By Jesse Saffron
In June, the Pope Center’s senior writer, Jesse Saffron, wrote an article entitled“Universities Are Not Economic Saviors, So Let’s Stop Pretending That They Are.” The University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors had just approved the creation of a 328-acre “Millennial” research park at East Carolina University; Saffron questioned whether ECU is the right institution and whether the surrounding Greenville area provides the right economic environment for such a park.
Saffron received a firestorm of criticism from many involved with the Greenville project, who argued that he does not understand the Greenville environment or the nature of economic development. He was also invited to speak before the UNC system’s Economic Transformation Council on July 23, 2015. The following is a transcript of his speech: