Against the Grain

Cities and the Big Business of Higher Education

Universities are one of the most hallowed institutions in our society — but critics argue they’re closer to hedge funds that conduct classes. Higher education is largely tax-exempt, based on the idea that universities benefit the public at large, including the communities where they are located. Yet urbanist and historian Davarian Baldwin argues that cities pay a very high price for universities which, whether public or private, are engines of profit, encroaching on adjacent communities and exploiting low wage labor, while grossly subsidized by their host cities. (Encore presentation.)


Davarian L. Baldwin, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities Bold Type Books, 2021


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