What we’re doing

A great college town is part of the fabric of a great university – and vice versa.

Ann Arbor. Chapel Hill. Boulder. Madison. These cities are known for their livability, opportunity and creativity, largely because of their universities. Together, the University of Florida and the larger community can foster these characteristics in Gainesville, benefitting those who live here today and those who will be drawn by its offerings.

UF arrived in Gainesville in 1906 and grew into a major public land-grant research institution and member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. With that growth has come a new challenge: to become one of the nation’s preeminent public universities. Achieving this goal requires looking with new eyes at our 2,000-acre campus and its connections with Gainesville and Alachua County. That’s why we’re partnering with community leaders to create a strategic development plan.

The plan – commissioned by UF senior vice president and chief operating officer Charlie Lane – will provide possible roadmaps for the university and surrounding community’s future by identifying the best opportunities for wise growth, economic viability and livability. Creating a top college town means making the most of UF’s assets and opening the door to big, bold ideas that will shape the future of UF and Gainesville.

To accomplish this, the strategic development plan will be different from typical university plans. It will integrate seamlessly with campus master planning and engage the surrounding community in discovering ways to leverage our tremendous combined potential.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Identifying strategies to create a physical environment conducive to preeminence
  • Understanding what makes a great university town
  • Reinterpreting the “built environment” of Gainesville: housing mix, transportation, infrastructure challenges
  • Reviewing current and planned uses of campus buildings
  • Incorporating university and community branding

Recommendations will focus on ways to address the most significant challenges and opportunities.

How we’ll do it


Visioning and analysis to create the “big ideas” that will serve as touchstones for the strategic development of the university and the built environment in Gainesville.


Collaborating to develop strategies to implement these big ideas.


Drafting an action plan to implement strategies that will make UF and Gainesville preeminent.

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Why it matters

Through the strategic development plan, we will:


How will the university continue to reach greater heights while increasing the desirability of Gainesville for preeminent faculty, researchers and students? We’ll look at retail and other amenities, on- and off-campus housing and economic opportunity for graduates.


We’ll look at other university towns and see how we measure up – and determine what we could do better.


We’ll evaluate the 2015-2025 campus master plan with an eye toward how the intensity and density of development – and future capacity – mesh with the elements of the strategic development plan.


To what extent should university development integrate into the surrounding community? We’ll identify the areas with the greatest potential to benefit the city and university.


How does our built environment foster livability, walkability, and economic opportunity to attract and retain top tier faculty, staff, medical care providers, students, and graduates? What could we do better? We’re going to find out.


Together, we’ll develop a shared vision of a future for the university and its environs and then make sure that it’s communicated properly so that all stakeholders are informed.

The University

Cammy Abernathy, Dean, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Jane Adams, Vice President, University Relations**

Jason Alread, Director, School of Architecture

Rodrigo Pereira Antunes, student and Mayors’ Council Treasurer

Simone Benscher, student, Business Administration/Marketing

Joel Brendemuhl, Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Life Sciences

Tom Buford, Assistant Professor and Director, Institute on Aging

Peggy Carr, Professor, Landscape Architecture*

Jeff Chorlog, Assistant Vice President for the Physical Plant Division

Gregg Clarke, Director of Operations, Physical Plant Division

Susan Crowley, Assistant Vice President, Community Relations*

Paul Davenport, President, UF Faculty Senate*

David Day, Assistant Vice President, Technology Licensing*

Neil Decenteceo, student and Inter-Residence Hall Association President

David Denslow, Retired Research Economist*

Linda Dixon, Director of Planning*

Silvio Dos Santos, Assistant Professor, School of Music

Carlos Dougnac, Assistant Vice President for Planning, Design and Construction*

Norb Dunkel, Associate Vice President and Director, Housing & Residence Education

Elias Eldayrie, Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, Professor and Director, Transportation Research Center

