Anyone in search of a metaphor for the difficult financial and political situation facing American higher education had a slew to choose from at a conference on the business of higher education on Thursday. College officials are standing on a tightrope, said Stanley O. Ikenberry, trying to balance concurrent pressures to increase student access, control tuition and costs, and deal with declining financial support from governments and other traditional sources.
He never slept much.
But lately, the Rev. Kevin Wildes, president of Loyola University in New Orleans, has been getting only about three hours a night. "I’m not much of a worrier," he said. “But once I start thinking about things, I can’t just roll over.” And he’s had plenty to think about. He’s been crossing the country -- 16 cities in about 40 days -- meeting with alumni clubs, parents, and displaced students, assuring them that the doors will reopen in late January.