Professor: College budgets being cut because taxpayers have had enough of campus kooks

Professor: College budgets being cut because taxpayers have had enough of campus kooks

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According to Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, massive budget cuts hitting the education industry are "mostly of its own making."

The story: Reynolds cites a recent complaint from the University of North Dakota Assistant Professor Sheila Liming, who in an article titled “My University is Dying; And soon yours will be, too” writes, “Starting in 2016, our state university system endured three successive rounds of annual budget cuts, with average 10-percent reductions resulting in a loss of more than a third of the system’s overall funding. Additional cuts, even, were on the table this past year. And while our state legislators ultimately avoided taking yet one more stab at the dismembered body of higher education, there has been no discussion of restoring any of those funds.”

The issue is not limited only to North Dakota: "The experience of living with the metastasizing effects of austerity grants me some insight into what has been going on in Alaska. In July, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a plan to strip the University of Alaska system of 41 percent of its operating budget. He has since tempered this plan, opting instead for a 20-percent cut to be meted out over a period of three years," Liming adds.

Other universities across the nation are also enduring budget cuts, "and while some of them can be blamed on state budgets, that’s not really what’s going on" as the country is experiencing a major "economic boom," Reynolds writes in an opinion piece for USA Today published last month.

The main reason for the cuts is because "taxpayers in many states no longer think higher education is worth the money," Reynolds adds.

It's no surprise that taxpayers believe their money would be better spent elsewhere as universities "spend so much of their time attacking so many of the Americans who pay taxes to support them, from Trump voters, to Christians, to gun owners and businesspeople."

"It takes a lot of chutzpah to slap someone in the face and then put your hand out for money, but that’s what universities have been doing for decades and with special force over the past few years," Reynolds argues.

As an example, Reynolds cites The University of Maine which recently decided to rename Columbus Day to “Indigenous People’s Day,” and getting unfavorable reactions from Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro and Republicans at the university.

"Taxpayers may wonder what, exactly, about a truthful historical statement is beyond the bounds of university life, and why unelected educational bureaucrats get to decide what the university’s values are. But more likely they will simply conclude that universities are silly places, not worthy of their tax dollars," Reynolds writes.

To read Reynolds's full article, click here

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