John Fry

Drexel University President's Blog

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The Value of Higher Education

There is a bipartisan effort in Washington, D.C. to require colleges and universities to disclose comprehensive data about students’ earnings once they graduate. This is a worthy idea, given the sizeable investment students and/or parents make when it comes to higher education.

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Inclusion And Economic Growth Go Hand In Hand At Drexel

I was honored to speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Policy Forum last week, and introduce our former mayor, Michael Nutter, and Dennis Lower of Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis. I was asked to speak about inclusion and economic growth, which we at Drexel see as two sides of the same coin. You can read the full speech here.

Tax Reform Measure Will Harm Higher Education

As I mentioned in a note to the Drexel community last week, the tax reform bill in Congress will seriously harm the nation’s colleges and universities. But Margaret Spellings, the president of the University of North Carolina and a former U.S. Secretary of Education in the George W. Bush administration, did an excellent job of detailing the widespread damage this bill will cause higher education in this op-ed in The Chronicle of Education.

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University City District at 20: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

The University City District was founded 20 years ago under the basic principle of clean and safe streets. But today’s UCD now offers so much more, far surpassing its motto of “Changing places, changing lives.”

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Drexel Square Groundbreaking The Start of Something Big

The vision of Schuylkill Yards officially became a reality during the groundbreaking Wednesday for a new public park that will serve as a gateway to Drexel University and University City. Continue reading

Tax Bill Will Increase College Costs

The tax reform plan released last week by House of Representatives will have a negative impact on all higher education institutions, including Drexel University. There are several harmful provisions, including: an excise tax on private university endowments; elimination of tax-exempt municipal bonds, which would increase construction costs; elimination of the student-loan interest deduction; elimination of tax-free tuition reimbursement from employers; and an excise tax on private university endowments. Continue reading

Drexel Professor On Trauma From Terror Attacks

Yasmine Awais, an assistant professor in Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, was in New York when a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan mowed down bikers and pedestrians in a rented truck on Halloween, killing eight people. Meanwhile, a lone gunman shot and killed 26 people inside a church near San Antonio on Nov. 5, including eight members from one family. Continue reading

Schuylkill Yards Is Prime For Amazon

We believe Schuylkill Yards makes a lot of sense for Amazon to locate its HQ2. But this piece in Forbes by Lauren deLisa Coleman makes a powerful case as to why Schuylkill Yards is a perfectly suited for Amazon. Among the many interesting details is a reference about work towards micro-grids that would enable Schuylkill Yards to have its own self-sustaining electrical system.  Continue reading

The Faces Of Urban Change

The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University has chosen three extraordinary Philadelphians to be its inaugural Urban Innovation Fellows. Michael O’Bryan, Chris Spahr and Priya E. Mammen are working at the cutting edge of urban change. Harris Steinberg, the executive director at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, details their projects in this recommended op-ed in The Inquirer. The fellows will also discuss their projects at the first Drexel Dialogues event on Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Upping Our Game

After an intense year, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has stepped up its efforts to bolster the region’s economic strength and enhance its competitive advantage. I detailed some of the efforts – including our pitch to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Philadelphia – in a speech at the Chamber’s annual meeting on Tuesday.


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