Henry Webber
Henry Webber

U. of Chicago expert to discuss urban campuses

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 26, 2008)--As part of UTSA Homecoming 2008 and the 10th anniversary celebration of the UTSA Downtown Campus, urban affairs expert Henry Webber will speak on the relationship of urban campuses and the communities they serve at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the Buena Vista Theater at the Downtown Campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Webber's presentation will provide perspective on the UTSA Downtown Campus and its interrelation with the UTSA strategic plan and the community.

Webber is vice president for community and government affairs and senior lecturer in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has been responsible for building university/community relations, developing partnerships and promoting programs to encourage local economic development and enhance the quality of life in Chicago's mid-South Side communities.

Webber contends that there can be a symbiotic relationship between communities and academic institutions, and that regions experiencing economic success are commonly associated with academic institutions. According to Webber, among the elements necessary for healthy university-community partnerships are linkages to job training, child care and use of local and minority vendors. Additionally, a university's goals of service, training and research can easily be linked to the community. He says that community partners can benefit from efforts of student interns, while interns receive invaluable experience in professional fields.

Engaging the community and faculty invests the university's interests and resources in the community, creating self-sustaining relationships. Additionally, students carry a university's name and reputation with them into the community with the potential to build good will.

For more information, visit the UTSA Homecoming 2008 Web site.

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