Officials Say City-University Cooperation Has Progressed
President Bok and Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci met for their second summit dinner of the year last week, and representatives of both Harvard and the city of Cambridge said in recent interviews that they are pleased with the resulting progress in University-city relations.
Since the first dinner was held in June, an informal committee composed of leading city policy officials and members of the Harvard community affairs office has been meeting bi-monthly. Cambridge Health and School Department members have recently joined the process.
Both Vellucci and City Manager Robert W. Healy said last night that the current system fulfilled its purpose of improving relations.
However, one city Councillor, Francis H. Duehay '55, criticized the set-up as insufficient, saying it was nebulous. He called for a more systematic arrangement for a clearinghouse for city requests for University help.
"The issues are much more complex than just an occasional meeting warrants," Duehay said.
The former mayor added that the committee should meet every month, and should have a fixed agenda "to define and then match Harvard's resources to Cambridge's needs."
"It is a laborious process of defining these problems and brainstorming so the results take more definitive shape." Duehay said, adding that he though the present mechanism was not taking full advantage of the University's resources.
Duehay said that he felt the city and University had worked well together at times and thought more meetings would produce more suggestions for projects.
Jacqueline O'Neill, Harvard's director of community affairs, said yesterday that the committee structure was effective.
She cited the recently announced plans for the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies to help Cambridge with long-range planning as a substantial result of the committee's work.
O'Neill further noted that the new ad hoc committee supplements the work of a two-year-old community development liaison group acting as a go-between for the University and the city in real estate issues and neighborhood relations.