Free College, Semester 1

Today I will be writing to several people, telling them I will not be able to hire them next semester. In reality, I won’t be able to hire them the next academic year either. They’ve been with us for 15-20 years, and now they are unemployed.

Yesterday, a new round of budget cuts was announced. We are losing our travel money. Our entire winter course revenue is being taken away. More sections are cut, which means not only no jobs for lecturers but also delayed graduation for students who can’t get into the already overcrowded classes.

This is the result of the Democratic governor of Illinois promising “free college” and removing tuition for families with incomes of under $65,000. Obviously, the colleges aren’t getting a crooked dime from the governor to compensate for losing the tuition money. As I’ve been saying since the moment I heard the words “free college.” We have record enrollments but less money than ever.

For families this means longer times towards graduation, added difficulties for students who work and can’t find courses that fit into their schedules, fewer services, fewer opportunities, a lot less individual attention from professors, etc. For academic programs, this means less research, fewer (on none) books, no new equipment, and a crowd of fired colleagues.

When I write to the lecturers who were counting on this income and who find themselves fired right before Christmas, should I mention that free (or very cheap) college worked in 1962, so I’m sure it’s going to start working any day now, so just sit tight?

I honestly respect more the hard-nosed neoliberals who openly want to destroy public higher education than the good-intentioned folks whose brains are stuck on the mantras of the 1970s.

I feel very heavy-hearted today because these are good people, and I have to deliver terrible news. Oh, and did I mention that I will never vote for another Democrat for any office under any pretext ever EVER again? Screw these neoliberal bastards. The other bastards are also neoliberal but at least they don’t dupe the naive folks into self-destruction.

7 thoughts on “Free College, Semester 1

  1. Clarissa, since I have no idea about the staffing levels of US universities and colleges or the ratio between students and professors, or the ratio between students and all university staff (including admin etc), may I ask if you by any chance know how similar or different those things are today versus in the 1970s?

    Obviously it will depend on the university or college, but any information would be appreciated 🙂


    1. I know that the number of administrators has soared because we have all those new levels of compliance demanded by the state. And there’s more and more compliance required. But the same state that forces us to hire all this non-teaching personnel gives us a lot less money than ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If colleges and universities could eliminate every administrative position that did not exist fifty years ago, I think it would solve most or all of their budget problems, and have many other benefits as well.


        1. “If colleges and universities could eliminate every administrative position that did not exist fifty years ago, I think it would solve most or all of their budget problems, and have many other benefits as well.”

          That is what I am trying to understand. The same happened in hospitals, doctors surgeries, pharmacies etc.

          Imo the world is being strangled by bureaucrats who insert themselves into everything so that they can have a “job”. All of us are suffering under this terrible pandemic of pencil pushers!

          (except Clarissa 🙂 )

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Not happy that my first thought was that Jean Raspail finally has visited your American university after all these years …

    But despite being very much politically incorrect, somehow it seems politically correct.

    So let’s put more Fail in the Westphalian State! 🙂


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