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Tuesday, 13th April 2010

Academia -- 2009-10 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession

2009-10 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession
Source: American Association of University Professors

Rough financial seas had been buffeting many colleges and universities for years before the recession that began in late 2007. Then in mid-September 2008, an economic tsunami crashed into our campuses, challenging our ability to provide the accessible, high-quality education necessary to achieve long-term national goals. As the economy weakened at the end of 2008 and into 2009, college and university presidents, business officers, admissions deans, financial aid directors, faculty, staff, students, and parents wondered whether higher education would find a refuge from the worst of the storm, as it had in prior recessions.

Eighteen months later we have some of the data needed to answer this question, and the answer is a resounding “no!” Current budgetary woes result less from rising costs than from reductions in revenue from virtually all sources. Even so, this year’s report reveals tremendous differences in the nature of budgetary woes across institutions. But what holds true among the roughly thirty five hundred colleges and universities across the country is that faculty members are on the front lines interacting with students in the classroom, in the laboratory, in the studio, on the stage, and in the field. Because of the importance of our work in determining “how well we educate our children,” to quote President Obama, it is essential that professors play a meaningful role in identifying measures for dealing with financial difficulties, so that the impact of cuts on the fundamental elements of our academic institutions is limited. Moreover, faculty members must continue to contribute to decision making as our institutions chart their course for a return to normalcy.

+ Full Report (PDF; 380 KB)

Various appendices and tables also available.


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