Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The University of Pittsburgh is tied for third and Carnegie Mellon University was ranked 19 in a recently released list of colleges and universities that are good neighbors. The study released by Westfield State College placed the university of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern Californian at the top of the list with Pitt tied with the University of Dayton for the next two spots. The study took into account several aspects of being a good neighbor including real dollars invested, catalyst effect on others, faculty and student involvement in community service, and recognition of the impact of the institutions by members of the community. Researcher Michael Konig says Pitt jumped up near the top because of its community based programs including health care and entrepreneurial outreach efforts. He says it is not enough for schools to just pump money into the economy. They need to be engaged in making the community better and engaged directly with the people in the community. He says “universities are in the knowledge business…. and the community needs to be included.” The study is a follow up of a 2006 study that ranked CMU 16th and Pitt 18th. The ranking comes at a time when mayoral candidates and some city council members are grappling with the best way to pull payments in lieu of taxes from universities and other non profits in the city.