Sheila Liming in a short essay for the Chronicle Review, on relentless budget cuts at the University of North Dakota:
I’m talking about the nonmaterial consequences of material resource depletion, which can last for generations and make earnest attempts at normalcy appear shot through with undercurrents of gloom. But the feeling isn’t unique to campuses like mine — campuses that have already met and locked horns with the new, ascetic order. If you build it, they will come; if you tear it down due to a maintenance backlog, they will go somewhere else — if they possibly can. But austerity is an infection. It spreads with those who run from it. As Karl Marx, writing in England but speaking to his native Germany, warns in the preface to his famous Capital, “De te fabula narratur!” The story is about you.
The subhed to the “My University is Dying” headline is “And soon yours will be, too.” What the piece is missing is a theory of why we should all expect North Dakota-style austerity.