Public higher ed in Maine is doomed …

They just don’t know it yet. Here’s the problem:

There are 30,000 students at the universities in the system — that’s seven universities educating about as many students as some midsized public universities do on one campus. The flagship University of Maine in Orono has 11,000 students and is the largest university in the system. The smallest, the University of Maine at Machias, has just over 800 students.

30,000 students across seven universities! And the solution they propose, with a straight face, is administrative cuts. The state simply has too many campuses, and needs to shut down at least half, if not more. But they lack the political will to do so.

Prediction: budgetary issues will impoverish all campuses, and students will react by fleeing the state for other schools. Rather than focus their money on creating a single, outstanding institution, the state is forcing campuses into a race to the bottom.