To the editor:
The University of Iowa remains the most critical partner and leader in our continued community and economic development efforts. We are excited by President Bruce Harreld’s recognition of this and commitment to community collaboration.
The UI partnered with the City of Iowa City on a 21-only ordinance and UniverCity — a vital, safe affordable neighborhood program. It developed the research campus with the City of Coralville and offers North Liberty the Small Business Development Initiative. Local economic development groups also leverage resources through relationships with the university. The Chamber’s education, legislative and leadership initiatives, ICAD’s co-lab, the Iowa City Downtown District’s Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District and many of the convention and visitors bureau area quality of life endeavors all rely on various forms of university support and partnership.
Lest we take this economic engine for granted, The Princeton Review’s best college guides include a “strained town/gown relationships” category, which has referenced Brown University’s conflicts with Providence over a voluntary tax, Duke and Durham’s quarrel over noisy students in neighborhoods and many city/university feuds surrounding congestion. “Our” university supports the community while attracting a highly educated population that provides a strong tax base, enhancing the city’s aesthetic with historic and modern architecture, and planting us on the map with world-class research, a major medical center, the UNESCO City of Literature and Big 10 Athletics.
President Harreld, we welcome you and Mary and look forward to working with you.
President/CEO, Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce
President, Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau