UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Extension, a self-supporting $70 million enterprise which receives no state or campus funding, announced that they will be laying off approximately 25% of their workforce; estimated to be between 50 and 100 employees.
According to a published report in the school’s newspaper, the Daily Bruin, Extension plans to cut $7 to $8 million from the budget for the next fiscal year to help adapt to a revenue shortfall of approximately $10 million less than projected for the 2017-2018 school year. The primary reason given is decreasing international and domestic enrollment. There are anecdotal stories relating to a lack of leadership of senior management, an underperforming newly-implemented computer system, and a costly relocation to other facilities.
A number of universities are building-out teaching facilities in neighborhood office buildings which feature more centralized classrooms and ease of parking not found on traditional campuses. It should be noted that alternative sources of quality education are placing serious competitive pressure on name-brand universities. MIT’s prestigious reputation backs their online open courseware offerings at little or no cost for those wanting knowledge without the traditional hassles of enrollment and classroom attendance. Additionally, there are a number of well-regarded courses available on YouTube. A number of testing organizations appear to be preparing to capture significant revenue streams by providing certificates of knowledge – if not degrees – from online test centers.