One big takeaway from your article for me: prosperous college towns are a big part of the solution to helping the rural poor (the supposed Trump base).
College towns create entrepreneurship opportunities away from giant urban areas, in the middle of otherwise economic vacuums. Locals can particpitate directly in a global marketplace. College towns also create secondary economic activity. For example, the market for home improvement in Charlottesville has been booming in the last 5 years. We have been trying to get someone to add a screened porch to our Charlottesville home for months, and our preferred person is just so ridiculously booked.
The version of the US economy where all the smarty-pants educated folks are walled into 3 major cities is an economic wasteland. We need more places like Charlottesville, Blacksburg VA, Madison WI, etc to grow our national economy and get more folks involved.