Moody’s Investors Service, a company that ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers, has just issued a negative short-term outlook for the entire sector of higher education. Yeah, the entire sector.
According to the Moody’s report, “state-government appropriations, investment earnings, gifts, research grants, and patient-care reimbursements are all facing economic pressure.” Which basically means revenue sources for colleges are continuing to dry up. For colleges that are already struggling to keep their doors open, it’s going to get worse apparently.
In a sector that is already cutting dangerous corners with a labor force full of temporary employees, another financial setback could be devastating. Add to that an influx of “educational entrepreneurs” who seek to cash in on this higher education shake up, and the result is a dire necessity to make some changes.
Is higher education OK? Let’s ask Marsellus Wallace.
Marsellus, is higher education OK?
We can’t keep doing things the same in higher education and expect everything to be OK. Overcharging for an education that is facilitated by exploited adjunct labor, while university administrators draw salaries in the hundreds of thousands is finally starting to catch up with colleges. Students are getting rightfully pissed about the misappropriation of their huge tuition bills.
Even the IRS and the Wall Street Journal have entered the discussion as some universities have arrogantly proclaimed that they will be cutting employees’ hours to avoid legislation established by the Affordable Care Act. What infuriating arrogance. And they have the audacity to blame the ACA and President Obama for their own selfish and crass policies.
Just to set the record straight, all these companies who are blaming the Affordable Care Act for the fact that they are shortchanging employees and temp-ifying their workforce are full of crap. They’re trying to drive a wedge into healthcare reform by claiming it’s hurting American workers. No, companies who hire and fire temps for minimum wage and offer no benefits are what’s actually hurting American workers. But, I digress.
The point is the outlook for higher education continues to get worse. And the way to fix it is not to keep devaluing it by staffing with temps and relying on inferior educational models like MOOCs. It’s going to require a complete overhaul of the system and, perhaps most importantly, a serious look at every single line item on the budget. Including the ones that have traditionally been off the table.
PS: The header is a little something fun I made. Kids these days like the memes, I hear.