This is a time of great challenge and opportunity for American higher education. The challenges are well-established and widely acknowledged: Rising standards for economic competitiveness, coupled with a severe economic downturn and protracted recovery, require broad access to relevant post-high school education, training and retooling as never before, but stagnant state funding and surging student demand have tightened the tension on an already cash-strapped public system. The lagging economy limits tax collections, which are an important stream of unrestricted revenue for public institutions. Forced to do more with less, campuses respond by raising tuition, fees or both, while cutting costs in a variety of ways, often affecting personnel, services, and quality.

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