Why I’m Speaking Up ‘Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower’


In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities Are Plundering Our Cities by Davarian L Baldwin

Printed in March of 2021.

The ebook I’ve been speaking as much as my increased ed community is Davarian L Baldwin’s Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower. Baldwin, an American Research professor at Trinity School, has written a devastating critique of the city college.

Opposite to the traditional knowledge that universities are universally native internet positives, Baldwin builds a case that establishments of upper studying all too usually injury as a lot as enhance the communities by which they’re embedded.

Baldwin’s argument on the problematic relationship between residents and concrete universities is grounded in a number of case research. The ebook incorporates in-depth chapters on Trinity (Hartford), Yale (New Haven), U. of Chicago (Chicago’s South Facet), NYU and Columbia (NYC), and ASU (downtown Phoenix campus). College students of upper schooling will be taught a lot concerning the institutional historical past, progress, and challenges of those universities in all of those chapters.

Among the many city city/robe themes that Baldwin explores, three stand out. The primary is the historical past of the city universities profiled to try to wall themselves off from the low-income and largely nonwhite populations of the city cores by which they reside (or have expanded into).

Whereas acknowledging that the latest development amongst college leaders has been to embrace city group/campus connections, Baldwin concludes that rhetoric and actions seldom line up. In his estimation, rich metropolis faculties proceed to assemble bodily and cultural obstacles between themselves and the communities by which they’re located.

A second theme Baldwin identifies as widespread throughout rich universities in racially and economically various cities is the ever-present hazard of gentrification. Universities seldom prioritize funding or constructing low-income housing for non-students, non-faculty, or non-staff (everybody else) of their capital budgets.

As city universities broaden into their cities, native rents inevitably go up, and the availability of inexpensive housing diminishes. Household-run companies, a few of which had been current for many years, can not afford the rising rents. Minority-owned shops and eating places get changed by company chain suppliers.

The expansion of college policing into college adjoining neighborhoods is a 3rd theme explored in Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower. In efforts to fight fears of crime amongst college students, dad and mom, and college staff, a handful of city faculties have gained expanded policing powers. College police are gaining arrest powers not solely on the standard campus core however on blocks by which college students dwell, or universities have expanded their workplace house.

Whereas expanded patrols are welcome by some neighborhoods, there may be additionally the notion that campus police might be heavy-handed and tone-deaf when interacting with group members.

Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower is a ebook that I very a lot need to focus on with my mates in increased ed. That is a kind of books that largely goes towards what I believed I understood and believed concerning the function of universities in society.

If you happen to had requested me concerning the affect of city universities on their cities previous to studying Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, I might have given an upbeat evaluation. I might have informed you that universities deliver vibrancy, jobs, and tradition to the locations by which they reside.

Positive, I might have maybe talked about issues concerning the potential detrimental affect of non-profit faculties being exempt from property and different taxes on native revenues and companies. However I might have argued that the lack of some tax {dollars} is nearly at all times completely outweighed by the native advantages that universities deliver.

Now I’m not so positive. Not that I’m totally persuaded by Within the Shadow of the Ivory Tower. I believe the ebook would have been stronger if it had extra totally explored the positives, in addition to negatives, of city universities in college cities.

Nonetheless, this ebook has me questioning a few of my core assumptions.

I need to be taught extra.

What are you studying?


Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

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