Whether you are a faculty member, an administrator, or a student, the North American economy is affecting the prospects for your future.
Budgets are under pressure across the board. For faculty, teaching loads are up, and tenure may be a more challenging goal than ever.
For administrators, without the protections of tenure, conditions mirror those in the society at large.
And for students, employments prospects are daunting, affecting curriculum and vocational choices.
The competition for higher-value state university slots has driven many to the for-profit college arena, which – with it’s dramatically higher prices, and commensurately higher loans, puts even greater pressure on student finances.
This is what the American Association of University Professors has to say about the impact on faculty:
“Most colleges and universities, and their faculties, are facing challenging financial situations. In a few cases the challenges are extraordinary. But in too many cases, administrations invoke the broader fiscal collapse in ways that exaggerate institutional conditions that are considerably less extreme.
“And in too many cases administrations invoke such conditions as justifications for implementing, without sufficient or any meaningful faculty participation in the decision making, a variety of measures that threaten the working conditions of faculty, academic professionals, and graduate employees.
“Such measures include hiring and salary freezes, furloughs, salary cuts, layoffs, nonrenewals, reduction and elimination of academic programs and colleges, revision of curricula, changes in academic policy, elimination of tenure, substantial changes in workload, and more.”
And faculty is the most protected of academic groups.
It just makes sense to seriously consider any low-entry-cost income alternative.
If this alternative is a completely professional and reliable one, well… that’s all the better.