Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Hard Times in Higher Education

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Hard Times in Higher Education

Article excerpt

The nation's worsening financial crisis is rippling through nearly every sector of the economy. Higher education, usually more immune than other sectors, is no exception this rime.

As reported in our cover story, "Drastic Measures for Difficult Times," the global financial crisis has battered college and university endowments and caused states generating less tax revenue to in turn cut funding to higher education.

In some places, charitable giving is down while tuition is up. Universities are cutting academic programs, laying off faculty and staff and even limiting enrollment.

All this comes at a rime when Americans need a larger college-educated work force to remain globally competitive. Like the U.S. banking and auto industries, education groups are calling for financial assistance from the government.

How are the typically underfinanced historically Black colleges and universities, which award nearly one-third of all baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans, faring in these rimes? Better than expected, in some cases.

"I was surprised how the conservative nature of investing at HBCUs has actually protected them from the whiplash larger schools face from the downfall of exotic financial instruments like derivatives and hedge funds" says Peter Galuszka, who wrote our cover story.

Despite the less-than-dramatic drop in their portfolios, many minority-serving institutions lack a significant endowment and have fewer places to turn for operating funds than their wealthier counterparts. …

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