The summer headlines had private college trustees sweating. The bottom had fallen out of the economy, tightening credit markets spread fear about the availability of student loans, and students’ parents were getting pink slips in record numbers. As concerns grew about the prospect of faltering enrollments, many small, tuition-driven colleges decided to ratchet up a tried and true strategy: tuition discounting.
Few think the clock will be turned back to the Berkeley of the 1960s, but the protests planned across the University of California today mark a return to the tactics of another era. This time, however, the cause isn’t free speech or an end to war, but instead a response to the university administration’s budget-cutting proposals.
Facing furloughs and decimation of academic budgets, Berkeley faculty are dismayed to learn of university loans to fill multimillion-dollar deficits in athletics department -- on top of annual subsidies.