You know there are significant economic problems when Harvard—an institution known for having the largest foundation endowment in the US world–starts looking for ways to cut back. I got an email from the president this morning outlining the ways they are trying to cut expenses. They plan to slow the construction on a science complex and possibly scale back their plans, offer early retirement options, look for ways to streamline operations, but still keep tuition increases in check.
Most notable in the email was the closing paragraph–a reminder that we are defined by what is in our heads and hearts rather than our bank accounts:
In a time of dramatic and often disquieting change, it is important that all of us remember the enduring purposes of universities and the enduring legacy of this one in particular. We are a community of distinguished scholars, talented students, and dedicated staff — teachers and learners defined by our ideas and discoveries, not by our financial resources. Let us keep those purposes foremost in our minds as we pursue our work together in changing ways for changing times.