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Board Member Article: University Partnerships
By Gilbert Davidson, Town Manager, Marana, ACMA President-Elect

Cities and towns across the state have faced a number of recessionary challenges over the past several years. Most communities have confronted fiscal realities by reducing expenditures and modifying services and programs provided to the general populous. The identification of core services and programs has become a pressing priority.

The Arizona City/County Management Association's strategic plan calls for increased partnering with the state's public universities to help build future generations of local government managers. Fortunately, our Association has access to three outstanding public universities.

The success of our communities rests with the talent and skill of our workforce. It is in our best interest as an Association and as individual members to develop and expand our partnership with our state universities. We must ensure that talent is being developed and that universities are partners in this important endeavor.

There are several ways we can work in mutually beneficial ways with state universities:
  • Promote Andrews and Esser scholarships at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University with the goal of obtaining more applications;
  • Publicize the need for internships for Andrew Scholars to ACMA members with a goal of placing all five scholars in quality internships;
  • Maintain UA, ASU and NAU student and faculty membership in ACMA;
  • Gain additional UA, ASU and NAU alumni involvement in reviewing university course curriculum, teaching at universities, interviewing prospective students, mentoring students - including providing shadowing opportunities - and providing internships;
  • Give Andrews Fellows opportunities to speak at ACMA's summer conference.
We must do everything possible as an Association to encourage the best and brightest college students to take advantage of opportunities in public service.

The fiscal challenges we face are not going away any time soon. They will require the commitment of a whole new generation of leaders who have knowledge and experience. ACMA should do all it can to give today's college students a head-start on solving tomorrow's problems. In the end, everyone will benefit.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007   •   Phone: (602) 258-5786   •   Fax: (602) 253-3874   •