Megan Forbes, Director, English Language Institute

Scott Fox, Director, TAPS

Henry Frierson, Associate Vice President and Dean, Graduate School

Kent Fuchs, President**

Isabel Garcia, Dean, College of Dentistry

Jodi Gentry, Assistant Vice President, Human Resource Services

Joe Glover, Senior Vice President and Provost**

Glenn Good, Dean, College of Education

Michael Good, Dean, College of Medicine

Renee Goodrich-Schneider, Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Rodney Guico, College of Engineering, Flex Network

John Gums, Associate Dean for Clinical and Administrative Affairs, College of Pharmacy

Tina Gurucharri, Associate Professor and Chair, College of Design, Construction and Planning

David Guzick, Senior Vice President, Health Affairs**

Blake Hakimian, student, Political Science and Real Estate

Gail Hansen de Chapman, Associate Professor, Environmental Horticulture

Craig Hill, Associate Vice President, Business Affairs


Chip Howard, Executive Associate Athletics Director-Internal Affairs

Cherrie Hughes, Assistant Director, Office of Research

Laura Huntley, Associate Vice President of Administration, Health Science Center*

Dustin Jackson, Director of Utilities and Energy Services, Physical Plant Division

Christopher Janelle, Associate Dean, College of Health & Human Performance

Ed Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer, UF Health Shands

Julie Johnson, Distinguished Professor, Health Science Center

Melissa Johnson, Associate Director, University Honors Program

Doug Jones, Director, Florida Museum of Natural History

Brian Jose, Director, UF Performing Arts Center

Michael Kane, Assistant Chair and Professor, Environmental Horticulture

Hal Knowles, Ph.D. candidate, UF School of Natural Resources and Environment

Anthony Kolenic, Associate Dean, College of Art

John Kraft, Dean, Warrington College of Business

Dave Kratzer, Vice President, Student Affairs

Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer* **

Kristin Larsen, Director, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning

Lucinda Lavelli, Dean, College of the Arts

James Lloyd, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine

TJ Logan, Director of Housing for Administrative Services

Gillian Lord, Associate Professor and Chair, CLAS

Forrest Masters, Associate Dean, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Associate Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources*

W. Andrew McCollough, Associate Provost for Information Technology, e-Learning and Distance Education

Anna McDaniel, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing

Diane McFarlin, Dean, College of Journalism and Communication*

Mike McKee, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Azfar Mian, Director, Financial and Information Technology Services, Housing

Tom Mitchell, Vice President, Development

Michael Morris, College of Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center

Tina Mullen, Director, Arts in Medicine

Rebecca Nagy, Director, Harn Museum

Lee Nelson, Director, Real Estate*

David Norton, Vice President for Research**

Joselin Padron-Rasines, President
2015-16, UF Student Government*

David W. Parrott, Vice President for Student Affairs

Jack Payne, Senior Vice President, UF/IFAS**


Michael Perri, Dean, College of Public Health and Health Professions

Jackie Phillips, student and Inter-Residence Hall Association secretary

Win Phillips, Executive Chief of Staff**

Brad Pollitt, Vice President, Facilities Development*

Margaret Portillo, Interim Dean, College of Design, Construction & Planning

Patrick Reakes, Associate Dean, Scholarly Resources

Anne Redmond, student and Panhellenic Council On-Campus House President

Mike Reid, Dean, College of Health and Human Performance

Curtis Reynolds, Vice President, Business Affairs*

David Richardson, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Robert Ries, Director, M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management

Mark Robinson, Director, Technology Services

Laura Rosenbury, Dean and Professor, Levin College of Law

Judy Russell, Dean, University Library

Erik Sander, College of Engineering, Engineering Innovation Institute

Daaneyal (Daniel) Siddiqu, student and Delta Tau Delta Off-Campus House President

Janine Sikes, Assistant Vice President, Media Relations and Public Affairs

Chris Silver, Dean and Professor, College of Design, Construction and Planning

Lauren Solberg, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Bioethics, Law & Medical Professionalism

Nicole Stedman, Faculty Senate Chair/Elect

Ruth Steiner, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

Linda Stump-Kurnick, Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police

Ray Thomas, Associate Professor in Geological Sciences

Jennifer Wu Tucker, Associate Professor, Warrington College of Business

Elaine Turner, Dean, Agricultural and Life Sciences

Hans van Oostrom, Associate Professor and Director, Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education

