I write to make a modest proposal: I have felt for some time that Princeton and other great universities should use substantial portions of their endowments to establish a partnership program with colleges and universities that primarily serve disadvantaged students.
While Princeton’s efforts at diversity and outreach are laudable, they are not enough. I urge the trustees to consider establishing programs that would allow others to share in the bounty with which Princeton has been blessed. For example:
- Identify and partner with sister schools that would receive grants to improve educational facilities and faculty in areas where Princeton has expertise, such as math, physics, science, engineering, and other areas.
- Establish a program for students mutually selected from partner schools to come to Princeton for their final two years.
- Create incentives for Princeton faculty to teach at partner schools for a year.
- Work to improve and develop the curricula at partner schools.
- Make direct grants to partner schools to provide scholarships for students.
- Create a pipeline via alums to internships and job opportunities for students at sister schools.
I come at this almost assuredly naively, and I am certain there are a multitude of difficulties to overcome to make something like this work. (What a great thesis project.) But why not try? I hope other alums will support this idea.