Death of an MFA Program, an Insider's View

So as is becoming known throughout the university world and blogosphere, Penn State cut the funding for its MFA program, of which I’m the director, and we’ve chosen to cease admitting new students, rather than expect them to pay many thousands of dollars for a degree that is not a sure ticket to huge paychecks. We’ve been a fully funded program for many years, and during that time have not cheated our students, but have offered an excellent education in creative writing, practical teaching experience, and no debt.
But the times have changed.
I see it in terms of the future world described in H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. Our lit students are fully funded, and I didn’t want our creative writing students to become the Morlocks to their Eloi.
There’s much I could say about this, but won’t. We fought for a year to get our funding back, and failed. Does this say something that, when budget-crunch time comes, the arts are first on the chopping block? Of course it does. Is this a disgrace? Of course it is.

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