Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harding and the Economy

An article just published in the Christian Chronicle reports how the economy is affecting Harding University and some of our other sister institutions. Cascade College is closing their doors at the end of the spring semester (see the screen shot from their website below). Pepperdine University is eliminating 50 full- and part-time staff members as well as men's track and the women's swimming and diving program.

Things at Harding aren't quite as dim. The endowment is down, but no staff or faculty jobs are being cut. What the CC didn't note is that next year's enrollment numbers look really good. There is a budget freeze, and it's been rumored we will not receive any pay raises next year, but there's nothing to loose sleep over.

In general, post-secondary education is usually a winner in tough economic times. Individuals out of work will re-tool to make themselves more competitive. Some states are even putting more money into higher education, realizing the positive, long-term economic impact it can have.

At $423 a credit hour, Harding is not cheap, but it is less expensive than many private universities and many state universities. That's going to help us weather the storm.

Everyone is going to need to tighten their belts a little, but Lord willing, Harding is going to emerge from this economic downturn intact. I pray the same is true for our sister institutions.