Financially Strapped Colleges Grow More Vulnerable as Economic Recovery Lags

Financially Strapped Colleges Grow More Vulnerable 
as Economic Recovery Lags 1

Photo by Tom E. Puskar

Ashland U. dedicated a new athletics building in 2010 but was forced to cut its men’s soccer program in 2013. 
The university has added new academic programs and dropped tuition to attract more students.

In more than 25 years in higher education, Stephen R. Storck doesn’t remember things ever being this hard.

Mr. Storck, who became vice president for business operations at Ashland University in August 2013, is trying to stabilize the future of the 5,979-student private institution in northern Ohio, which faces struggling enrollment, rising debt, limited financial liquidity, and turnover in its enrollment and fund-raising personnel.

"The downturn in the financial market,