Colleges prepare to sacrifice the queen (from Bryan Alexander’s blog)

(Not about anything online per se, but worthy of sending out.)

Some American campuses are still cutting programs and faculty five years into the Great Recession/some-sort-of-recovery. The most recent examples: twelve Pennsylvania universities.  One Minnesota university.  One in Washington, D.C.One in Vermont.  Adjuncts go, of course, but also tenure-track and tenured faculty.  These schools are cutting programs and departments, which means tenure’s protection doesn’t matter as much.

What if this isn’t a blip, but a trend?

Let’s call this strategy academia sacrifices its queen. That’s a risky chess move where one player gives up their most powerful piece in order to win the game.


What happens to the humanities and non-quantitatively-intensive social sciences, frequent targets of queen sacrifices?  The short answer is “they suffer”.  Again, campuses can outsource classes, either to bricks and mortar institutions.  Or humanists can make a more effective case for themselves, and convince everyone – politicians, parents, deans – that they are worth the very high price.

About Ryan C. Fowler

Ryan is a curricular fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. He also teaches at Franklin and Marshall College and Lancaster Theological Seminary.
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