BGSU, Bowling Green announce new partnership initiatives


BOWLING GREEN, O.—New initiatives to improve the University-community partnership between Bowling Green State University and Bowling Green were announced today (Sept. 13) by Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards and BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey during a meeting of the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club at Stone Ridge Golf Club.

During the first half of 2012, Edwards and Mazey initiated a visioning process in order to enhance the collaboration between the University and the city. Task forces were created, made up of representatives from BGSU and the Bowling Green community, to address issues such as downtown and economic development, infrastructure, and neighborhoods and corridors.

Each group conducted a strength/weakness/opportunity/threat analysis. Common points identified by the groups included the need to increase communication between the city and the University, the need for more involvement from a broader base of community members from both entities, and the potential for cross-promotion of assets, services and events available in both Bowling Green and BGSU to grow economic development opportunities.

Short-term priorities and actions include:

  • Increase ease of ability and opportunities to share information, including creating a “buy local” culture on campus and providing relocation packets to academic and administrative offices encouraging new hires to live in Bowling Green.
  • Promote and support the Leadership BG program, which is sponsored by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, to include more University participants.
  • Enhance and promote existing educational partnerships as a means to create new opportunities, such as developing more internships, co-ops and service-learning opportunities for students to volunteer and engage in community organizations, businesses and industry.
  • Consider establishing a joint purchasing agreement involving the University, city and schools in order to leverage buying opportunities.
  • Create a tax increment financing district to improve the streetscape and design of East Wooster Street.
  • Promote a campaign to educate students on being good neighbors and create a collaborative listing of approved off-campus student housing.
  • Develop a Community Development Corporation to maintain and improve the housing in Bowling Green.
  • Position BGSU as a more fully integrated regional leader by improving relationships with surrounding municipalities and other institutions.
  • Continue to be an active participant in the Toledo Branding Initiative and provide current and upcoming news and University programs to its website.
  • Create a “bring a friend” program to get new people involved in athletic events, theater performances, the arts and community events.
  • Better align the University and Bowling Green public school calendars to strengthen a sense of community and encourage higher city residency rates for BGSU faculty and staff.
  • Develop a mechanism for people of all ages to get involved in the University-community partnerships.

Long-term goals and priorities including developing a bike path that connects the University to other parts of the community, working to reduce energy consumption and exploring the creation of an arts community.

“Our mission is to create a town-gown relationship that enriches the lives of the citizens of Bowling Green and the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of BGSU,” said Edwards. “This report provides us with a strong blueprint for success as we move forward.”

“BGSU is fostering a University-community partnership that can serve as a benchmark across the state of Ohio and the nation,” said Mazey. “It’s important to create an atmosphere where the community of Bowling Green is not seen as ‘off-campus,’ but as an integrated part of attending and working at BGSU.”

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(Posted September 13, 2012 )