Farrington will serve on the Community Affairs and Development subcommittee of the Department of Community and Economic Development transition team.
"In his tenure as president at Lehigh University, Greg Farrington has played an instrumental role in the economic development of the Lehigh Valley," Rendell said. "We welcome Greg's insight, vision and ability to create productive partnerships to our economic development transition team."
Since becoming president of Lehigh in 1998, Farrington has worked closely with Bethlehem Mayor Don Cunningham to spur development efforts on the South Side.
"This sends a clear message about the role higher education can play in economic development of an area," Farrington said, expressing delight with the appointment. "We’ve been so active in the community, I’m pleased it’s being noticed."
Farrington said the appointment to an economic development team is logical and welcome. "I have a very genuine interest in the DCED," he said. "They have been great partners with us in our efforts at revitalizing the South Side."
According to Farrington, working with the DCED transition team should give people a sense that higher education and economic development are very closely tied together. "What Lehigh is doing on the South Side in terms of economic development really matters," he said. "Universities should partner with the community. It can have a real impact. It gives you a real sense about what we are doing here and how it is working."
Farrington is quick to point out that despite the impact a university can have on a region’s economy, it needs to truly be a partnership effort to succeed. That’s a lesson he is happy to share with the Rendell administration. He credits several phases of the successful revitalization initiative, including the new streetlights and beautification project, as partnership efforts with the Cunningham administration, the South Side merchants, and the state.