From my window in the University of Pennsylvania's research administration offices, I can see a small but rapidly changing slice of our campus. Three blocks away, a new biomedical building is being adorned with a brick and limestone facing. Behind the library directly across the street, a huge construction crane towers over the site of the latest addition to our hospital. The block-square parking lot next door is the future location of what many consider a critically needed campus center to house student activities. It is a scene not uncommon at many large research universities--still expanding, still confident that the success of the last decade can sustain them through the 1990s.

But as I sit down to begin my day's work, it occurs to me that the resources needed to sustain the vast enterprise of research, education, and health care on our campuses are far from assured. While the '80s...

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