New York Times: Ohio Wesleyan University in the United States announced that from December this year, 18 majors including comparative literature, German majors and journalism will be cancelled, hoping to save the school’s budget of 4 million US dollars.
The new crown epidemic has continued in the United States to this day, and it has brought tremendous financial pressure to universities and colleges.
For more than six months, American universities have implemented methods such as suspension of recruitment, early retirement of employees, and salary cuts for core management to balance budgets, but these are far from being able to cope with the deteriorating environment.
At present, many colleges and universities in the United States have adopted various extraordinary measures in order to tide over the difficulties.
One of the extraordinary measures: Suspend PhD enrollment
The University of California, Berkeley temporarily suspended admissions for PhD degrees in art history, anthropology, and sociology.
The person in charge of the school said that due to the impact of the epidemic, students who are doing doctoral research in these three disciplines will have a longer research cycle than in previous years and will spend more money.
Therefore, there is no additional budget to recruit new students for research.
For the same reason, Harvard University and Princeton University also announced the suspension of enrollment of doctoral students in certain disciplines.
According to the database of the US education website, there are more than 100 similar enrollment suspension plans in American colleges and universities.
Extraordinary measure 2: Merging colleges and majors
The University of South Florida announced this month that it will gradually abolish undergraduate education degrees and merge it into a postgraduate education college to save $6.8 million in budget.
In addition, some universities have adopted measures such as postponing graduate admissions and merging majors to make up for the ever-expanding budget gap.
“Our generation has never seen such a serious budget crisis.” said Robert Kelchin, an associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University. “Under the current situation, what happens is understandable.”
Extraordinary measure three: substantial layoffs
“Many schools have redone their budgets four or five times, but the budget gap is still very large.” Jim Hendris, vice president of the consulting and business development department of the National Association of University Professionals, said in an interview with The New York Times.
All we can do next is to lay off staff, and this will be the most difficult step.”
According to Cleveland.com, in September, the University of Akron in Ohio fired 97 of its 570 professors and cut courses by 25%. The large-scale layoffs caused strong dissatisfaction among professors.
The president of the University of Akron, Gary Miller, said that this move was also helpless and was to find a way out for the school.
He said that due to the local population structure, the number of students in Akron has been declining year after year, and the new crown epidemic has made the situation very serious. There is no choice but to continue to survive by drastically dismissing the professor.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that since the outbreak of the new crown in March this year, the US university system has laid off more than 300,000 jobs.
$120 billion in advances, the US college budget deficit is staggering
The New York Times reported that George Washington University lost 38 million U.S. dollars this year, and the University of Wisconsin had already lost $212 million before the start of the fall.
Harvard University, the richest in the United States, also reported 10 million in its financial report last week. The dollar deficit.
Although many universities in the United States have valuable endowments, such as Harvard University, which has an endowment fund worth 41.9 billion U.S. dollars, these donations are for designated purposes and the school cannot use it as emergency funds or support daily operations.
The New York Times reported that as of October 22, there have been more than 214,000 cases of new coronavirus infections on American university campuses, with at least 75 deaths. In response to the epidemic, universities have spent millions of dollars on testing, tracking and quarantining students. At the same time, various measures such as changing students’ online classes and school cleaning campuses and dormitories regularly have also doubled expenditures. According to previous reports from the Washington Post, some heads of American universities have warned Congress that American universities are consuming funds at an alarming rate.
Since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, due to the priority of government funds being used to fight the epidemic in various sectors of society, the normal funding of universities has been greatly reduced.
Some students have chosen to drop out because their parents are unemployed and cannot afford the tuition. The National Student Information Clearinghouse Research Center reported that the number of new students enrolled this year has fallen by more than 16% compared with last year, which has led to a decline in university tuition income.
In addition, concerns about the status quo of epidemic control in the United States have significantly reduced the proportion of international students applying to American universities, and the important source of income for universities has also shrunk.
Expenditure has increased sharply and income has plummeted.
These two reasons have contributed to the alarming fiscal deficit of American universities and colleges.
A few days ago, the U.S. Educational Council and other higher education organizations stated in a letter to Congress that during the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the country have increased various aids for students, provided housing subsidies, and increased public health measures. Dollar.