City of Brantford unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and Wilfrid Laurier University during their council meeting on Tuesday, March 22.
The MOU outlines a shared commitment to enhance working relationships, advance shared strategic priorities, and develop structures and procedures that support partner projects across the two organizations in areas of shared priority. Furthermore, approval of the MOU formalizes current collaborations and establishes the groundwork to explore possible future partnership opportunities.
Given the history of the City’s partnership with the university, moving forward to formalize collaborations is a natural next step. The City and campus have already worked together on strategic planning, recreation, joint research projects and student learning opportunities. Recent projects include evaluation done by Dr. James Popham, assistant professor in criminology, of the City’s Brantford Downtown Outreach Team pilot project; a User Experience Design class project whereby Laurier students used technology to help make record keeping and reporting easier for volunteers who maintain the city’s community ice rinks; and a scientific survey, conducted by Laurier Research, that gathered residents’ views and priorities regarding the City’s 2022 operating budget.
Teams from both organizations will work together and independently to plan activities and strategic initiatives, and recognize the benefits to be derived from collaborative activities and the sharing of knowledge and resources.
“Campus-community collaborations are in Laurier’s DNA, especially at the Brantford campus,” said Heidi Northwood, Senior Executive Officer. “We already have many examples of the excellent learning and positive community impacts that can be achieved when our faculty, students, and staff partner with the City of Brantford. This MOU formalizes that existing relationship. Through continued collaboration, Laurier and Brantford can develop further innovative initiatives that enhance life for local residents, and serve as a model for other communities.”
“The MOU came out of the recognition of the opportunities for us to work more closely together for our mutual benefit and for the benefit of our citizens,” said Mayor Kevin Davis. “A memorandum of understanding further solidifies the relationship between the City and Laurier, which, to my mind, is absolutely critical to the well-being and further improvement of our downtown, and I look forward to the positive results this collaboration will yield for our communities.”