Harvard Presents 25th Annual ‘Town Gown’ Report to City of Cambridge Officials | News
Harvard representatives presented Town Gown’s 25th annual report, detailing the university’s sustainability, diversity and infrastructure goals in Cambridge, to city officials during a virtual planning board meeting on Tuesday evening .
The report, submitted by Harvard University Planning and Design and Harvard Public Affairs and Communications, lists the University’s facilities and its employee and student populations in Cambridge. It also details Harvard’s sustainability and equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, as well as its investments and partnerships with organizations across the city.
The name Town Gown refers to the non-academic parts of the city – the town – in relation to the academic institutions that inhabit it – the gown. Lesley University, MIT and Hult International Business School also submit Town Gown annual reports to Cambridge.
“We reflect on Harvard’s nearly 400-year partnership with the City of Cambridge, but also consider our broader responsibility to create a campus that continuously strives to provide a better future for our local community, as well as to our global community,” Harvard said. report bed.
Thomas J. Lucey, director of government and community relations at Harvard, touted the university’s six-figure investment in Cambridge RISE, a guaranteed income pilot program. He also noted the school’s $20 million recommitment to the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative as an example of Harvard’s relationship with the surrounding city.
Lucey also said a priority for Harvard was to maintain partnerships with the Cambridge public school system, even through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to virtual and blended learning.
“Harvard’s commitments to its core programs and offerings with CPS have not wavered,” Lucey said. “Harvard programs are in all CPS schools.”
Sherri A. Charleston, the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer, updated the Planning Board on progress made in promoting diversity in the University’s new staff hiring process.
“Over the past year, we’ve created guidelines, training, resources for hiring managers that have really helped us think through how we can create the most inclusive hiring strategy possible,” said said Charleston.
Charleston also pointed to the impending release of The Presidential Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery’s report as an example of the University “examining its history.”
Alexandra J. Offiong, Director of Planning Services at HUPAD, updated the board on the university’s ongoing construction and renovation projects, including the undergraduate house renewal program, a renovation proposal teaching laboratories at the Harvard Science Center and a plan for a new Department of Economics Building.
Harvard’s Director of Sustainability, Heather A. Henriksen, highlighted the school’s commitment to meeting the goals of Harvard’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for the University to be fossil fuel neutral by 2026 and free of fossil fuels by 2050. She also said that Harvard’s sustainability approach would be developed in consultation with the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
“Essentially, sustainability is the vision of a healthy, prosperous and just future for all,” Henriksen said.