New Office of Community Engagement to address town-gown relations

Yesterday, Georgetown announced the formalization of its new Office of Community Engagement, led by Associate Vice President of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives Lauralyn Beattie Lee.  The new office will serve as a primary liaison for the Georgetown Community Partnership negotiations and will focus on expanding Georgetown’s campus into the D.C. area.

Among the many concerns for this new office, the School of Continuing Studies satellite campus, “Georgetown Downtown,” in Chinatown will take lead. “This office will coordinate the university’s engagement with the District of Columbia in a manner consistent with the institutional priorities emerging through the university’s master planning effort,” Lee said in the press release.

The new office will be located within the Office of Public Affairs. It will also become a contact point for city agencies and community service programs. Sustainability is a goal for the University as well, and Lee added that a “modern, efficient medical center” will be one of the many ways Georgetown promotes “smart growth.”

Both American and George Washington University have offices for community engagement and relations. Although these offices emphasize engagement through community service, there is a dual functionality in purely maintaining relations with the surrounding local bodies.

“Lauralyn Lee [has been] a trusted member of our university community for over a decade,” President John J. DeGioia said in the release. “She will bring the same level of skill and commitment to this new role that she has brought to her work in the counsel’s office and her work over the last year in the Office of Public Affairs.”

Vox is waiting to contact University officials on further information about the new office.

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