Public universities face a dilemma. In an era of declining state support, when do they say no?

It’s hard to please every constituency. Some feel strongly about the traditional liberal arts education, while others see value in a more career-oriented focus. A college education appeals to both traditional students right out of high school and adults who are returning or completing degrees. Learning can take place in the classroom or online.

Difficult choices are on the horizon, especially with higher education becoming a likely target as state revenue plummets following the coronavirus shutdowns. Missouri Western State University, which saw its state appropriations remain flat over a 15-year period, is no exception.

One thing seems certain, however. Western’s Center for Workforce Development offers training and career education opportunities that help keep higher education relevant amid the fiscal and demographic headwinds of these times.