This is another example of why we have to pay attention. Now Obama’s idea of investing in the community college system doesn’t seem so unnecessary, does it?


These two graphics (both released in the last two days) capture broad-based aspects of the fiscal squeeze confronting public higher education in the United States.

Source: Moody’s (2011) Weekly Credit Outlook, 31 October, p. 43.

Source: ‘Chart: One Year of Prison Costs More Than One Year at Princeton,’ The Atlantic, 1 November 2011. A direct link to the chart by Joseph Staten (an “info-graphic researcher with Public Administration“) is available here.

While these graphics are not comprehensive in nature, and I’m positioned in one specific state (Wisconsin), a number of dynamics are arguably intersecting:

  • Progressively reduced levels of state support for public higher education (see image 1 above). Despite this, there is no correlation, whatsoever, between declining levels of state support and the desire to govern public higher education systems and institutions.
  • A public university funding burden shifting to student-derived revenue (primarily via tuition fees)…

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