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A thousand cuts: A look at colleges making restructuring moves

A thousand cuts: A look at colleges making restructuring moves

Higher Ed Dive

Ben Unglesbee
June 7, 2024
As a new fiscal year approaches for many in higher ed, colleges are taking a hard look at their finances.
Facing recent or protracted enrollment declines, institutions are increasingly downsizing — sometimes modestly, sometimes dramatically.
Head count reductions are being seen where colleges consolidate operating or academic units, while other institutions look to save through surgical and limited — but still painful — staffing cuts.
Still others — including Delta State University and St. Cloud State University — have announced deep and sweeping cuts to their portfolios, axing programs and faculty positions as they try to focus on their best-performing majors.
Though cuts always come with the risk of diminishing an institution, leaders are framing budget retrenchment as a matter of long-term health, if not survival. We’ve also seen a handful of institutions try to balance cuts in one area with investments in others, such as new programs or higher salaries.
With high costs, a looming enrollment crunch and talk of overcapacity in higher ed, the cuts are a sign of the times. Here is a look at the most recent restructuring moves institutions have announced.
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