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ERIC Number: EJ855259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr-3
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Economic Downturn Limits Conference Travel
Young, Jeffrey R.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n30 Apr 2009
Attendance is down at many academic and professional conferences in higher education this year, and next year's numbers are expected to be far worse, as campus budgets take further beatings. With many colleges limiting travel to professors or administrators who are speaking at events they are attending, will anyone be left in the audience? A new landscape of haves and have-nots is developing on the conference circuit. Several state systems have imposed blanket restrictions on travel, while many private colleges have avoided such cutbacks. Some colleges have limited travel financing to younger professors, noting the importance of networking to budding academic careers--but will any potential mentors be there to impress? Travel restrictions will have important effects on both professional development and scholarly discourse over the coming years, and some officials are beginning to worry. It is difficult to say how much of a hit travel is taking, especially because some professors are still able to secure outside grants to cover trips to meetings. But travel budgets have been one of the first things cut on many campuses. The University of California says it has reduced its travel costs by about 30 percent compared with last year. The university has not banned travel, but it is forcing staff and faculty members to make a case for every trip. Several major academic conferences have seen attendance drop 5 percent to 10 percent compared with last year. Conference organizers are reporting unprecedented numbers of cancellations, as people who planned to attend face new budget realities that force them to reconsider. That was the case at last month's national conference of Naspa--Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, where attendance was down to 4,100 people from 5,500 last year, and many people wrote to request refunds at the last minute. Many of those seeking refunds explained that their colleges had imposed campus-wide travel bans. Even speakers dropped out at the last minute, forcing an unusual number of sessions to be canceled
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A