Don't hold your breath for Harvard's expansion

In her speech today to the Harvard community, I was glad to hear Faust allude to ways that Harvard might find that a new and more engaged partnership in Allston would be consistent with the ideals of the University. She noted that people at Harvard "can make a great difference" in solving problems including "persistent inequality" and mentions a focus at Harvard on the "future of cities". A paragraph of the speech discussed Harvard's
"need to engage the world, locally and globally — as responsible citizens committed to public purposes, as students and scholars ready to help solve complex problems with rigor and imagination, as people who live by the ethical standards we teach, as individuals who repay the privilege of being in a rare place like this by using our knowledge to help advance the well-being of people in the world beyond our walls."
At the same time, she makes clear that there is going to be a lot less physical growth at Harvard in the near and not-so-near future which directly impacts Harvard's empty acres in Allston:

"We have grown rapidly, and have a structural revenue gap to confront. We have increasingly depended on income tied closely to volatile markets, and have learned costly lessons about risk. Expense reductions are a necessity, and a fact of life...

we have slowed our ambitious capital plans — most obviously, with regard to our long-term aspirations in Allston. Overall, we expect to reduce by roughly half the capital spending we had originally anticipated for the next several years...

To succeed in supporting what is most important, we’ll need to decide there are certain things we will not do, and certain areas where we will have to make do with less.

we need to move — promptly but thoughtfully — toward what others have called “a new normal.” That means not entertaining the illusion that, if we’d just close our eyes and wait a bit, our economic situation would simply bounce back to where it was."

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if that also means they're going to stop buying property in the area.