Over the last month or so....we've had this episode brewing here in Virginia, which probably won't make it into the national press. The chancellor of the university had been hired two years ago, and told to prepare for cuts. The board wanted her in the frame of mind....to take measures and help bring the university into a positive position, with lesser budget issues.
The chancellor....Teresea Sullivan....came up a couple of months ago and kinda hinted that she was going on a certain pace for the cuts. This didn't sit very well, and this week.....the board basically "let" her go (fired might be appropriate).
Ms Sullivan hinted strongly, that corporate-business concepts didn't work well with the university crowd, and that things needed to be done at a very slow pace. The board hinted back that tuition was on a spiral upward, and that there would be tough decisions to be made.
It's become a comical affair. You've got a number of facility members who are now fearful about what is coming and really came to the aide of Ms Sullivan in the final days of her leadership. At one meeting this week, Ms Sullivan wanted everyone on the board to know that people would be poached and grabbed by big-name universities because of all this turmoil. I suspect that the board was fairly happy to be dumping their high-cost players, and would quickly replace them with folks making twenty-percent less.
My guess is that a number of 4-star colleges are watching this affair and thinking of their future. This rising tuition game is a major topic on every campus. Some programs are going to find themselves curtailed. Some folks are going to be told to retire or move along. Some chancellors are going to be challenged to make tough cuts. There's just not much of an alternate plan to play out here.