Will Harvard do what Penn did?

If Harvard is serious about being a "partner" in Allston and being a part of the community, it could learn a lot from what UPenn has done. Harvard president Drew Faust saw this first-hand when she was a professor there, but is she ready to follow suit herself?

Thanks to the Globe for this reminder about the good that a university can do while it does good for itself.

Penn's $500m project could be Harvard's model - The Boston Globe

"Penn never pretended to be performing public service. Its massive investments in the community, school officials said, were designed to improve the university. It stopped making excuses, fronted the money for projects large and small through good and recessionary times, and got the job done.

At the same time it began making risky forays into real estate, Penn started a public elementary and middle school to attract families and stabilize the neighborhood. It planted thousands of spruce and silver maples along barren sidewalks. It gave faculty and staff cash incentives to buy homes there, and some of its top administrators moved in.

Even now, construction continues, just as it did during the downturn in 2001 and 2002."

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