Olivia Vera, graduate student and Off Campus Life graduate assistant

Susan Webster, President 2016-17, UF Student Government*

Ann Wehmeyer, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Matt Williams, Director, Office of Sustainability

Caroline Wiltshire, Associate Professor, Linguistics

Nicole Yucht, Assistant Vice President, UF Communications

Fedro Zazueta, Professor and Associate Chief Information Officer, Office of Academic Technology


The Gainesville Community

Rev. Karl Anderson, Minister

Lisa Armour, Vice President for Assessment, Research and Technology, Santa Fe Community College

Aidan Augustin, Member of Alachua County Emerging Leaders

Nick Banks, Managing Director, FrontStreet Commercial Real Estate Group

Walter Banks, Chief Information Officer, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Ed Bielarski, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Ed Bonahue, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Santa Fe Community College

Aaron Bosshardt, Broker, Bosshardt Property Management

Ed Braddy, Former Mayor, City of Gainesville

Erik Bredfeldt, Economic Development and Innovation Director, City of Gainesville

Pattie Breedlove, Former Director, Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator

Naima Brown, Vice President for Student Affairs, Santa Fe Community College

Tom Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Scott Buchanan, Vice President, AMJ Inc. of Gainesville

Carrie Bush, Director, Citizen Centered Gainesville, City of Gainesville

John Carlson, Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

Rory Causseaux, Chair-Elect, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce

Ellen Chen, Chair, Department of Measuring, City of Gainesville

Karen Clarke, Assistant Superintendent, Alachua County Schools

Chuck Clemons, Vice President for Advancement, Santa Fe Community College

Ron Cunningham, Former Editorial Writer, Gainesville Sun

Susan Davenport, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce*

Bruce Delaney, Broker

Jennifer Denault, Chief Operating Officer, Cade Museum

Svein Dyrkolbotn, Principal Owner and Managing Partner, Viking Companies

Bryan Eastman, Interim Executive Director, Alachua County Emerging Leaders*

Rose Fagler, Economic Development Manager, Weyerhaeuser

Anne Favre, Executive Director, CareerSource North Central Florida

Vivian Filer, Community Volunteer / Retired Nurse*

John Fleming, Managing Partner, Trimark Properties

Paul Folkers, Assistant City Manager, City of Gainesville

Evelyn Foxx, President of Alachua County branch NAACP / Retired Insurance Agent

Victoria Hunter Gibney, Member of Alachua County Emerging Leaders

Ginger Gibson, Vice President for Administrative Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, Santa Fe Community College

Danny Gilliland, Market President, Gateway Bank of Central Florida

Mitch Glaeser, Glaeser Realty

Sam Goforth, Former Market President, Wachovia Bank*

Jesus Gomez, Regional Transit System Director, City of Gainesville

Ernest Graham, Gainesville Police Department

Eric Graves, Founder and CEO, Actionable Quality Assurance

Bryan Harrington, Director of Development and Construction, Trimark Properties

Billy Hattaway, FDOT District 1 Secretary

Adrian Hayes-Santos, Gainesville City Council

Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, Alachua County Commissioner, District 3

Dug Jones, Associate Vice President of Economic Development, Santa Fe Community College*

Tony Jones, Chief of Police, City of Gainesville

Duncan Kabinu, Member of Alachua County Emerging Leaders

Michelle Lambert, Chief Change Officer, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Kamal Latham, Vice President of Public Policy, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce

Debbie Leistner, Public Works Planning Manager, City of Gainesville

Darry Lloyd, Investigator at the Office of the State Attorney and President of the African American Accountability Alliance

Justin Locke, Chief Financial Officer, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Anthony Lyons, City Manager, City of Gainesville*

Bernie Machen, Former President of University of Florida

Phil Mann, Assistant Public Works Director, City of Gainvesille

Linda McGurn, Principal, McGurn Management Company*

Sean McLendon, Assistant to the Manager, Alachua County Sustainability

Fred Murry, Assistant City Manager, Gainesville Regional Utilities

Lee Niblock, Alachua County Manager*

Warren Nielsen, Former Commissioner, City of Gainesville*

Chad Paris, Co-Founder and CEO, Parisleaf

Allan Penksa, Chief Executive Officer, Gainesville Regional Airport

Lauren Poe, Mayor, Gainesville

Todd Powell, General Manager for Real Estate, Plum Creek

Randall Reid, Southeast Regional Director, ICMA

Andrew Romero, President, Alachua County Emerging Leaders

Jack Ryals, Jackson Stoneworks

Marlie Sanderson, Retired Former Director of Transportation Planning, Gainesville MTPO

Jackson Sasser, President, Santa Fe College

Domenic Scorpio, President, D.E. Scorpio Corporation

Teresa Scott, Director of Public Works, City of Gainesville

Gigi Simmons, Porters Neighborhood

Rev. Karl Smith, Minister

Kathryn Tancig, Public Policy Chair, Alachua County Emerging Leaders

Kim Tanzer, Consultant

Rev. Adrian Taylor, Minister

Rev. Kevin Thorpe, Minister

Quang Tran, Co-founder, Starter Space

Sarah Vidal-Finn, Interim Director, Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Gainesville

Albert White, Community Volunteer / Retired Administrator, Gainesville Regional Utilities*

Tom Wichman, Assistant Directorm Physical Plant Division

Rev. Destin Williams, Minister

Janie Williams, Porters Neighborhood

Rosa Williams, Community Volunteer / Founder of Reichert House

* Steering Committee member

** Executive Committee member


The Consultant Team



November forum video available online

Updated December 12, 2016

Thanks to all who participated in our November presentation of the university’s strategic development plan. The plan consists of four key initiatives, each of which includes concrete university and city action steps: the New American City, Proximity, Strong Neighborhoods, and Stewardship. In the words of forum speaker Warren Nielsen, “The heart of the plan is about a university and city coming together to solve real problems and seize wonderful opportunities.” 

Planned initiatives include founding a coordinating body who will be responsible for future joint-planning, engaging university researchers to understand and help solve local problems, concentrating university development in the eastern third of campus, bringing more students into campus housing, improving the public realm between the university and downtown, supporting and preserving historic neighborhoods, and better using energy and water resources. A recording of the meeting is available at this link, and a copy of the presentation can be viewed here

UF Board of Trustees endorsed the plan on December 1.


Phase i report

Posted October 19, 2016

The Strategic Development Plan’s first phase focused on visioning and analysis that create the “big ideas” to serve as touchstones for the strategic development of the university and surrounding areas, in partnership with the Gainesville community. Analysis documentation for this portion of the project is complete and available for viewing here.


UPCOMING CAMPUS FORUM and link to symposium coverage

Posted September 15, 2016

The next Strategic Development Plan meeting will be a public forum focused on campus related issues, including teaching, research and service, as well as quality of life issues for students and faculty. It will be held Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chandler Auditorium at the Harn Museum of Art.

For an article describing the August symposium, please click here.



Posted August 9, 2016

On August 31, the University of Florida will host a symposium to explore how cities and universities across the country have worked together to implement plans similar to UF’s Strategic Development Plan. The symposium – titled “University Towns: Perspectives on Strategic Development Planning” – will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Presidents Ballroom at Emerson Alumni Hall (1938 W University Avenue). The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will provide an open forum to address UF’s aspiration to lead by example in research, education, culture and collaboration, while defining the “new American city.” In the morning session, leading thinkers from both the public and private sector will present relevant case studies from their work in other cities with large academic institutions. In the afternoon session, they will offer insights into the university’s evolving Strategic Development Plan.

