SSN Commentary

The Guaranteed ‘Best Deal Ever’ – The Problem With Public Higher Education Promises

Policy field

Connect with the author

New Jersey City University
University of Maine - Augusta

Originally published in the Portland Press Herald on May 18, 2023.

In the spring of 2022, 10% of the full-time faculty received pink slips at the University of Maine at Farmington. In December 2022, 49 tenured and tenure-track full-time faculty at New Jersey City University received similar notices.

These stories are alarming but not unique to New Jersey and Maine. The cuts represent an inflection point in U.S. public higher education: Our current moment is leaving citizens without sufficient access to higher education.

Educating citizens should be one of the primary goals of state leadership, and yet many new programs that are meant to increase access to higher education actually hamper it by undercutting the very institutions that serve the majority of our students.