block because they exhibited declining or low enrollment, Western Illinois leaders said -- not because the university needed to find millions of dollars in savings to make up for an expected plunge in state funding. Some at the university are skeptical cost cutting wasn’t an ultimate driver at an institution planning to slash $24.7 million (10 percent) from its budget in 2017. And they’re openly questioning the process the university used to identify programs to be eliminated or changed.

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