I don’t have time to say a lot, so I’ll let the headlines speak for themselves—from the Yale Daily News:
Anthony Grafton’s column in the Daily Princetonian, headlined Graduate school in a New Ice Age:
Now the floor beneath us has collapsed again. Endowments have turned south; state revenues have withered; families struggling with lost jobs and foreclosed homes cannot spend as much on tuition as they have in the past. It has taken colleges and universities only a few months to go from prosperity to austerity. In the humanities, 15 to 20 percent of the jobs originally advertised for this year have been cancelled. And as university after university announces budget cuts and staff layoffs, it seems certain that next year will be even worse.
It’s time to think hard about our graduate programs and their relation to these new realities. Should we cut numbers even further? Emphasize professionalization even more? Can we contrive to give students something of the freedom and possibilities for wide-ranging exploration that their predecessors enjoyed before our permanent crisis took shape? Can we be frank about the professional situation that students face without inspiring despair?
These questions have no simple answers. But if we fail to pose and discuss them publicly, we will see another generation’s relationship with the university ruined by our refusal to face and discuss facts.
I just feel so hopeful about my future….