Editorial: Death spiral hits Illinois universities
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On Tuesday, Christopher Higgins, a visiting professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, described the state of higher education in the nation as a “death spiral.”
This “death spiral” is because of rising tuition, a decrease in funding from states and other financial pressures.
And no where in the country is this more prevalent than in Illinois and here at Eastern.
Part of the “death spiral” includes a decrease in funding for public higher education institutions.
Because of a childish inability to agree on anything in the Illinois Statehouse, Eastern, along with every other “state-supported” institution, has seen absolutely nothing.
Zip. Zero. Zilch.
Higgins went on to say that this action (or inaction in Illinois’ case) leads universities to raise tuition, thereby putting a financial strain on students.
Tuition at Eastern remains one of the more affordable in the state, according to CollegeIllinois.org.
With tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 semester at $11,931, this figure is only bested by Governors State University at just under $11,000.
Glassman, during a Senate hearing on March 9, said the university would not consider raising tuition just to compensate for the large deficit.
“We have a strong commitment as we always have to be highly accessible, highly affordable for our students, and that will be continued,” Glassman said.
The next step in the spiral is the notion that one needs to attend college to gain the “necessary credentials” to succeed in the job market.
This is further compounded with people thinking that the entire point of attending an institute of higher education is to attain that specific credential.
With Eastern’s tuition remaining affordable and no money from the state to fund day-to-day operations, the school has seen 261 hard-working employees laid off — all because Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly are embroiled in an ideological war with people’s lives in the thick of it.
While some might think referring to the problems in higher education as a “death spiral” is overdramatic; however, everyone from Eastern can surely attest that it is not.
261 people have been laid off.
These are BSWs, office managers and more.
These affected employees were familiar faces in our residence halls, our academic buildings, in our offices.
Because of the ideological entrenchment of a relatively select few, the lives of hard-working Illinoisans are being slowly but surely irreparably destroyed.
If anything, “death spiral” is an understatement for everything we’ve had to face.
The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News