While downsizing is often automatically associated with for‐profit organizations, many of the pressures that have led businesses to downsize over the last 20 years have also affected public‐sector organizations, including universities. The primary focus of this article is to underline the particular issues and problems facing universities when confronted with pressures to downsize. Begins with a general overview of downsizing and its outcomes, followed by an analysis of downsizing in higher education with an emphasis on three major points: the factors causing universities to consider downsizing; the special nature of universities that makes downsizing particularly difficult; and the downsizing methods used by universities.
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