Harvard's latest Allston surprise: Move the engineering school there

Not that, in the greater scheme of things, that's as earth-shattering as, say, secretly buying up large swaths of the neighborhood right under the mayor's nose or anything, but in ten years of proposing plans and canceling them, the U has never once said anything about moving the engineering school across the river and now, boom, they'll be in 02134 instead of 02138 within five years.

Both Allston residents and engineering types are shocked, although for different reasons.

Longtime Allston resident Harry Mattison writes:

The reason I find this so surprising is that it shows how Harvard has two different planning processes - a public one and a private one - and that at any time the public plan can get thrown out when Harvard decides to unveil another piece of the secret plan.

Engineering profs, meanwhile, tell the Crimson they just don't know how they'll survive on the tundra all the way on the other side of the mighty Charles:

"I believe that should we be transported across the river, our model—our paradigm, really—cannot work," said Steven C. Wofsy, area dean for environmental science and engineering.

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    Seekrit plans

    There is no "Great Secret Harvard Plan". They keep changing their minds as priorities (and so some degree power) shift around the University.

    Eventually some school or several departments will move to Allston, but I wouldn't count on who it is until the buildings are complete and the movers are booked...

    Why not just kick them down Mass Ave?

    The reason you might want to study engineering at Harvard is so that you get to study engineering at Harvard. If they're going to push the students out of the main campus, then those students have far less reason to come to Harvard as opposed to MIT.

    An undergraduate who goes to

    An undergraduate who goes to Harvard is buying two things for the whopping tuition:

    1. a guaranteed honors GPA (useful for getting into a professional school), and
    2. access to the Harvard alumni network

    The engineering school could move to Allston, Roxbury, or even North Adams without affecting these two products. (Okay, North Adams is out because it would adversely impact the availability of nightlife.)

    What does Harry Mattison want?

    What does Harry Mattison want, other than to complain every time Harvard does anything on the Boston side of the river? For years, he's been complaining that Harvard refuses to develop their Allston property, and now that Harvard comes out with a plan to develop the area, he's complaining some more. I'm getting tired of his shtick.