The New York Times recently reported how universities have helped revitalize the neighborhoods that surround them, citing Clark University’s partnership with Main South as an example.
Below is an excerpt of the Nov. 20 New York Times article, “Universities Look to Strengthen the Places They Call Home”:
“At Clark University in Worcester, Mass., Jack Foley, a university vice president, has worked closely with local officials to build public schools and recreational facilities and to encourage homeownership near the campus. Clark students engage in tutoring programs and other assistance to those living in the neighborhood.
“Mr. Foley said the university sought to ‘partner with the community, not dominate it.’ The goal is to ‘create a sense of real opportunity for families, businesses and Clark students,’ he said.
“Officials in Worcester have been able to use a variety of federal, state and private funding to create new housing, assist first-time home buyers and spur retail development. Clark’s contributions include expanding campus housing to get students out of neighborhood rentals, which makes the nearby community more appealing to home buyers. The university also trains teachers and is helping to establish new neighborhood public schools.
“Clark also has been offering free tuition to local residents, a $14 million benefit to the community since 1995, Mr. Foley said. As with most higher-education institutions, Clark’s educational properties are tax-exempt, but the school has made an annual $3 million payment in lieu of taxes and other in-kind contributions to the city for the past 20 years.”