The recent post by Fred from Farmville on the budget woes in Wisconsin has got me thinking. As I mentioned in the comments there, last weekend I was in Madison, WI for a conference. I got a lot of second-hand info there from profs and students alike, scared for their jobs. There is a full-scale attack going on in Wisconsin against state employees -- including those employed through the state university. A quick google will get you all the details on cuts, so I won't go into it for you here. But back in my SLAC, it has started a debate, as one colleague assures me this won't actually do anything to the grad program.
Do you think that pulling all tuition waivers would lead to a collapse in a graduate program? Or are there enough desperate fools going to grad school that Wisconsin would be able to draw from people actually willing to pay $100,000 over 6 or 8 years for a graduate "education"?
Beyond the immorality of allowing someone to go that far into debt only to get into a job market that offers them a few grand for adjuncting, do you think there are potential grad students who would be that impractical?