- The University of Wyoming has declared financial exigency crisis in the face of a $40 million budget cut over the next two years.
- A decline in the state’s energy industry has forced the school to consider slashing faculty positions, offering early retirement buyouts and furloughing.
- The state legislature also declined to fund an additional $13 million in existing campus programs and expenses.
Financial crisis precludes exigency, which has become a familiar term for several colleges and universities in recent years, typically from public institutions that face unsurmountable cuts from state legislatures. The move allows universities greater latitude in cutting tenured faculty positions and programs that may typically impact accreditation, but significantly harms marketplace identity when churned in local and national news cycles.
The more dangerous impact of exigency: Once colleges can cut enough to survive without closure, declaring bankruptcy then allows for governments to realize a new way forward for these schools with about a third of the budget intact.
Without dramatic increase in enrollment, or windfalls in philanthropic giving, it is unlikely that recently declaring schools like Wyoming, Chicago State University or Southern University will ever see gains that will restore capacity or confidence in their public brands.