Professors and college leaders were challenged by legislators and others to prove their worth this year. And resources diminished, leading to cuts in programs and increases in class sizes.

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The Year in Review: Academics Face Questions About Their Pay and Their Product

A reasonable question for postdocs looking to enter the faculty ranks in 2011 and midcareer administrators eyeing the college presidency might have been, Are you sure you want the job?

Professors and presidents alike found themselves in the thick of political battles that questioned their productivity, their pay, and their rights to collectively bargain. Their campuses encountered rising demands for accountability and brutal assessments of their rigor. At the same time, resources diminished, particularly at public universities reliant on state dollars, leading to cuts in programs and positions and increases in class sizes and tuition. MORE »