Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Illinois higher-ed crisis makes it into The New York Times

The article begins:

The lack of a state budget in Illinois has been dismissed by many here as politics as usual, another protracted ego contest between the Republican governor and the Democrats who rule the Legislature.
It is good to see the Times paying attention. But the opening sentence is, as far as I can see, wrong: I don’t know of anyone in Illinois who sees the current budget crisis as a matter of “politics as usual.” The state has been without a budget for more than nine months. Such a situation is, to my knowledge, without precedent.

The Times article focuses on Chicago State University, noting that while other state schools are in difficulty, none are in “the dire predicament of Chicago State.” That’s true. But several downstate schools are not far behind. And in small downstate cities, public universities serve as major employers, crucial players in local economies. As a school goes, so goes a city. In my city, For Sale signs are everywhere.

I’m not writing this post as a downstate resident who feels slighted: I’m only pointing out that Illinois’s higher-ed crisis is even more dire than the Times article suggests.

Related reading
All OCA Illinois higher-ed crisis posts (Pinboard)

[I’ve already e-mailed the Times reporter to say more or less what I’ve said here.]

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