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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 54, Number 3 (Nov. 1952)

A spirit of harmony,   p. 9

Page 9

A Spirit of Harmony
   WHEREAS, The University of
Wisconsin plays an important part in
the social, cultural and economic life
of Madison; and,
   WHEREAS, The advantages of
the University are, in a large meas-
ure, valuable to the City; and
  WHEREAS, After thorough study,
the University Board of Regents has
officially endorsed needed growth
and development of the University
in the City of Madison as being in
the best interests of the University
and the State of Wisconsin;
SOLVED, That the City of Madison,
as represented by the Common Coun-
cil, does hereby approve and support
the needed growth and development
of the University in the City of
T HIS RESOLUTION is typical of
     the current display of official co-
     operation between University of
Wisconsin administrative officials and
the elected representatives of the City
of Madison.
   For more than 100 years the city
of Madison and the University of
Wisconsin have been linked in a side-
by-side march that has seen both make
considerable progress. Yet, r e c e n t
months have seen the first official for-
mation of a program designed to fur-
ther a spirit of harmony between the
governing bodies of the two commu-
  The liaison between top city and
University administrative officials will
be emphasized in the near future when
the Board of Regents and the City
Council meet together for the first time.
That the two bodies will find plenty to
talk about is evident from previous
meetings of the new Madison-UW Co-
ordinating Committee, which has had
four sessions since its inception in
  On the agenda of these regular, in-
formal sessions-attended by five Uni-
versity administrators and the same
number of councilmen - have been
matters ranging from possible platting
University and City of Madison
Establish 'Diplomatic Relations'
To Work on Common Problems
of the University's Hill Farms to the
question of parking at home footbad
and basketball games.
   Few of the problems confronting
City and University are brand new, it
should be emphasized, and the formu-
lation of the coordinating committee,
was no 'emergency' move. It did, how-
ever, require a stimulus, and the appear-
ance of Wilbur Renk on the Board of
Regents served in this respect. And
while the problems are not new, neither
are they insurmountable-as the Coor-
dinating committee has learned.
   President Fred put his finger on the
problem in April "We have what you
could well call growing pains," he told
the first committee meeting, "and I
think the city fathers might say the
same about Madison. When the legis-
lature arrives in Madison, I would like
these representatives of the people of
the state to find here the helpful coop-
eration of the city and the University
presenting together any program which
affects us both."
  Already, meeting in an atmosphere
of congeniality, the coordinating com-
mittee has made progress. It was at its
last meeting, in October, members heard
Mayor George Forster read the resolu-
tion noted above, up for City Council
action, that sums up Madison's senti-
ments regarding the University. It puts
the City on record as supporting Uni-
versity expansion in Madison, and coun-
teracts impressions formed  in  some
quarters that the city opposes further
acquisition of. tax-free lands.
  Behind this resolution lay a variety
of topics discussed by the committee-
problems that have been     mounting
gradually out of the natural course of
events since the establishment of the
University in Madison, then but a vil-
lage, in 1848. Most of these questions
are not peculiar to the Madison-Uni-
versity relationship and have their coun-
terparts wherever public institutions
play a large part in the functioning of
communities. They include questions on
payments to city for fire protection,
street-improvements in front of Univer-
sity-owned property, and tax payments
-particularly property taxes on income-
producing property where school dis-
tricts are concerned.
   There appears to be a growing meet-
ing of the minds on these questions,
but the Regents' reaction to such pro-
posals as tax payments mut be tempered
with the knowledge that special legisla-
tive action would be required before
the University could be committed to
such expenditures. Even on the ques-
tion of fire protection, for which the
Regents might have authority to con-
tract, the Legislature must be consid-
ered, because of the need -for appropri-
ations. The University of Illinois, by
the way, maintains its own fire depart-
ment at a cost of about $100,000 annu-
ally-a figure that jibes closely with the
cost of operation of the Madison sta-
tion nearest the campus.
  The intricacies of the city-University
relationship were illustrated last month
in a discussion of the city's planned
relocation of University avenue west of
Breese Terrace. The relocation would
require use of a strip of University
land in the UW 'chicken farm' area.
Loss of this land would be all right
by the University except for two things.
First, recently-declared legislative op-
position to campus expansion south of
University avenue makes it questionable
       (continued on page 36)

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