NBER Working Paper Examines Effects of Decline in State Funding for Public Universities

A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper “Public Universities: The Supply Side of Building a Skilled Workforce,”* examined the effects of the persistent decline in state funding for public universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education provided commentary on the paper in “‘These Cuts Have Real Consequences’: A New Study Surveys the Damage of State Disinvestment in Public Universities”** and stated that less funding for the universities was “bad news” and “will continue to have, damaging repercussions, suggesting reason to be concerned about the future of public higher education.” The study looked at trends at public universities where higher education funding cuts were most dramatic (Michigan, Wisconsin) and compared them with states where subsidies stayed put (New York, Texas).

Ralph Johnson, CEO of the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE), commented that “The words used by the Chronicle of Higher Education – such as ‘real consequences’ and ‘damaging repercussions’ – provide a sobering assessment of the impact of funding cuts on higher education.  State veterinary medical associations now have evidence of systemic damage from two respected national entities that can be used in dialog with state legislators, coupled with the real-life examples from local veterinarians about the crushing burden of educational debt.  Associating increased funding for higher education with availability of skilled workers, research capacity, and economic growth will resonate with state legislators.” VMAE leads the Veterinary Debt Initiative with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

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**Access requires Chronicle of Higher Education subscription