I’m a goddamned red blooded American. I believe in our markets, I make money in our markets. I’ve taken a break from grilling wartime production act porkchops, training paratroopers to fight poor people in foreign deserts, and orally pleasuring my wife thrice daily to let you in a little secret.
Higher education is temporarily FUUUUUUU*KED.
This isn’t a bear thing, it’s not a bull thing. This isn’t an agenda, and this sure doesn’t give a shit whether you think this virus is a nasty cold or the bubonic plague. This isn’t staring at our assholes imagining our near future as a less cool version of Mr. King’s The Cocksucking Stand. This has already happened. The mistakes have already been made, the die is already cast.
At the bottom of this post is as list of schools trying to tell you just how they are. Read it if you want.
Notice something? These aren’t just schools in red states, or blue states, this is schools in almost ALL states, and the pain has only just begun. It doesn’t matter if your particular governor has authorized his inbred trucker hat constituents to go eat tactical camo glazed donuts on their way to buy more camouflaged AK47 bayonets at Wally’s Spandex and Muffin Top Emporium of the Soon to be Diseased, or if she has doubled down on the lockdown of the her trembling thick-rimmed dreadlocked lesbian artisanal salt enthusiast denizens. If covid went away in two weeks, it wouldn’t matter.
Unemployment doesn’t mean shit to the markets right now. Unemployment money enthusiastically purchases yolos just as well as doing something for a living money does. More, maybe. But it DOES matter to states. Because they have to pay for it, and right now it is absolutely gutting every other state program. Nothing else matters. States MUST pay it, or shit collapses, so everything else is on the chopping block.
Endowments are damaged, and in any case must be drawn from in a way that doesn’t draw on the principal of the endowment.
Research grants, a large percentage of any reputable schools funding, are being completely paused while every discipline even tangentially related to the well being of human beings is reassigned to COVID research.
And that leaves the elephant in the room. Enrollment.
Contrary to popular belief, universities DO NOT sell education. Not anymore, not for a long time. Universities sell “lifestyle experiences”. Who gives a f*ck about Quadrilateral Phase Induction 214 when you can pay massively inflated rates to drink shit beer with your other degenerate friends and find out, once and for all if you really ARE into the way asshole tastes when it’s been marinating in axe body spray and barely post pubecent sweat for the last two days. And it is MASSIVELY expensive. This is because smart people decades ago found out that the best way to extract money from little Timmy isn’t to have him firing 12 million dollar rockets at brown people until his leg is gnawed off by a Lesser Vagigated Jungle Rape Scorpion, but instead to saddle him with huge, nondefaultable debt while he puts his underwhelming peach fuzzed willy into any willing moving thing.
And they can’t do ANY of that online. Estimates indicate that enrollment will drop by a VERY substantial number if classes are moved online. And they will be.
So how, you ask, can we short the schools and profit off of the misfortune of Middle American Teenagers, as is the AMERICAN WAY for monied people and those that aspire to them? We can’t place puts on colleges!
Right you are, my young and intrepid friend. But we can short student support services.
And that brings me, finally, to American Campus Communities, Inc. Options are still cheap. Buy it for the fall time, because by then, this is going to be headline news every day. Or if you’re cheap buy it for the summer time. Doesn’t matter, puts will print.
I know you’re not used to waiting that long to go eat some free McDonald’s, but you’re sure going to be able to eat a lot of it.
Positions at the end of this post, you rockstars.
THE LIST OF PAIN
Antioch College furloughed 27 staff and cut hours and/or compensation to others.
Atlantic Cape Community College laid off about 100 staff who could not work remotely.
Bob Jones University furloughed an unspecified number of staff.
Boston University laid off more than 1600 student workers.
Bristol Community College laid off 136 part time workers.
Drew University furloughed some staff.
Guilford College furloughed 166 people, or “[s]lightly more than half of the college’s 250 non-faculty employees.”
Harvard University froze all kinds of raises and projects, while cutting the salaries of its president, VP, and provost.
Johns Hopkins University announced a series of cuts, including this strategy: “divisional leaders will exercise their discretion and have to consider furloughs or layoffs when necessary to meet their financial and strategic objectives in such a constrained budget environment…” They may face a $375 million deficit this fall.
Kent State University called for a 20% budget cut, which will be carried out by “reducing operating budgets by 20%, enacting a hiring freeze, postponing new campus construction projects, … reducing spending on athletics,” and cutting senior administrator salaries.
Keuka College furloughed an undetermined number of staff while issuing wage cuts.
Lake Superior State University will apparently commence layoffs.
Lewis-Clark State College ended around 16 staff positions and is working on cuts to faculty.
Marquette University furloughed around 250 staff, notably those who could no longer work remotely.
Merrimack College laid off 30 staff.
Oakland University cut salaries of several senior administrators.
Ohio University announced it would lay off 140 staff. “This (is) our first significant personnel reduction,” [Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson] said.”
Portland State University will furlough 106 staff.
Rochester Institute of Technology will furlough some staff and “is prepared to introduce a salary reduction program.”
Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, cut senior administration compensation and signaled it would hire fewer adjuncts this summer and fall.
Smith College cut or requested voluntary cuts to some senior administrators’ compensation.
Southern Oregon University furloughed 395 staff.
Syracuse University cut some staff compensation and froze merit pay increases.
Union College furloughed 30% of its staff.
The University of Akron announced plans to cut academic programs and student athletics.
The University of Alaska will furlough 166 administrators.
The University of Arizona announced furloughs and pay cuts to a range of employees. It also withdrew financial aid packages to grad students.
The University of Kentucky furloughed 1700 staff, nearly all in medical care.
The University of Louisville furloughed “some employees and will institute pay cuts for those earning at least $100,000…”
The University of Massachusetts Medical School furloughed 100 staff.
The University of Michigan called for cuts to senior administrator compensation as well as voluntary staff furloughs, based on expecting at least a $1 billion loss.
The University of Missouri laid off more than 40 people, mostly in their hospital.
The University of Montana laid off 63 staff (although the headline says “furlough”).
The University of New Haven cut staff and faculty compensation, furloughing some.
The University of Oregon laid off 282 people.
The University of Rochester announced it would cut some senior administration compensation and furlough some staff.
The University of Tulsa furloughed a number of staff, focusing on those who cannot work remotely. UT also had its senior leaders have their compensation hit by “a reduction of the equivalent of two weeks of our salaries…”
Several University of Vermont senior administrators saw compensation or support cuts.
The University of Wisconsin system will furlough staff and also laid off some number of student workers.
Valparaiso university furloughed 200 staff and encouraged faculty to take salary cuts.
Western Michigan University laid off more than 200 staff.
TLDR: That was my masterpiece, you should read it.
But if you don’t the sentiment is this.
$ACC 25p 6/19
$ACC 25p 9/18