Friday, July 26, 2013

Looming educational crisis

Earlier this year, the old Center for Origins Research became a victim of budget cuts after a serious enrollment shortage at Bryan College.  Some folks were pretty upset about the loss of CORE, but I tried to be a bit more circumspect about it.  After all, I'm not the president of Bryan College, and I don't have 200+ employees that I am responsible for.  If I were in that position, I can't say that I would never cut a few jobs to save the rest.  It's just part of the reality of managing a large organization.

Then as we tried to get CORE adopted by another institution, over and over we were told that enrollment was down and budgets were being cut everywhere.  Even after we had extensive conversations with one university, they still couldn't take us on, since they were also trying to cut 10% out of their budget.  It seemed to me that what happened at Bryan was not unique.

Yesterday, the New York Times published a piece confirming that schools across the nation are experiencing sometimes severe enrollment shortages.  Obviously, this will be especially problematic for Christian schools, which are heavily tuition-dependent.

This news makes me sad, as I wonder what the future will hold for Christian academia, but I also feel vindicated in my defense of my former employer Bryan College.  Dropping CORE was not an overreaction to a temporary or self-inflicted enrollment problem.  Leaner years are coming, and all Christian colleges will have to make unpleasant and unpopular cuts.  Bryan was just one such school, and CORE is probably not the last unpopular cut they'll have to make.

May God help us all.

College enrollment falls as economy recovers

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