I Am Slow On The Uptake

Which won’t come as any surprise to readers that know me.

Last week, I had an epiphany halfway through an online presentation about the state of the University I teach at. Despite two recent rounds of faculty cuts coupled with several other belt tightening moves, we continue to experience a significant budget deficit. 

Finally, it’s now painfully obvious that substantial budget deficits are not anomalies, they are the newish normal. I use ‘newish’ instead of ‘new’ because we’ve contended with bruising budget deficits for nearly all of the last 7-8 years. 

The epiphany most simply stated is this, annual budget deficits are now a feature of our University’s life. 

And this distressing fact isn’t easily explained by a single cause like administrative incompetence. My fear is that the economics of tuition-dependent private liberal arts education are no match for our smart, caring, and hardworking President-Provost team.

I can’t blame the University’s administration for thinking positively and talking about a near future with balanced budgets. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me seven or eight times, shame on me.