Minutes from the Friday, April 15, 2011 National Alumni Council Consultation
National Alumni Council:
- James Carter, ‘00, Chair
- Neal Rhoades, ‘86
- Smitty Thomas, ‘73
- Kevan Frazier, ’92, ex-officio
Working Group listeners:
- Don Gordon, Director of Design & Construction
- Christine Riley, Chief of Staff
1. Alumni have a duty to enhance the value of a UNC Asheville degree. We can do this by capitalizing on the advantage we have of being so close to downtown Asheville. UNC Asheville needs to connect better and more specifically with the City of Asheville. Most campuses would kill for a setting like ours so close to a vibrant downtown.
2. Someone will develop the Broadway corridor; we can see it happening now. We need to be part of this, in collaboration with the City and others, to make sure it serves the campus and the city.
3. Aligning with the city will assure that we aren’t working at cross purposes. We should include the head of the city and county planning boards in our planning group.
4. We consider ourselves a ‘gem,’ but does the City consider us a gem?
5. NCAA helped raise our profile in the city – a big boon for both city and campus.
6. Create a University District – Broadway from campus to downtown could become University Boulevard if we do this right. The Broadway corridor could be eligible for block grant or other funding.
7. Another opportunity is developing Meadow Road from the Grainger Building down to the RiverLink. Also, from Amboy Road to Riverside Drive. Excellent potential for us. We should partner with Karen Cragnolin of RiverWalk because she’s done such a great job with that project over the last 20 years.
8. Alumni continue to be concerned about our ‘curb appeal.’ We have no front door, and the doors we have are not evident, welcoming or representative of who we are. We need to ‘brand’ our 4 entrances with intentionality. Recent signage is an improvement but it could be a lot better. Why aren’t they landscaped as beautifully as the rest of the campus?
9. We are not using the Botanical Gardens to their full benefit. It is the perfect place for Admission or a visitor center. It makes the kind of statement we should be making at our front door. It is unique and gorgeous.
10. There is a lack of congruity on our campus architecture. We need to establish an architectural theme and align new and existing buildings with this theme.
11. We need to tell our successes more in the news. Even the NCAA tournament play didn’t make the front page.
12. We are gravely concerned about the location of the Admissions office. It is hidden away in the basement – not the right message to send to prospective students and their families.
13. What is the policy behind the goal to have 50% of our students in residence halls? Some schools have said they will stop building residence halls. We should bring in the local developers to find out their plans for building apartments in the area so we don’t duplicate efforts, or build something we don’t need to.
14. Have we considered making University Heights one way?
15. Campus street lights shine into area homes at night. This is not only a neighborhood annoyance but a waste of energy.
16. What is/should be our role with the Dark Skies initiative?
17. We have multiple styles of outdoor lighting fixtures. It is expensive to stock multiple kinds of light bulbs/hardware, and also looks awful. I hope the master plan can set a standard that we can stick to.
18. Do we have the capacity to lock down the campus or buildings in an emergency?
19. What are the green initiatives that will be in the plan?
20. Need more recreation spaces – running trails, passive enjoyment spaces.
21. Another way to tie the campus into the RiverLink is by linking our bike trails to theirs.
22. Preserving green space is important – why not make the whole campus a Botanical Garden? We would be the only campus in America, and a real destination. Bring in Parker Andes from the Biltmore Estate to help with this.
23. An overall Master Design could involve the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Asheville, Biltmore Estates and UNC Asheville to coordinate how we see our city/campus in 10 or 20 years. This may open up some funding options that aren’t available to us as a single state entity.
24. Consider asking WCU or UNC Greensboro students from their zoning & planning degree program to help out.
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