In an effort to stay competitive with other top-notch universities, Yale University announced earlier this week that it will spend more than $500 million on upgrading its science programs and facilities.
That amount is more than twice that of a similar initiative launched at Harvard last spring.
With Yale is known for its humanities--only one-quarter of Yale students major in science or engineering--the initiative, announced on Wednesday, may serve to give Yale a reputation for its sciences as well.
"I regard the rebuilding of the sciences as up there with the most important initiatives in the modern history of the university," Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead told the Yale Daily News. "It's not a little bandage. We're advancing science across the board."
About 40 percent of the money will be for the creation of five new science buildings. The remainder will be spent to enhance current facilities.
The announcement coincides with a decision by John Malone, a 1963 Yale graduate in engineering, to donate $24 million for a new engineering building at Yale.
"This ambitious plan for science and engineering is a crucial element in Yale's strategy to remain among the very small number of universities that are considered the finest in the world," said Yale President Richard C. Levin in a press release.
Here in Cambridge, Harvard is also in the midst of a $200 million project to upgrade science facilities. Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles last spring earmarked some of those funds for a new center in genomics and proteomics and a center for imaging and mesoscale Structures--areas considered to be some of the most rapidly expanding in science.