To: ITGA Members and Friends
From: Ron Jackson, ITGA President

As ITGA's Executive Director Beth Bagwell noted in her recent message, ITGA is in good health and poised for growth. To meet that end, we will need steady help and advice from ITGA membership.

ITGA's Executive Board (the E-Board) met in late October in San Marcos, Tex., to take a deeper dive into the operation and strategic direction of ITGA. Also in this mix was the Texas Town-Gown Symposium hosted by our colleague Lisa Dvorak. It was well-attended, and another example of an effective ITGA-branded regional conference.

Some highlights of the E-Board meeting:

  • A new design and structure for membership has been created to modernize our fee structure, bring equity to our membership rates and increase the rates to sustain the organization. The fee structure of the organization is well into its tenth year and not meeting our needs. Membership categories will consist of Individual, Affiliate (Business), Organization and Joint-City University. Details forthcoming.

  • Board and membership engagement through committee participation and affinity group support will be essential to growth. Please let me know if you can volunteer for core committees in membership, outreach, and alcohol prevention and education, or would like to create or join an affinity group. Example: A start-up effort focusing on emerging professionals, i.e. those new to town-gown work.

  • Earlier this year, we hosted our first webinar and will be making plans to host two more in 2020, with a focus on the Data Digest Survey and new challenges facing U.S. college towns.

  • We will create a board matrix of organization affiliations that provide opportunities to connect and message ITGA efforts in other spaces. For instance, ITGA has affiliation agreements with the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) and the National League of Cities (NLC)- University Communities Council (UCC).

  • The annual ITGA City & University Relations Conference, in Boulder, CO, will include a day long pre-conference with NLC's Director Leon Andrews, who will lead a Race, Equity and Leadership "training" on May 31. (This will have a limited seating so encourage colleagues and their teams to register early.) The conference begins Monday, June 1 and ends Wednesday at noon, June 3. Registration and Call for Proposals open next week. Related, a new annual conference site selection process will be developed going forward, with ease of travel access and connections key component in that work.

 Thanks as always for your town-gown efforts and connections to ITGA. I'm excited about ITGA and where we can take it together. Please feel free to contact me or Beth with comments, questions or to volunteer on any front.
Best to all, and thanks again.
Ron Jackson
ITGA President
International Town & Gown Association