MYTH 1: American
universities, especially those in the Midwest, face an unavoidable
"demographic cliff" beginning in 2026.
FACT: Nathan Grawe coined the term "demographic cliff"
in his controversial book, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. Grawe
projected a decline in a white, middle-class student base on which MU has
traditionally relied. But, his model, based upon a national survey last taken
in 2002, is only one model among many and does not account for post-pandemic
recession or the growing internal migration in the U.S. caused by climate
Demographic forecasts of enrollment drops in the 1980s and 1990s
turned out to be wrong because the models were based on false assumptions. As
faculty, it is impossible for us to interrogate these assumptions and how they
apply to Marquette, because the administration has not made their internal
In fact, Grawe's projections are a roadmap for growth, not cuts!
They do not include students of color, to which MU has repeatedly stated
commitments to recruit and retain, including its initiative to become a
Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and President Lovell's September 2020
commitments to the MU Black Student Union.