ERIC Number: ED462896
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Coping with Recession: Public Policy, Economic Downturns and Higher Education.
Callan, Patrick M.
This paper discusses recession and the major policy considerations that states and institutions must face in the current economic downturn. It explores the public policy implications of three major variables: (1) each of the 50 states has a unique higher education system; (2) each state also has a unique revenue and budgetary process; and (3) each recession is a unique, unpredictable event. The focus is on state higher education policy. The politics of scarcity are very different from the politics of prosperity in ways that often pose problems for the financial support of higher education. The present decline in higher education's share of state expenditures does not represent any deliberate policy decision to curtail state funding substantially; it is simply an outcome of economic currents. The principal question for higher education will be how to accommodate additional students without commensurate additional state support. Tuition increases are likely to remain an important tool in the repertoire of state and institutional response to recession, but there are political limits to this tool and considerable backlash if the public believes that increases have been excessive. The current recession coincides with the third great wave of college enrollments. Even if the economy avoids a major or prolonged recession, it will require extraordinary effort on the part of states and colleges to meet the needs of these students. (Contains 35 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, CA.