It Can't Happen Here

We have a couple of tough, long years ahead of us economically. News from Harvard offers further confirmation. The wealthiest school in the world has seen such a large drop in it's endowment (money in the bank) since summer that it's not going to fill most of it's open teaching positions - tenure track positions, that is.
The move by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which also plans to freeze salaries for its 720-member faculty, followed an immediate freeze on the hiring of nonfaculty staff announced last month, dramatic signals of a university scrambling to right itself after its once ballooning $36.9 billion endowment plummeted 22 percent over the past four months. The cuts announced yesterday will take effect next school year and continue for an undetermined period until the budget picture improves.
Harvard is a kingdom. When those folks get hit upside the head by reality, it means reality has picked up a real head of steam.
The halt in filling most faculty openings at Harvard, which many consider the pinnacle of academia, could stymie the dreams of professors across the country who are looking to cap their careers in Cambridge. It also could cause a ripple effect across the higher-education landscape if other elite schools take their cue from Harvard.
Professors, who make big money at Harvard while leading a life of intellectual luxury, are in a state of shock.
While some faculty said in interviews that they are willing to forgo raises, others expressed dismay that their departments would have to hold off on most tenure-track and tenured-faculty searches. "It's just distressing," said Andrew Gordon, a history professor who serves on the faculty council. "It's not as if these faculty are unnecessary to do what we ought to do or want to do."
Repeat that quote to yourself with a whiney voice while stamping your foot.