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The United States

Impact of Covid-19 on the US Academic Job Market in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Higher Education sector in the US has been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many universities responded with hiring freezes, putting particularly early-career positions at risk.

Responses adopted by the Government

  • Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of $14 billion has been established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. See https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html
    $12.4 billion is to be split between emergency grants allocated directly to currently enrolled students and money to colleges 'for expenses directly related to coronavirus and the disruption of campus operations'. A billion would be targeted to historically black colleges and universities and tribal colleges.

    However, it is worth noting that some universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and Yale have declined this relief, after the criticism of President Trump for receiving federal relief funds despite their large endowments.[1]


[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/04/22/congress-promised-coronavirus-relief-money-stanford-harvard-princeton-are-turning-it-down/ ; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/harvard-trump-coronavirus.html

Hiring freezes/ pay cuts

Many universities across the U.S. have responded to the anticipated financial difficulties with hiring slowdowns/freezes.

Examples include leading institutions, such as Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Chicago, Berkeley.

A crowdsourceddocument with (unofficial) information on hiring slowdowns, freezes, furloughs, pay cuts: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KohP4xZdN8BZy1OMeXCAGagswvUOWpOws72eDKpBhI4/edit

Page last updated on 04 August 2020