The University-Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC) is a joint initiative of the Town of Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is made up of Amherst residents, UMass Amherst town and university officials, and UMass Amherst students.
UTAC is an advisory council to the town manager and chancellor which provides leadership and ideas, while building support for future joint endeavors. These include, but are not limited to, identifying sites for undergraduate mixed-use development, jointly pursuing public-private partnerships, and helping to create an anchor strategy for the university that embraces the town and fosters economic success.
UTAC is a direct result of the Town Gown Steering Committee, created in 2013 with a joint commitment by Amherst and UMass to hire a consultant to aid in the development of a shared economic development and housing vision. The committee worked with U3 Advisors of Philadelphia on the UMass/Amherst Housing and Economic Development Plan upon which all future work is based.
Purpose and Goals
UTAC represents a commitment by the Town and university to purposefully consider each other in the planning and growth of our respective spaces. While there have been joint projects and working agreements, UTAC is a cultural shift in how we hope to work with each other in years to come.
As recommended by U3 Advisors, UTAC is advisory body broken into 4 committees, led by a Steering Committee, which is in charge of developing a strategic plan, crafting its mission and by-laws, and overseeing the efforts of the three subcommittees: Economic Development, Housing, and Culture, Arts & Living. The steering committee guides and coordinates UTAC's efforts with other agencies and reports regularly to the chancellor and town manager.