In February 2004, I launched a presidential initiative entitled “Partners for Progress: The Salisbury Community and the University.” This initiative was, in part, a response to community concerns regarding the growth in student enrollment at SU and the impact of this growth on local residential neighborhoods. A Town-Gown Council, composed of community leaders, business people, residents, and SU staff, faculty, and students now meets regularly to discuss issues and find ways to enhance mutual respect and build good community relations. The initiative has led to a number of successes.
· The University has partnered with the City of Salisbury in erecting street lights in nearby neighborhoods where a large number of our students live and in planning for a vehicle right-of-way leading to a private student housing project several blocks from campus that will provide hundreds of new beds by Fall 2005.
· In another partnership with the City of Salisbury, the University is sharing funding for a new “live near your work” program that will provide incentives for faculty and staff to purchase homes in close proximity to the University in an effort to maintain the residential nature of the area surrounding our main campus.
· New scholarship funds have been earmarked for local high school and Wor-Wic Community College graduates to ensure that the children of our local citizens are financially able to attend Salisbury University.
· For the past two years, our student government association has co-hosted, in collaboration with Urban Salisbury, a local non-profit downtown development group, the “Party on the Plaza,” one of a number of events designed to attract our students and the community to the downtown area.
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