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Drake University Preparing for ‘Painful’ Cuts to Faculty and Academic Programs

Drake University Preparing for ‘Painful’ Cuts to Faculty and Academic Programs

“Colleges and universities across the United States have been impacted by an approximate 10% nationwide decline in college enrollment over the last decade, and no Iowa institution has been immune to this shift.”

If you think things are bad now, just wait until schools start feeling the pain of withheld donations over the pro-Hamas insanity.

KCCI News reports:

Drake University preparing to cut faculty, academic programs

Faculty, staff and students at Drake University are preparing for some painful cuts.

Declining enrollment is hurting the university’s operating budget, so now Drake is slashing more than $10 million in spending.

KCCI obtained the minutes of a recent faculty senate meeting, which show faculty positions and academic programs will have to be cut.

According to Drake University, the institution is working with a $128 million operating budget. The Board of Trustees recently approved a deficit of $4.3 million for the current fiscal year.

According to meeting minutes, the university has reached an “understanding” with the board to have a plan in place by fiscal year 2025 to balance the operating budget by fiscal year 2026.

Drake University provided the following statement to KCCI:

Colleges and universities across the United States have been impacted by an approximate 10% nationwide decline in college enrollment over the last decade, and no Iowa institution has been immune to this shift. Drake is fortunate to have an incredibly strong balance sheet with healthy cash reserves, and a low amount of long-term debt. However, as enrollment revenues have declined, our operating budget has been put under stress. We are managing this through both expenditure control and innovation that will drive enrollment and generate revenue—all while staying committed to our mission and preserving the academic excellence and impressive student outcomes for which we’re nationally recognized.

We currently have a $128 million operating budget. As we look ahead to the next fiscal year, our projections indicate we would start with a budget that is out of balance by more than $10 million if no action is taken.


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On the one hand, one’s heart goes out to these people.

On the other hand, it is reminiscent of so many other cases when a previously cutting-edge industry gets perhaps a little bit too self-satisfied, gets perhaps a little bit complacent … and fails to realize that perhaps they’ve priced themselves out of the market.

The reality is that , in 2023, for most people there are a lot better ways to spend your time and your money than Drake. Or pretty much any other four-year American college.

I actually believe we’re reaching a Tipping Point — such that future employers will consider it a strike AGAINST you if the only thing you did between high school and, say, age ~23 was get your college degree.

(Yes, I understand—depends a lot on your major.)

One day, people will openly mock anyone who spent the small fortune it takes to attend private university. Like we mock 1970s platform shoes and pastel-shaded leisure suits.

It seems so incredibly unimaginative in this day and age … to go from your parents’ home straight to a glorified sleep away camp/boarding school. For four years. For FOUR YEARS!! Crazy!! You really have no curiosity to experience a bit more of the world than that??!?

* * * *

Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?: The Case for Helping Them Leave, Chart Their Own Paths, and Prepare for Adulthood
Author: Blake Boles
Year: 2020

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money
Author: Bryan Caplan
Year: 2018

The Teenage Liberation Handbook (Third Edition): How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
Author: Grace Llewelyn
Year: 2021

Inside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas
Author: Thomas Sowell, PhD
Year: 1992

    gibbie in reply to Jacques. | November 19, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    “It seems so incredibly unimaginative in this day and age … to go from your parents’ home straight to a glorified sleep away camp/boarding school.”

    Especially when the boarding school faculty and peer group hate your religion, your country, and everything they stand for.

Sad to see this happen to everyone affected, as I’ve been in higher ed for almost 40 years now. I’ve seen many friends and colleagues hurt by these developments. However, as the cost of a college education has climbed and the ROI of that investment has fallen, I see this as an unforced error on the part of many colleges like Drake.

For one thing, in many states now, community college is almost free to most residents, and that’s the first two undergraduate years. Why, a frugal parent should ask, should I spend a lot of money for two years at Drake when my kid can go to county college and then transfer? As I was leaving the NJ system I saw many four-year schools, especially the private colleges, evince a ravishing hunger for community college transfers because their freshman intakes were shrinking and their retention was poor.

For another, the ROI on some degrees just isn’t there anymore. Yes, it’s there for some business or accounting degrees, a lot of STEM degrees, and certainly for many healthcare degrees, nursing especially. But not for English, communication, criminal justice, sociology, and the like.

We will see more of this, and much of this will lead to more layoffs in the liberal arts sectors, and we’ll see more wailing and gnashing of teeth about how we’re shortchanging students in that area. I agree, with the late Earl Shorris, that the classic liberal arts, classically taught, provide “Riches for the Poor” (check out his book of that title), but the problem is they are no longer classically taught. In place of classical liberal arts now are identity politics and “schools of resentment” as the late Harold Bloom called them.

Liberal arts faculty are being retained to teach Gen-ed and intro classes, but majors in many disciplines are being eliminated. Why keep a medieval French specialist on faculty if there is no French major, and all that is needed are elementary or intermediate language courses?

We’re seeing this not only in private unis, but also in small public regional institutions. And the layoffs are coming from the same place – literature, art history, world languages, and the like.

To vamp off of Bishop Shelby Spong (some of you may think him a heretic, and I’m fine with that), higher education must change or die.

comm college shud also offer
a bunch of vo-tec courses

I went to comm college for 1 year
hated it with a passion. was 13th grade and most of my class was there… unless they came from money or got a 4 yr ride.
left after 1 year joined the navy
spent 20 years enjoying myself
learned a challenging course
communications high speed data
and satellite comms,
retired and had 2 other fields of endeavor, and a year ago finally
and had 0 debt for all the learning
I obtained, there are people I know
had 10 years of debt. no thanks.

    John M in reply to jqusnr. | November 20, 2023 at 10:21 am

    For the last decade or so, vocational and workforce programs have been growing in community colleges. Some liberal arts faculty resist that because they feel their enrollments are threatened, but the fact is, students coming to CC to learn welding or CNC machines were never going to be English majors in the first place.

Drake grads are — let’s face it — a dime a dozen.

If an 18-year-old learned an occupation, and then got experienced at it over the next several years, then by age 22 or so, that person would be in position to start his or her own business.

So, in essence, by learning an employable, in-demand skill, one is actually “going into business.”

This can be done with any number of fields — truck driving, HVAC, electrician, construction sub fields, plumbing, numerous others. Including hair, tattoo , nails….. all these things require some degree of savvy to run a successful business.

Why don’t more Iowans and Americans recognize this?

And if at age 22 you still have a couple hundred thousand dollars sitting around , I’m sure you can still attend Drake.

Or , you can buy a house. Or you can buy a car without taking out an auto loan.

Or you can buy into an already established business in your field.

Drake could get a good start by eliminating the entire DEI office. It’s Provost is Dr. Jennifer Harvey who has her Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary. She is the author of such classics as:
“Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in Racially Unjust America” and “Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconcilliation”

    Jvj1975 in reply to diver64. | November 21, 2023 at 5:04 pm


    Just wow.

    Can you imagine the hiring process that ended up … hiring this person?

    Can you imagine working on a day-to-day basis with this woman?