A couple of things having to do with UNCG and downtown Greensboro came up Tuesday at a UNCG Board of Trustees committee meeting.
The news: UNCG is looking to lease separate spaces in or near downtown for most of its advancement office and for its Greensboro Project Space.
GPS — an off-campus contemporary art gallery and performance space coordinated by UNCG's art department — is losing its lease at year's end. It has shared a building with makerspace Forge Greensboro on West Lewis Street since 2016, but UNCG officials said that Forge Greensboro is looking to expand into the GPS space. GPS wants to find space somewhere downtown "to continue its mission of connecting the University with the broader community through the arts," as this UNCG memo put it.
The advancement office move is a little trickier to explain, but it highlights a shift in how universities want to use their main campuses these days, especially when they start running out of space. Universities in general and UNCG in particular want academic and other student-focused services to be on the main campus. Everything else goes to the edge of campus or off campus. (That goes for parking, too, which is why you need to be prepared to walk when you visit a college campus.)
In the case of UNCG's fundraising operations, the dominoes fell like this:
When UNCG closed the McIver Building on campus at the end of 2017 so it could build a new nursing and instructional building, it had to move a lot of staff offices out of McIver. When those dominoes stopped falling, most of the advancement office staff had been relocated from an office building on West Market Street near campus to the former Salvation Army chapel, now owned by UNCG, on South Josephine Boyd Street. (By "most of the advancement office staff," I mean about 40 employees who work with alumni and other potential donors and keep track of the money that comes in. UNCG's vice chancellor for advancement will keep her office in the Alumni House on campus.)
Now comes word that UNCG wants more space in its main administration building (Mossman, for those of you who know campus) for The Graduate School, the division that helps oversee UNCG's master's and doctoral programs that enroll about 3,600 students. To expand The Graduate School office, UNCG will move two business operations (Accounting Services and Financial Planning & Budgets) from Mossman to the former Salvation Army chapel. The advancement folks, then, are being domino'd out once again.
Chancellor Frank Gilliam told trustees Tuesday that one upside for moving the advancement office downtown might be to give UNCG a little more off-campus visibility.
Speaking of off-campus visibility, UNCG will have a downtown Greensboro pop-up retail shop for the second straight year at 300-B. S. Elm St., next to the Wrangler store. The UNCG shop opens Dec. 6, just in time for First Friday and Festival of Lights. It'll be open for three Fridays and Saturdays (Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21) though the holidays. No word on whether it'll be selling UNCG-branded dominoes.