The Vermont campus starts by laying off five administrators. Then the reductions continue:
Lyndon State will not reappoint some of its adjunct faculty, the college will reduce the number of courses taught by adjuncts and cut “overloads” paid to full-time faculty for taking on additional teaching responsibilities.
Why is this happening? My readers will be unsurprised to learn:
Joseph Bertolini, president of Lyndon, said the cuts were necessary to address a budget deficit caused by declining enrollment… a $1.5 million gap between income and expenses…
At the start of the 2013-14 school year, Lyndon State had 1,519 students. Last fall the college attracted 1,430 students…
This falls just short of my queen sacrifice model, because no tenured/tenure-track faculty have been cut. But it does include direct cuts to academic programs being offered:
Lyndon State spokesman Keith Chamberlin said the college was already offering about 60 fewer courses than it did in the fall. The new cost-saving measures, he said, will eliminate another 15 courses from next year’s catalog.
Now follows a realistic and disturbing comment: “The shrinking course offerings could make it harder for the college to attract more students.” Yes. These kinds of sacrifices are not only damaging to people, but run the risk of backfiring.
I’ve spoken and written about the huge challenge posed by changing American demographics, as the declining number of young people works through the entire education system. Here in Vermont we’re getting it harder than most:
Other colleges in Vermont and Northern New England are also seeing a drop in college enrollments tied to a decline in the number of high school students as the region’s population ages.
Unless states like Vermont figure out how to attract more young people, these Lyndon State cuts are just the beginning.