The New York Times reports [why do they require a login?] that towns around colleges are just as important as the colleges themselves in attracting faculty and students:
Colleges have traditionally tempted top students with ivy-covered campuses, towering Gothic buildings and up-to-date student centers. But nowadays, there is a sense that a beautiful campus is not enough. An alluring college town is seen as necessary as well.
Our small town has a university but the town itself has had some difficulties over the past few years, with business and store closures. This past weekend, a 150 year-old building, on the main downtown corner, burnt and was completely destroyed. No one was injured.
[Note: Project Rebuild is focused on helping out those who were left homeless by the fire.]
Perhaps this is also an opportunity for us to rethink the important connection between the university, the town and what attracts and retains people. What could be built on this key intersection that would enhance a sense of community? Should it be retail; residential; a town square?
Via Christian Long, at Think: Lab