The Public University: Dying a Slow Death?

Year after year, the defunding of public higher education has crept forward without sounding many alarms. It’s not clear that any policy maker or government unit made a specific decision to withdraw support for state universities. Yet, if the current trend continues, most states will have fully divested themselves from supporting public higher education by the 2050s.How have we allowed this to happen? Through varying degrees of neglect—some more easily pinpointed than others.

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by Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, The City College of New York

Year after year, the defunding of public higher education has crept forward without sounding many alarms. It’s not clear that any policy maker or government unit made a specific decision to withdraw support for state universities. Yet, if the current trend continues, most states will have fully divested themselves from supporting public higher education by the 2050s. In New York State, the sunset year is projected to be 2038.

There was a time when New York State citizens covered more than 75 percent of The City College of New York’s budget. Today, that number stands at 36 percent, down a full 11 percentage points in the last four years alone.

How have we allowed this to happen? Through varying degrees of neglect—some more easily pinpointed than others. Continue reading “The Public University: Dying a Slow Death?”