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CAMBRIDGE, MA-Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, issued a letter to the faculty, students and staff regarding the current financial crisis and its effect on Harvard’s ability to continue doing business as usual. The president says, in the letter, “Our principal sources of revenue are all likely to be affected by these new economic [problems].”

The letter focused on the collective tightening of Harvard’s belt over the next year or two, while emphasizing the endangerment of the endowment. Returns and donations from alumni account for the coffer, which in light of the current financial crisis, will become strained. The endowment, the president points out in the letter, “has come to fund more than a third of [Harvard's] annual operating budget.” Faust, in the statement, looks toward a possible worsening of the economy, saying, “we need to be prepared to absorb unprecedented endowment losses and plan for a period of greater financial constraint.”

In response, Harvard has begun evaluating all of its revenue streams, as well as investments. “We are assessing all aspects of our ambitious capital planning program, including the phasing and development of our campus in Allston,” Faust says in the letter.

Allston–and the neighborhoods surrounding it–have become the investment of choice over the last few years for competing schools, Boston University, Boston College and Harvard University. In June, Boston Redevelopment Authority approved <b revamping the North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning, which provides information to help the BRA address and direct general real estate growth and development in the neighborhood. Part of this process is meant to incorporate Harvard’s Institutional Master Plan and cohesively work within the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Boston College purchased 2000 Commonwealth Ave. in neighboring Brighton, amid community outcries.

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