Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Illinois’s higher-ed crisis has made The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article, “For Illinois’s Public Colleges, No State Money Means Plenty of Pain,” is behind the paywall. Here’s one short excerpt. Pat McGuire chairs the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee:

Earlier this week, Senator McGuire said he had attended a program for prospective college students at a high school in his district. Once the presentation turned to financial aid and the state’s grant program, Mr. McGuire said, “a pall fell over the room.”

It pained him, he said, to see working-class families trying to figure out how to afford college and not knowing whether the aid would be there. “What we’re doing to them,” he said, “is horrible.”
Chicago State (whose student population is almost seventy-five percent African-American) is in imminent danger of closing. Other schools are taking further cost-cutting measures and looking at further layoffs. (At one school, tenured professors with fifteen years of service have received layoff notices.) The present catastrophe-in-the-making threatens to damage public higher education in Illinois for years to come. Faculty members and prospective faculty members who can find positions elsewhere will take them, and students and prospective students will think hard before sticking with or choosing a state school. If Governor Bruce Rauner is aiming to dismantle much of public higher education in the state (to be replaced by cheap, outsourced, vocationally-themed online offerings?), he is succeeding.


January 27: A Chicago State faculty member reports the school’s president as saying that CSU will not be closing in March. And a new Chronicle article (also behind the paywall) reports that Western Illinois University has taken tenured faculty off its layoff list.

A related post
Illinois’s higher-ed crisis

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