Chancellor Gary S. May sent the following letter to Brett Lee, mayor of the city of Davis, on July 17, with copies going to all the other City Council members and City Manager Mike Webb.
I am writing in response to ongoing communication from the city regarding the 2018 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and other matters of mutual interest. As I noted previously, the housing plan in the LRDP provides many opportunities for our students to live on campus, and there are many benefits from these investments. In light of these investments and activities, it’s more important than ever that we identify and implement processes that support greater partnership and collaboration on matters of mutual interest with shared accountability.
Today I write to suggest three actions to strengthen city-campus interactions.
First, I propose that we hold an annual Town/Gown meeting where we each report on activities of mutual interest. Topics for the campus might include enrollment, housing, transportation, student support resources and other activities with shared impact, opportunity or challenges.
As part of the annual meeting, my second proposal is for an annual joint housing report. In this report, we would each address the status of current housing projects and provide data and plans about new housing projects that extend out at least 10 years. As an early indication of our commitment to this new report, I have asked Vice Chancellor Kelly Ratliff to provide a high-level overview of all proposed student housing associated with the 2018 LRDP by Aug. 1.
My last proposal is that we jointly convene a city-campus workgroup that would meet at least quarterly to engage in discussions, offer advice, and, where appropriate, partner to address issues and concerns and leverage opportunities and successes. I suggest that we charge and convene the workgroup by Sept. 7 and that the first priority be a recommendation and implementation plan for the annual Town/Gown meeting and housing report.
In closing, I want to reiterate my commitment to actively engage the surrounding community in pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes for the university and local neighborhoods. I look forward to working with you and your colleagues in this regard.
Gary S. May