Yet another American college is suffering an “unexpected” plunge in enrollment and a massive budget deficit after a series of outbursts by radical fringe protesters and professors.
This time, the school is Oberlin College, a private, 2,900-student enclave of progressivism in small-town Ohio where the cost for a single year of tuition, fees and room and board is $69,372.
Oberlin is facing a $5 million budget shortfall for the 2017–2018 academic year due to lower student enrollment and a related drop in revenue, reports The Oberlin Review, the student newspaper.
The chairman of Oberlin’s board of trustees, Chris Canavan, announced the financial woes in an email sent to professors and administrators this summer. The student newspaper obtained and published the full email late last week.
“As many of you already know, Oberlin’s primary source of revenue, student charges, will fall well short of our target because the incoming class is smaller than we expected and fewer students will return next year,” Canavan wrote. “There is no avoiding the financial impact of these shortfalls. Although we had already reduced budgets across the institution for next year, this shortfall in student charges will generate a deficit of about $5 million.”
Oberlin obtains more than 80 percent of its annual operating budget from tuition and other student charges.
Administrators at the private school had hoped to enroll 805 new students this fall. However, only 742 new students actually showed up on campus.
School officials had a cautious total enrollment target of 2,895 students for the fall 2017 semester but actual total enrollment is just 2,815 students currently.
The member of the board of trustees “hope(s) that this enrollment shock is a transitory one,” but they don’t know what the future holds.
Canavan also claims that “many schools have seen enrollment fall below expectations this year, which doesn’t augur well for the future.”
In any case, “it would be irresponsible to let the endowment absorb the full brunt of this shock,” Oberlin’s trustees have decided. As such, “the board has asked the administration, faculty, and staff to identify ways to shrink our structural deficit, either through higher revenue or lower spending, by at least 5 percent of the cumulative budget over the next 10 years.”
Caravan also announced an across-the-board salary freeze for every employee who is not a member of a labor union.
“We’re fixed in contracts with the unions, and with non-union continuing faculty members and visitors,” Oberlin academic dean Tim Elgren told the Review. “Holding salaries at zero for a year, which is what happened this last year, is a dramatic step. But it’s the one thing that we can do immediately to have an impact on the budget without people losing their jobs.”
Elgren also suggested that every Oberlin department, division and extracurricular activity is subject to budget cuts.
“Everybody’s in the game,” he told the student newspaper.
Oberlin College has been beset by numerous protests by radical fringe leftist in recent years.
Oberlin is the alma mater of Lena Dunham and, somehow, Michelle Malkin. Until recently, it was the professional home to finally-fired, virulently anti-Semitic professor Joy Karega, who has suggested that Israel plotted the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. which killed 2,996 people.
The school is most famous because Obama-loving leftist student Dylan Bleier and his sidekick Matt Alden allegedly circulated virulently racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages around campus “for the shock value,” according to Bleier. Former Oberlin president Marvin Krislov called off school for a day and made a huge fuss, despite apparently knowing full well it was all a hoax. The Oberlin administration then exploited the hoax to implement an aggressive agenda focused on student relations.
Naturally, Oberlin students joined dozens of other colleges in releasing a University of Missouri-inspired set of demands last academic year for their administration. The list was no less than 14 pages in length, and included a staggering 50 stern demands, many of which divide into several stern sub-demands.
One of the demands was that the school suspend all grades below a C so that students could focus on their political activism instead of their schoolwork.
The website Legal Insurrection has published an amazing dossier highlighting several other bizarre episodes which have occurred at Oberlin in recent years. These episodes include the boycott of a local bakery after some students were arrested for shoplifting there.