Rethinking ‘Town & Gown’

How the pandemic is reshaping long-standing relationships among higher ed and local communities (EWA Radio Episode 273)

As both municipal and higher education leaders tried to fend of COVID-19, the two camps sometimes found themselves at cross-purposes when it came to fiscal and public health challenges, reports Sara Hebel, co-founder of Open Campus. How has the pandemic redefined longstanding relationships among postsecondary institutions and their surrounding communities? Where is the data on how much colleges actually contribute to local coffers, and what’s the true price of their tax exemptions? What happens when you add big-revenue athletics programs into the mix? And how can education reporters find unexpected sources beyond the expected college presidents and booster group leaders? Hebel, an EWA Reporting Fellow, also shares story ideas for higher education reporters looking toward students’ return to campus in the coming fall.

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