The Akron Beacon Journal’s August 23, 2020 editorial about the University of Akron’s strategy for moving forward references Our Towns’ reference to the importance of a research university in a town’s success. Douglas, the Journal’s retired editorial page editor, sees the recent changes on campus pointing to a smaller university largely focused on awarding four-year degrees. He posits this suggests UA putting aside the ambition of serving as a distinctive research institution along with the potential of “biomaterials” as an economic cluster.
The Fallowses have found that research universities especially attract and develop talent that spreads throughout a region, boosting economic activity and the quality of life. So, he concludes, “all of us lose something when the University of Akron diminishes its graduate programs, slashes the ranks of its faculty and sends talent away.”