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ERIC Number: EJ797139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Struggling Communities Turn to Colleges
Fischer, Karin
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n36 pA1 May 2008
In economically struggling communities, small private colleges are helping generate development projects in large part as a matter of survival. Unlike research universities and land-grant institutions, which have long viewed regional economic development as central to their missions, most liberal-arts colleges are relative newcomers to this work, and they face real constraints. In contrast to powerhouse institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, which is largely credited with remaking West Philadelphia, these smaller colleges may not have the wealth to make upfront investments or to absorb the risk incurred in such deals. King's College in northeastern Pennsylvania purchased and renovated a nearby building, turning it into a student residence. In old mill towns and declining manufacturing centers, in the Rust Belt's former company towns and in the rural South, small, private liberal-arts institutions like King's are assuming a greater responsibility for community and economic development. They and their alumni are raising money to purchase abandoned buildings. They are relocating college facilities, like bookstores and residence halls, to buoy up urban cores. They are working to better connect faculty experts with local entrepreneurs. Civic leaders say they are looking to colleges not simply to spruce up their city centers but also to help position them in an economy that values smarts more than strength. Because they operate on thin financial margins, without the buffer of a large endowment, leaders of small, private colleges say they have to be especially cautious in taking on economic-development projects, and they also take care not to undertake projects that deviate too far from their core educational missions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A