UMUC Is 'Tearing Itself Apart' On Purpose In Order To SurviveBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has gotten much of their income from students who are associated with the military. However, there was a dip in the enrollment in the past 1en years which has made the university to re-examine itself leading to a decision to 'tear itself apart' on purpose.
The tearing apart or unbundling process is necessary if the university wants to remain relevant and affordable said UMUC's president Javier Miyares. The unbundling is also a move to monetize the institution's services so that it will be more independent. The move will also allow them to grow their endowment while keeping tuition fees small.
Miyares explained that beyond a school's core, which include the educators, subjects, and pedagogy, everything is a business process that doesn't need to be dealt with in a traditional sense of the word.
UMUC's move to re-structure itself is controversial and has drawn a lot of attention already. Some people are asking how a public educational institution can make some of its parts privatized.
Miyares defended their move saying that almost all institutions in higher education are looking into their business model. He also added that if an educational institution becomes too dependent on public dollars, they are putting their future at risk.
UMUC's decision makes sense considering how they were able to survive a major blow to the university in 2013 when large numbers of lawmakers in Congress did not reach an agreement on a deficit-reduction plan causing an automatic budget cut.
To make matters worse, the federal government stopped for 16 days in October and the military had to stop processing tuition assistance. That resulted in thousands of students, especially in military bases in Asia and Europe. UMUC, in turn, had to lay off 300 employees and cutting its budget by $60 million.
Fortunately, UMUC was able to recover but they learned their lesson. This time, however, they didn't want to find themselves in the same situation again.