The University of Michigan has launched a new website to show how the university is an integral part of the Ann Arbor community.
“We want to let everyone know that you don’t have to be a member of the university community to take advantage of the resources and experiences available at the University of Michigan,” said Jim Kosteva, U-M’s community relations director.
“We have programs, lectures and events that are open to the public in almost every area of study or interest.”
The new website, CommunityRelations.umich.edu, provides facts and figures about the university’s impact on the community, such as there are more than 43,000 jobs on U-M’s campus and 41 percent of U-M employees live in the Ann Arbor area.
Since 2001, U-M has added more than 9,000 jobs, and more than 100 companies have been launched by U-M in the past 10 years, the website states.
The university’s impact on the community has been discussed and debated by Ann Arbor leaders in recent years as the university’s footprint has expanded in the city, taking more and more property off the tax rolls.
The new community relations website discusses partnerships U-M has with various organizations in the community, including programs in Ann Arbor public schools.
It also features a community life section with a list of museums, lectures, community health programs, and business, career and workplace assistance.
The site notes the university made $13.3 million in payments to the city in fiscal year 2014 and it has pledged $600,000 to help cover operations for the first three years of ArborBike, a new community bicycle-sharing program that launched last fall.
“Most all of us appreciate how Ann Arbor is a unique and dynamic community,” Kosteva said. “I hope the resources and information on these pages demonstrate how the university contributes toward the enrichment of not only students, but area residents of all ages as well.”
Ryan Stanton covers the city beat for The Ann Arbor News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529 or follow him on Twitter.