Today's news has two big stories about one state's struggles, the NYT on Arizona State University and the Chronicle of Higher Education on the University of Arizona (behind a pay wall). The University of Arizona is an international powerhouse in linguistics, and ASU has a set of major figures in the field too.
The latter piece is by Eric Kelderman gives an indication of how bleak it looks right now:
So far, the state’s universities have taken more than their share of budgetary pain. At the beginning of this fiscal year, lawmakers trimmed nearly 5 percent from the higher-education budget. Then, facing a midyear gap of $1.6-billion in January, legislators cut an additional 13 percent, or $141-million, from the state’s three public universities, the largest dollar amount cut from any single area in the state budget. The estimated budget gap for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, is $3-billion.He also lays out some of the financing that has led to this situation — like heavy reliance on sales taxes — but also points to a stream of basic anti-intellectualism in Arizona politics.
The Chronicle also has a commentary piece by John Simpson, president of the University of Buffalo, called "In a Crisis, Our Nation Must Have an Ambitious Education Strategy". Here's the conclusion:
Across its history, America has proved remarkably resourceful at times of national crisis. The present crisis is, perhaps, harder to understand and diagnose than past ones. But that makes it no less threatening. If we can harness our nation's collective will, put it toward the purpose of shoring up the educational foundation of our national prosperity, and include all Americans in the results regardless of station, we will have shown that resourcefulness once again.Amen. Let's hope that the new administration's commitment to higher education is coming in time to save most of us.
And to our friends and colleagues in Arizona: Hang in there, guys.