Speakers and topics scheduled for the symposium are:

  • Danny Sniff, University of Georgia – “Planning and preservation on a southern campus and college town”
  • Gordon Merklein, University of North Carolina – “Strengthening the core of college towns”
  • Alice Raucher, University of Virginia – “Connecting town and campus”
  • Eime Tobari, Space Syntax – “Creating urban spaces that foster interconnectedness, movement, awareness, encounter and exchange”
  • Terry Foegler – City of Dublin, Ohio and The Ohio State University, “University and community partnerships for redeveloping urban neighborhoods” 



Posted August 9, 2016

The next public meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 24, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Thelma A. Boltin Center (516 NE 2nd Ave).


UF holds Strategic Development Plan public forum

Updated August 8, 2016

UF students, faculty and staff and members of the greater Gainesville community attended a public meeting Wednesday, July 27, where they heard about progress on UF’s Strategic Development Plan and had an opportunity to provide feedback on future planning. The meeting was held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the GRU administration building's multipurpose room at 301 SE 4th Ave. 

The Strategic Development Plan will seek to provide a roadmap for the university and surrounding community’s future that supports UF's rise to preeminence by identifying the best opportunities for wise growth, economic viability and livability, allowing Gainesville and UF to rise to preeminence together. UF, along with consulting firms DumontJanks and Elkus Manfredi, will finalize and release the plan by December.

At this meeting, representatives from the university’s planning team provided a brief introduction and overview of the work to date and then facilitated several discussions focused on the themes of re-centering, uniting, and sustaining our community. Work to date on the Strategic Development Plan includes a CoMap survey, where the UF and Gainesville community indicated where they live, work and socialize, and how they get from point to point. The survey also revealed Gainesville’s strong sense of connection with outdoor areas that surround our community. 

UF leaders and the consultants have been meeting with key community stakeholder groups, including community leaders and business owners, about the plan since February, with meetings scheduled to continue into the fall. We hope to see you there.


Board of Trustees Presentation

Posted June 23, 2016

In early June, the Board of Trustees reviewed a presentation that shares analysis from Phase I and resulting ideas that could inform a physical framework for campus development in the Gainesville context. The ideas focus on themes of re-centering, uniting, and sustaining. They include engaging university scholars to help solve local issues, supporting local businesses, addressing economic disadvantages, providing a nurturing 24/7 environment for students, improving transportation, repurposing vacant downtown retail space for startups, promoting diverse housing options downtown, and adding density to underutilized parcels in key development precincts. The Board reacted positively to the presentation and is excited about the vision’s potential. In upcoming visits, the team will explore these ideas with multiple stakeholder groups so that together we can refine the evolving framework and understand the steps necessary to realize the vision. Additional public forums will be scheduled in August near the start of the new academic year.

To download the presentation, please click here.



Posted June 6, 2016

This week, the consultants will transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the Strategic Development Plan. During the first phase, the consultants established that while the stunning ecological setting and a world-class university are great assets for Gainesville, in order to achieve preeminence, the university and city must be even more collaborative. Strengthening this relationship is essential for attracting and retaining talent to the region. It will raise the standard of excellence for all residents, prompting improvements to education and job access, a diversification of housing options, and innovation in transportation. The next phase will focus on three themes to move the city forward; to re-center, unite, and sustain Gainesville.

Phase 2 will run through early fall, with four campus visits and additional engagement with the Board of Trustees. We thank all who participated in Phase 1. As we set future public events and post completed documentation, we will reach out to you via the website and listserv.


Public Meeting

Posted May 2, 2016

Thanks to all who joined us for the project’s first public meeting. The consultant team presented analysis findings, including CoMap survey results, physical analysis, peer institution comparisons, and themes from stakeholder interviews. Please sign up for our email list to receive information about future events.


comap survey

Posted April 7-21, 2016

Thank you to all who participated in the CoMap survey in April. We had over 2,200 responses from faculty, staff, students, and members of the local community. The resulting maps show patterns of community activity, and the comments enlighten us to the reasons why specific places are valued. A summary of results was presented at the public forum on May 2.



Posted March 31, 2016

This week, the consultant team visited campus for the third time. Their trips have focused on data gathering, internal and community stakeholder interviews, and conversations with the Executive and Steering Committees. Previous visits were February 15-16 and March 10-11. The next campus visit, May 2-4, will include public forums to share analysis findings.

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