What to Expect in 2009: My Top 10

Well, how’s about I do a little prognosticating? If you have anything to add, as always, feel free to leave a comment.

1.  Overall, the percentage of courses at public universities taught by faculty off the tenure-track will remain virtually unchanged. The total number of faculty employed off the tenure-track may dip slightly.

2.  The number of 1- and 2-year “visiting faculty” positions listed in 2009 will rise dramatically, as colleges that have frozen tenure-line hiring will attempt to staff courses with faculty who hold terminal degrees until the money can be found to fund the permanent slots.

3.  Enrollment at community colleges nation-wide will increase in 2009. Workers from industry who’ve been forced out will flock to local community colleges.

4.  Enrollment at public universities nation-wide will increase in 2009. Despite the credit crunch, I predict banks and other lending agencies will continue to fund higher education loans. It’s a very lucrative niche within the banking industry, and default rates have remained relatively low.

5.  Enrollment at private universities nation-wide will drop. With their endowments battered, private colleges and universities are going to have a tough time offering those generous financial aid packages to students. There are always the students with families who can afford to pay the full amount, but the number of students receiving financial aid at private institutions has risen dramatically over the past decade.

6.  The AFT’s FACE Program will die a quiet death. Not only is the money on the state-level for the AFT’s grand boondoggle  drying up faster than a wadi after rainy season, the union has precious little to show members, the press and the general public after pouring millions and millions of dollars of dues and political donations from their members into trying to get the program funded in New York, Washington and Oregon. 

7.  AAUP will continue to limp along financially and politically. AAUP’s total membership will fall as the group continues to go through the painful process of reorganization. 

8.  For-profit higher education companies will see financial growth in 2009. These companies will continue to hire, primarily, part-time faculty.

9.  Distance education programs will continue to see exponential growth in 2009. These programs will continue to be staffed by, primarily, part-time faculty. (If you’re not ready to teach online, get ready!) 

10. Obama will not be able to get the Employee Free Choice Act through Congress. 


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