Karin Fisher has this detailed report on partnerships between how smaller colleges adn their communities in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Old mill towns and declining manufacturing centers, in the Rust Belt's former company towns and in the rural South, small, private liberal-arts institutions like King's are assuming a greater responsibility for community and economic development. They and their alumni are raising money to purchase abandoned buildings. They are relocating college facilities, like bookstores and residence halls, to buoy up urban cores. They are working to better connect faculty experts with local entrepreneurs ...
But unlike research universities and land-grant institutions, which have long viewed regional economic development as central to their missions, most liberal-arts colleges are relative newcomers to this work, and they face real constraints. In contrast to powerhouse institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, which is largely credited with remaking West Philadelphia, these smaller colleges may not have the wealth to make upfront investments or to absorb the risk incurred in such deals.
The modest size of their endowments ... mean that money spent on community projects must also benefit those on the campus. Faculty members are often expected to carry heavy teaching loads, leaving them with little time or inclination to engage in economic-development efforts. In addition, small colleges typically lack the administrative structure to support such efforts.