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ERIC Number: EJ847579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-26
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Corporate Ties Help Build a University from the Ground Up
Fischer, Karin
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n40 pA18 Jun 2009
Once named one of the nation's most economically distressed cities, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has since revived its fortunes, repopulating its vacant downtown with offices and restaurants and capitalizing on its strength as a state capital to build a more stable employment base. Now, in the next stage of its economic rebirth, the city wants to reinvent itself as a college town. In 2005, after local community and business leaders pressed for the creation of a local college closely tied to regional work-force needs, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology opened. This spring the private, nonprofit institution, supported largely by city and state grants and local philanthropy, graduated a class of 13, its first with students who started as freshmen. Its advocates believe the university can help stanch an outmigration of college graduates and end an underproduction of science and technology degrees. The university's business backers--who helped draft the curriculum and who teach many of the courses--also hope it can build up the local high-tech labor force. But Harrisburg University also has its skeptics, who question whether an upstart institution is needed when 20 other colleges, including Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, in nearby Middletown, sit within easy reach of the city center. Complicating matters is the continuing national economic slump, which has threatened the financial well-being of many established colleges, never mind a fledgling university without a large endowment. Indeed, campus leaders do not expect the university to hit its break-even enrollment of 500 students for another year. Amid challenges, however, the institution has won over some former skeptics. "They're still young," says Don L. Francis, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, "but I think they've done a good job of developing a niche."
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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
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania