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May 06, 2009


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Dan Markel

I wonder if the HLS budget is more prone to cutbacks now than those at schools lower down the chain who don't rely so much on endowment as tuition, which may be a sturdier source of predicted revenue. In other words, HLS may have been spending much more than just tuition dollars b/c of the wealth produced by endowment income in the past. So maybe schools that run closer to a model based primarily or exclusively on tuition dollars will be less likely to face cutbacks. Just a thought.


Yeah, interesting question, Dan. HLS is certainly dependent on endowment; as you and I know, those of us at state schools are dependent on rapidly shrinking tax dollars as well.

Now, I think you're suggesting that a school that relies on current tuition revenues (and has essentially no endowment or annual fund) may be in about the same position in fall 2009 as in fall 2007 (or whatever the last moment before the crash you pick), right? The idea here is they never had spending beyond what tuition revenues provide, so there will be no (or not much) in the way of cutback. (Phrased another way: they had less to start with, so the cutback won't be as bad; in fact, they're continue along more or less the same as before.) Hard to know about that--those schools are facing uncertain class sizes and their students are going to have a lot more financial need than before. Hard to count on those tuition dollars coming in at the same rate as before. That's a mighty scary scenario.


There's some reason to think that (over)rapid expansion in the 'boom' years is now being paid for on the backs of lower-paid staff positions at Harvard. That's sad to see. Several state schools (Arizona, for one) have had professors agree to take some salary cuts so as to keep much less well paid staff on. Is there any indication that Harvard has, or will, consider such moves?

Kathy Bergin

I had the same question as Matt.

We asked incoming Dean Don Guter what steps he would take to cushion the economic blow at South Texas. His response was to avoid downsizing at all costs, institute a budget freeze, and lobby the faculty to take a temporary pay cut.

I like to think that won him points with most of us for ethical reasons, or at least because it builds institutional morale during trying times.

- Kathleen Bergin

eve isk


I’m watching HELL its got Joe in it course I’m watching lol.

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