Fewer jobs at SLACs?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:

Anyone (or Marcus?) affiliated with SLACs care to weigh-in as to the dearth of job postings at such places this year? It’s a real bummer for those from the SLAC system who would ideally love to teach & work at that kind of institution. Or maybe my perception is off? But it seems like there haven’t been many postings at SLACs.

I hadn’t noticed this, so I’m curious whether other job seekers share the OP’s sense. If it is a real phenomenon, it could just be a statistical blip–but I suspect one thing that could be going on is this: there have for a few years now been warnings about an enrollment cliff in higher education, where college enrollments are expected to decline by 15+% beginning in 2025.

The impact is in turn expected to have different effects regionally (see below):

Moreover, there have already been some significant declines in enrollment, particularly since COVID. And unfortunately, my understanding is that these trends are the most likely to impact small colleges and universities the most. I work at a SLAC (or rather, we’ve grown into a mid-sized liberal arts university) in a desirable location, and we’ve been growing every year. But I have friends that work at ones in other places that are already really struggling financially, and in fact sadly I know of at least one person in recent years who accepted a tenure-track job at a SLAC only to be let go a year or two into the job due to downsizing. 

Anyway, this might be going on with the SLAC job market. I think it would be great to hear from people who actually work at SLACs whether they think there’s anything to this explanation, or whether something else is up.

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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