BEND, Ore. -

As partners, the city of Bend and Oregon State University--Cascades have joined the International Town-Gown Association.

The ITGA is a national resource network of universities and cities that shares best practices for relationships between academic institutions and the surrounding communities. ITGA membership can help local civic leaders and university officials as they lay the foundation for a successful, integrated university while protecting Bend’s existing quality of life. 

“We are looking to establish a successful, productive and communicative relationship with OSU-Cascades so we can address issues productively as they arise,” said Bend City Manager Eric King.

OSU-Cascades plans to purchase and develop approximately 50 acres off Chandler Avenue in southwest Bend for a four-year campus.  Officials from the City and OSU-Cascades have been working together to appropriately plan for the campus and have embarked on an ambitious public outreach strategy to engage the community in the project.

 “We’d like to borrow successful tools and approaches that have worked in other communities,” said King. “We can prevent some mistakes by learning from others’ experiences.”

The ITGA provides weekly emails that cover best practices, stories and research. Members have access to experts, information and conferences that can discuss a broad range of topics including master planning, economic development, transportation, housing, sustainability, law enforcement, safe communities and campus-city collaboration.

Becky Johnson, vice president for OSU-Cascades, said, “OSU-Cascades seeks to be a good neighbor within the community and a strong asset to the region.  We look forward to developing innovative ways to partner with the City so that together we can model a town-gown relationship that benefits area businesses, residents and the campus community.”   

“Town and gown” refers to a collaborative relationship between a community and its local university. “Gown” refers to the traditional academic robes worn by university faculty.   

To learn more about the International Town-Gown Association, visit www.itgau.org.