10/2/12: Class Presentations

Note: for a description of this assignment (the first paper of the semester) as well as full references for readings mentioned, please see Syllabus.


Compares Michael Porter’s anchor institution definition with others: anchors hold significant investments in community, making it diff. to pull up stakes and leave. Economic position seems to have brought anchors to current attention. If not for hard economic times, there may not have been such attention. Where to from there?

Other definitions:
Rutheiser-organizations with long-term investments to transform cities, neighborhoods and regions.
Weber—anchors, because of mission, have invested money into communities.
Definitions have changed: where to in the future?

Strengths and weaknesses of anchor types:
“Eds and meds” strengths: specialized workforces, recent interest in growing communities—many alums stay in the area after college. Education provided: eds and meds generally have outreach.
Drawbacks of eds and meds: tension from community members who don’t benefit directly from anchor institution.

Cultural institutions benefits: branding, tourist attraction.
Weakness: more visitors than permanent residents attracted. Hiring not as meaningful/permanent as eds and meds.

Framework in Kauper-Brown piece modified original M. Porter article—tailors original framework to assess health institutions. Lawrence wants to use and frame as criteria to determine how well any anchor is doing.

For his personal work, framework could be very helpful. example of Dudley St Neighborhood Initiative (a CDC organization). Looks at Kauper-Brown’s 9 different activities/roles with regards to DSNI. Seems to be doing many things right. As far as effectiveness, seems to be working well. Smaller scale a potential limiting factor–limited economic power, dependence on government- and grant-funding.

Anchor institutions: strong sense of place, less likely to leave quickly. Eds and meds what most people think about. Phrase <10 years old. Definitely expanding to other entities—nonprofits, large employers, etc.
Partnership key, and focus on negotiation. Made her think of conflict resolution class, because particularly with Tufts and community, many partnerships seem to be a case-by-case arrangement. More can be achieved through partnering.
Partners focusing on what they have in terms of shared values.
PILOT—seems to be balancing well. Tufts providing community benefit, Somerville providing services.
Where is she going w/ research? Impact on built environment—how is that shaped by anchors? Formerly worked for A Better City, a Boston-based anchor. May provide case study looking at how they effect transportation infrastructure.
Showed video from A Better City: “Build It and They Will Fill It.” ABC created “scorecard” to grade captial improvements.

Wide gamut of definitions of anchor institutions. Simply “rooted” or located in place; to modified “by reason of mission invest capital or relationships,” significant investment, difficult to pull up stakes, and the 10-bullet-point list in the UPenn case study.
UMaine Machias as case study. Important anchor in its region. Other Machias anchors: schools, several churches. Nearby towns have small military bases, decommisioned but repurposed. Military bases & prisons important anchors—e.g. prisons providing fire services in forests, in an area with many trees and few firefighters. Takeaway: single definition of an anchor perhaps not necessary. Different places have different needs.
Handout w/ framework adapted from Solvell.
Anchors and social responsibility. Amanda Wittman’s examples of many diff sizes. Will smaller anchors be intimidated by examples presented by large institutions? (We always use examples of UPenn, Syracuse, etc. What about institutions with smaller endowments, less ability?)
Future research? looking at what is going to happen in next 30 years in higher ed. Synergy between readings for this class and for education classes. “Creating more ‘we’ space.” How does higher ed use “other” forms of capital to encourage/embrace social diversity in its population? Lots in literature about money, less about “other” capital.
Implications for smaller institutions fixed in place in cities as well as anchors in smaller communities?

Definition of AI: doesn’t leave community, rootedness, human/econ/other kinds of capital, role in sharing values in community.
2 types of rootedness: physical and social. Physical—the university’s land presence (as noted by G. Proakis). Benefit: reliable access to facilities for community. Social rootedness is permanent relationship w/ community. CDCs included in this def.

Boston BID (Business Improvement District) can be seen as AI—funded by local businesses. Boston only has one, other cities have many. Only directly benefits district where it’s located.
Strength of rootedness-AIs can have long-term investments/projects. Example of BID bringing streetlights to dark neighborhoods recently.
Rootedness of values-case in Japan where university moved from a community, but community still takes pride in university’s former presence. Land regeneration into low-income housing, playgrounds, etc.
Publicity-challenge to define who “public” is and who they should provide service to. Ex: Tufts seems to benefit Somerville more than Medford; Medford residents really only benefit physically.

Used same model as Sarah, looking at diff types of capital provided by Boston BID services. For sharing values, interested in how Boston BID is funded by business owners, reciprocal relationship. Each player needs to understand their own needs as well as those of others. Anchors can create shared values in the community.

Brytanee: Spelman College as an Anchor Institution
Began with anchor institution in mind. Spelman College, historically black women’s college in Atlanta. Attended for a semester. Gated university—many students wouldn’t walk though surrounding neighborhoods or shop at local businesses. Part of AUC (Atlanta University Consortium)—group of historically black colleges. Spelman was only school with gate. Surrounding neighborhood predominantly low-income, African-American.
Within a larger context—HBCUs historically. Interactions between students/non-student African-Americans. Also, Spelman is anchor in community.
Questions: 1. How does Spelman maintain its anchor status? 2. In post-racial, post-gender (supposedly) society, does it still have a place? 3. How does Spelman maintain relationship w/ surrounding universities and other HBCUs?
On Spelman website: “community partners” page. Students required to commit to 250 hours of community service during college. Community partnership with AUC.
AUC’s connection w/ surrounding neighborhood: created timeline of events. Lots of actions seem sort of token. Olympics brought $14 million investment in pedestrian corridor. Difficult to see how universities/partners/communities work together, not very streamlined. Some surrounding neighborhoods ignored, while others receive lots of service/attention. Federal dollars being brought in through HUD, partnership w/ Spelman to rejuvenate devastated neighborhoods.

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