From an Inside Higher Ed commentary on contingency planning for college closures:
Even before the pandemic took hold, many colleges were operating on razor-thin margins, with the enrollment trends and demographics of many colleges working against them. Thousands of institutions delicately balance their budgets by maintaining a steady supply of students, heavily dependent on their tuition dollars. Over the last five years, a number of college campuses enrolling hundreds of thousands of students in the United States have shuttered completely – sometimes without warning, so that students have been left with debt, no degree and nowhere to transfer their credits and finish their programs. And with the current turmoil throwing everything from deposit deadlines to fall enrollment to faculty health off-kilter, more of those college closures are, unfortunately, inevitable.
It’s a morbid read with some sensible suggestions. But the problem with any deathwatch inventory, as Inside Higher Ed itself realized in the spring, is the prospect of a self-fulfilling prophecy.