Every semester, A&F managers get together to discuss projects and trends that impact the university. Read on for the top three insights from the fall retreat, including what’s happening with development near campus.
1. Towson is in a development boom.
Millions of dollars are being poured into developments centered in “uptown” Towson. The new movie theatre/restaurant development known as Towson Square has been a success. A new townhome community at the intersection of Virginia and Pennsylvania Avenues is moving forward quickly, as is a renovation to Kenilworth Mall and a new condo development planned near Goucher College. Site plans are being adapted for Towson Row, which is on track to include a Whole Foods, apartments, hotel and office space in between Towsontown Boulevard, York Road and Washington Avenue. Future projects include a potential student housing development at 101 York and a renovation of Towson circle.
Baltimore has been named by Forbes as one of the best places for business, so development is expected to continue indefinitely. This could increase traffic and the options for off-campus student housing. We need to think about creative solutions for minimizing traffic and differentiating our housing offerings.
2. The internet of things is here.
The biggest technology trend now is incorporating network connectivity into everyday objects so that they can send and receive data to make our lives easier. Case in point: a light bulb or coffee maker that you turn on with your phone, a glucose monitor that sends reports back to your doctor. This is the internet of things.
OTS Director of Information Security Todd Spahr says that soon the number of internet-connected devices will outnumber people. These devices make our lives easier, but they also expose us to greater opportunities for cyber terrorism. One tip to safeguard your devices is to consider whether or not you actually each device connected to your network. If you don’t need it connected, remove it.
3. Philanthropy is growing more critical for funding.
State appropriations account for just 22 percent of TU’s overall budget on average. As state budgets get tighter, TU philanthropic support will become more and more essential to fill funding gaps in both the operating and capital budgets. Case in point: while some capital building projects were moved back during the most recent legislative session, a brand-new, not-even-in-the-master-plan project from another institution was not only approved but advanced. That’s because it was partially funded by an outside donor. Donations could be key to getting future capital projects approved.
The search for a Vice President for Advancement is still underway. In the meantime, President Schatzel has issued a challenge: for every 50 faculty and staff members who donate to TU, she will donate $1,000 of her own money. You can donate at www.towson.edu/support.
Get more information on upcoming initiatives at the A&F Annual Meeting, Thursday, December 15 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the West Village Commons Ballrooms.
Written by Pamela Gorsuch