We know the many clichés about quitting.

“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.” – Napoleon Hill

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes habit.” – Vince Lombardi

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” – Richard Nixon

In a recent issue of FastCompany, Jan Bruce argues that it might be okay to quit. She specifically addresses quitting a job if you feel trapped in an endless job with no hope for the future. It is an interesting read that really got me thinking about colleges and universities that refuse to quit.

I quitThis might not be going where you think, but hang with me. I am not talking about the positive side of tenacity but rather the negative. I can name several colleges that should just quit. Not quit programs or athletics, but just quit altogether. Go away.

In my mind, I see a school with enrollments around 600 FTE, buildings with deferred maintenance so high the physical plant will never catch up, faculty and staff turnover rates in the double digits annually because the new hires are not given a clear picture of the desperate financial condition of the school until well after they are hired. Retention rates at these institutions are high and the cost of attendance has well outpaced the students’ ability to pay off their student loan debt if they happen to graduate with a degree that has trained them for a job with a paupers wage. Every year the advancement office desperately tries to raise enough money to balance the budget but they never seem to get ahead. Stop taking student’s money and stop begging donors. Just stop.

Oh, and the schools I have pictured in my head absolutely refuse to be innovative or try new things. Die a proper and honorable death before you are forced to close. Ensure your students have a place to go and the community has a use for your worn out facilities. But, just go.

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