With the deepest recession since the 1930s, the decline in tax revenues, and the growing demand for emergency public services for unemployed workers and their families, state government budgets are in crisis.

Not surprisingly, many states are freezing or even cutting their funding for some of the greatest assets of the American education system — our public land grant universities.

All across the country, state universities are being forced to raise tuitions, cut faculty positions or rely on part-timers, and curtail courses of study and research programs. While these cutbacks may help to balance budgets in the short-term, the nation will pay dearly for years to come as our workers’ skills, our scientific know-how, and our progress on urgent priorities, from food safety to childhood obesity and renewable energy, all will be sacrificed for the sake of avoiding tough choices here and now.

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