Bob Herbert has a nice (if that's a word that can appropriately be applied given the subject matter) op-ed column in Saturday's New York Time about the effect the economy is having on UC Berkeley. And, of course, the same things are happening in schools all over the country, public and private.
I understand that state governments are getting hammered. Most of them are constitutionally prohibited from running a deficit, unlike the federal government. I'm in a much better position to see this now that I'm a faculty member, although I have no real administrative responsibilities. But, obviously, it is of absolutely vital importance to keep public universities flourishing, and they're the most vulnerable.
The ironic thing is that there appears to be an inverse relationship between the general quality of state governance and the degree to which the financial crisis is causing problems for the states in general and public universities in particular. States who collect a lot of taxes, spend a lot of money, and do a lot for their residents are being hit hardest; states who don't do much are having an easier time skating by. (Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed column about this a few weeks ago, and, of course, drew the exactly wrong conclusion.) Bummer, dude.