The 2020 Power of ITGA
Second in a series on the value of ITGA and its world-class leadership
By Joe Speidel, University of Vermont
The ITGA has been valuable to me and my colleagues in Vermont as a way to connect with people and information that help us work on improving our town-gown challenges and find new opportunities. What we've found is that we are not that different- many universities, and the cities they are part of, face the same kind of challenges that we do. Where ITGA is most helpful is in providing people to talk about how they're approached the same issues, pointing us in a helpful direction around several areas. That help with ideas has come from a variety of sources: the annual conference, regional gatherings, contact information for colleagues, a listing of best practices on the website, and an email list that allows access to colleagues.
Here are a few examples. In the last several years we've asked for help with creating a food pantry for food insecure students; regulating on-campus use of electric bikes and scooters; implementing a safe ride home program; improving renters' rights and resources; and working with our downtown on economic activity and safety.
ITGA colleagues have been eager to let us know what's worked-and, what hasn't-for each of these challenges, allowing us to refine our approach and better make a plan to move forward. We've used that input to create new policies, engage with students and the community, and use resources more effectively. The investment of time and resources in ITGA has definitely paid off, and we look forward to continuing our work together!
Joe Speidel is director of local government and community relations for the University of Vermont. Do you have your own "power of ITGA" story to tell in 250 words or less? Send it to
ITGA Membership: We Want You!
Your ITGA is starting a new membership committee, and we would appreciate your help. This needed initiative will further ITGA's steady growth, and experience with recruitment engagement, and development strategies is essential and welcome. In this mix, too, will be soliciting feedback from current members to ensure ITGA is meeting their needs. If you'd like to help get the ITGA Membership Committee up and running, contact board president-elect or 970.491.5453. Thanks!
ITGA webinar: Is Your College Town Bulletproof?
" College towns, declining enrollments: Challenges and Opportunities" is the focus of the next ITGA webinar, Monday, Feb 24, noon-1:00pm, ET. "Higher education finds itself in the outer band of a massive storm, threatened by years of financial strain, a downturn on the nation's birthrate, and growing skepticism about the price and value of a college degree..." Higher-ed reporter Eric Kelderman. Joining Kelderman on the webinar will be ITGA Board member and Athens, Ohio (home of Ohio University) Mayor Steve Patterson, Chicago Loop Alliance CEO Michael Edwards, and Otterbein University President John Comerford. To register, click here. ITGA Board member Gary Stewart, Cornell University, will moderate the Feb. 24 webinar. Register today. Space is limited!
Call for Nominations for 2020 ITGA Awards
April 3 is submission deadline for top recognition awards
Each year, ITGA recognizes members who work toward improving the quality of life in campus communities. This is an opportunity for town-gown professionals to receive recognition for their work at the annual ITGA City & University Relations Conference. Last year's recipients of the ITGA Presidential Excellence Award were Dr. Roger Kemp and Grinnell Education Partnership. Miami University and Oxford, Ohio received the 2019 Larry Abernathy award for their vision to be the Healthiest College Town in America. Call for nominations for the 2020 ITGA awards are open. Submit nominations on or before April 3. For questions, contact
Housing Solutions through Community Collaboration
Only about 28 percent of community colleges have on-campus housing, but these institutions serve a high percentage of housing-insecure students. Partnerships with community organizations can help close that housing gap. In California, Foothill College has two new partnerships with local community service organizations to help its housing-insecure students. The college will collaborate with the Bill Wilson Center and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County to find housing opportunities for students. Foothill also has entered the countywide 100-Day Challenge to house at least 100 students in 100 days. Community College Daily
ITGA Student Engagement
Twelfth in a series of representative collaborations
"Several Portland schools extend offers to welcome Concordia University students." KATU "TRIO events focus on improving support for first-generation students." Washington State University. Would you like student engagement from your community of campus highlighted in this space? Email
ITGA News & Announcements
Conference Registration: Register for the ITGA City & University Relations Conference, hosted by the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado Boulder, June 1-3. Learn more.

Professional Development Opportunities

Optional Professional Networking Event: Join us at the Rayback Collective May 31, 5:30-7:30. To register, click here. Space is limited so register today!

Post-conference Event: Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins invite you to participate in a town-gown experience on Thursday, June 4, 8:00-5:00pm. Learn more.

Questions about the conference? Contact
Join us on Social Media
A growing and impressive group of professionals from campus communities continue to network and share strategies for improving town-gown relations. Join us on  Twitter LinkedIn  and  Instagram .