Robby Sheehan: Town-Gown Council needs your input

In 2003, Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach launched “Partners for Progress in the Community.”

Part of this initiative was the creation of a working group bringing together members of the surrounding community and University leadership. Later known as the Town-Gown Council, it would become the information-sharing and problem-solving body that today is actively engaged in addressing topics of mutual concern.

These range from student-community partnerships to safety initiatives, public policies, and connections between the University’s academic departments and local organizations.

The TGC has worked diligently over the past several years and is now beginning to see the fruits of its labor.

Neighborhood complaints have declined, and the University’s involvement in the life of the community is at an all-time high.

Recently, the TGC took its message “on the road” and encouraged the public to share their thoughts through bi-annual town hall forums. Many of these recommendations have been implemented, and we look forward to soliciting new ideas in the future.

For the Council to become even more effective, however, it is important for its members to have an accurate idea of how town-gown relationships are perceived and what can be done to strengthen them.

We are excited to announce that SU has partnered with Ohio State University-Mansfield to gain even more community feedback via its new Optimal College Town Assessment.  The Council will use this in developing an engagement plan to continue to strengthen community ties and relationships in the next decade.

There is much to be proud of in our university town, and SU values the solid partnerships that have developed with surrounding communities, local governments, businesses and others.  We are optimistic about what lies ahead, and your information will be important to our progress.

Community members may take the survey through Nov. 30 at: http://my.collegetownassessment.com/survey/salisburyuniversity. For more about the Town-Gown Council or to determine who your representative is, please contact me at rjsheehan@salisbury.edu  or by phone at 410-546-4127.

Robby Sheehan, chairman of the Town-Gown Council, is Director of Government and Community Relations at Salisbury University.

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