On March 30, UTAC members met for a first-ever all-committee retreat. Held in the UMass Campus Center, the day's work was moderated by George Smith, Vice President of U3 Advisors, who was instrumental in producing the 2014 UMass/Town of Amherst Housing and Economic Development Plan which recommended the formation of UTAC.
Over 30 UTAC members attended the retreat, highlighting the importance of UTAC to town-gown relations. With an eye to taking stock of the collaboration at the year and a half mark, at the retreat there was consensus on the following:
1. Subcommittees were working well, and members were satisfied with their work. As needed subcommittees will form working groups which may include members of other subcommittees or participants who do not have a formal UTAC role.
2. The Executive Committee structure should be changed from its current form to include only subcommittee co-chairs, two at large members, and the current co-chairs of the Executive Committee. The new structure aims to create better balance in Town-Gown representation. Members of the Executive Committee not in a subcommittee co-chair role were asked to stay on as members of one of the other three subcommittees.
3. Geoff Kravitz and Tony Maroulis were elevated to co-directors of UTAC.
The changes were approved by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Town Manager Paul Bockelman in April.