A few weeks ago, the Albuquerque Journal ran a story about the “ghost campus” on the West Side. See a full RGF report on campus bloat in NM here. Now, we have heated discussions over whether and how much to raise tuition at UNM.
While there are certainly discussions to be had about the role of athletics on campus and how much, if at all, students should pay for that, and the conflict between research and teaching among faculty (to name just two issues), it seems that no one is connecting the issues of bloat and lack of a clear mission — leading to mission bloat — at UNM and the out-of-control costs at the University.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority, but students and taxpayers wind up footing the bill. And, lest you think taxpayers should just “suck it up” and pay more, New Mexico taxpayers are already VERY generous when it comes to funding higher ed in New Mexico.
Rather than digging deeper into the pockets of students or taxpayers, UNM and the folks guiding higher education policy in this state need to demand efficiency and innovation in order to bring costs down while still fulfilling the mission of higher education (whatever that may be)…teach kids, do research, win basketball games?