Towson to start “anchor scan”

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By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

President Kim Schatzel announced Tuesday a new partnership with Margrave Strategies, a Columbia-based firm, to “chart [the university’s] path into the future and into the next decade.”

“We are an anchor institution for Towson, the county and greater Baltimore,” Schatzel said in a Monday interview. “We already have connections and we already have strong impact. This is about making our leadership stronger.”

The process was described as starting with an “anchor scan.” Which, according to Schatzel, means identifying the needs of the institution, the community and the local business community.

The scan will look at market trends, development patterns and space needs “as they align with University goals and priorities.”

Schatzel said that one of the strategies for improving TU’s impact in the community will be to look at “placemaking.”

“It’s really taking a look at market trends and where development is happening and where our community and business partners are, as well as our faculty, staff and students,” Schatzel said.

And that means, she said, being programmatic about how Towson University branches out into the greater Baltimore area. That could be, according to Schatzel, anything from sharing an office space to buying a building.

“The scope and scale is such that we’re looking to be able to position us effectively for years to come,” Schatzel said.

The University has entered into a partnership agreement with Margrave Strategies, a firm that was created by former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

“Ulman will serve as chief strategist for Towson University, working to further elevate the University’s profile throughout the surrounding community and maximize the strategic assets in the Greater Baltimore region,” university officials said through a press release.

“Together with this collaboration, we’re excited what the future bears not just for Towson University, but the greater area,” Ulman said at the launch Tuesday.

Ulman served as county executive from 2006-2014. He previously worked with the University of Maryland, College Park, to help the school develop as a hub for startups.

“We’re also looking at the fact that Margrave have established relationships,” Schatzel said. She pointed to Ulman’s connections in the state legislature and the local business community.

In a press release, Ulman said it was an honor to work with TU to help it “serve as a greater catalyst for job creation and placemaking in Towson.”

Nilo Exar contributed to this article. 

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