So I think in the next administration, in the next four years, we have to stay on this path in order to solidify the economic pick-up. We've got the policy right. But in the same way that we have become an international hub for bio-tech, and that has an economic pickup — you know, it's not just the brain power but we're making things here — we gotta sustain this so that the world begins to understand that this is where it is happening in clean and alternative energy. I think we can, but we do have to stay on this path for a little while longer. And then, you know, it'll have a life of its own.
THE PHOENIX Let's talk about higher education for a second. The good news, is that the state got the gift of a law school, essentially. However, say, 10 years from now, will that still be sustainable when so much of Amherst and Boston is — geez, I was out there a couple of weeks ago — crumbling?
PATRICK You mean the University of Amherst? UMass Amherst?
THE PHOENIX Parts of UMass Amherst, and larger parts of UMass Boston. I mean, the sea air, there's just a bunch of issues there.
PATRICK The garage . . .
THE PHOENIX Yeah, I guess what I'm saying is, folding the law school into the system is an incredibly valid goal, but is it going to be economically sustainable?
PATRICK Yes, yes. First of all, it couldn't have passed through the traps it had to pass through to get the approval it did without being able to make that case. For all of my own and others' interest in being able to receive that gift, if we couldn't afford it, and we couldn't afford to maintain it, it wouldn't effectively pay for itself, it was not going to be a wise gift to receive. There was a lot of analysis done internally and independently that validated that. I, and more to the point, the board of UMass, the board of higher ed, were confident in that analysis.
I think also that in many respects, from the perspective of the objectors who said that UMass — I'm talking about some of the downtown law schools here — who said it's going to mess up the competitive landscape; well, that's what competition is. Sometimes you have to have a disruptive force in the competitive landscape. But come on. We had a law school in the landscape before it became the UMass law school and we have the same law school afterwards.
Now, we have, with the help of the legislature, passed a higher-ed bond bill, which is enabling the investments in re-building all of the campuses, and I include that when I talk about this historic level of investment in our infrastructure. We're not gonna be able to do it all, don't get me wrong, Peter. There is much more need than there is money to do it right now.
But, can I just build off the question? Because the other day I mentioned the bond rating. The other day I was out at the town hall meeting in Roxbury and someone said, "What does the bond rating have to do with me in my community?" And I pointed out the [Melnea] Cass Rink project. I don't know if you know Roxbury at all.