Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

A Year for the History Books

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

A Year for the History Books

Article excerpt

what an exciting and traumatic year 2008 has been. A historic presidential campaign that ended with the election of an African-American to the U.S. presidency. An economic meltdown not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As a new year rapidly approaches, we find ourselves collectively trying to grasp the meaning of the former and endure the impact of the latter. Our writers offer some help with their insightful perspectives on the American landscape as we head into the final year of the first decade of this century.

Our ongoing coverage of the economy's battering of U.S. colleges and universities takes us to Michigan, where high unemployment and the financial meltdown of the Big Three automakers have resulted in a dramatic enrollment drop at one of the nation's top urban universities.

Despite talks of a recession all year, Wayne State University officials had reasons to be optimistic about this academic year: applications were up; so were admits. But an astounding 5 percent of students failed to show up this fall, and officials immediately went to work to reverse the trend, reports Reginald Stuart in "Wayne State University Facing Tough, New Tests." While addressing its enrollment slide, Wayne State also plans to supply the city of Detroit with academics and experts who can help the city find its way out of its financial and political abyss.

The economy is also expected to temper some of President-elect Barack Obama's education plans, including his campaign promise to make higher education more affordable. …

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