According to the Globe, Newton is facing a budget shortfall and looking to BC to help fill the gap. While I am all for being a good neighbor, BC should be very careful in how and what they do. Given the political climate in Massachusetts, BC should not allow for any precedent for taxes on their property or endowment. If BC agrees to any additional payments, it should be under specific terms and in exchange for leeway in the development plans and on-campus activities. As a reminder: Newton is the reason we can't have more night events on campus (specifically Thursday night ESPN football games). Newton is also the reason most of the new buildings are on lower campus and not near College Road. (I wonder how much of Newton's shortfalls can be traced back to frivolous lawsuits they've had against BC over the years?) If BC bails out Newton, they better get something concrete in return.
I love the Boston area and Massachusetts, but the growing sentiment to go after the schools is very disconcerting, short-sighted and dangerous. This editorial lays out my fear. The higher-education industry is one of the stabilizing forces in the area. Attacking BC and the other schools with new taxes puts them at a disadvantage. If these schools become less desirable (because of costs or value) then their endowments, their investments in the community, and their staffs will suffer. That hurts Massachusetts.
The not in my backyard mentality and soak the rich (in this case rich school) is never a good long-term solution. BC should use this moment to do some good for our neighbors, heal their relationship with Newton, and change the perception of the school within the community.