Both of the news mags I subscribe to (Business Week and the Economist) ran splashy articles in part about Penn and its president, Amy Gutmann. However, both insinuated that the spending spree of the Ivies is a little out of control; witness the titles of the articles: "The Dangerous Wealth of the Ivy League" and "Just Add Cash." To their credit, both magazines note the Ivies stepped-up effort to extend sufficient financial aid to deserving low-income applicants, as well as the multiplier effect on research on so many all-star brains are assembled in one place.

Still, it's fair to ask whether the rich getting richer, in terms of prestigious universities and the students they serve, is a good thing for society. It's also fair to wonder aloud what'll happen if scientific research in this country ends up getting concentrated into just a handful of elite institutions that can afford the big facilities and salaries. Count me among Penn alum who will keep their eye on their alma mater to make sure all this clout is used for good and not evil.
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