Column’s portrayal of town-gown relationship was inaccurate

To the Editor:

A recent News column (“City’s lack of definition complicates relations,” 10/18) that suggests that New Haven and Yale exist in dichotomous disharmony does not reflect the reality or history of the city and its hometown university. New Haven and Yale complement and complete each other; they do not compete with one another. New Haven would not be New Haven without Yale, nor would Yale be Yale without New Haven.

A thriving institution of higher education is fundamental to New Haven’s genetic fabric. The founders of New Haven sought a college as a high priority. New Haven fought hard to lure Yale — then the Collegiate School — to the heart of town in the early 1700s. The eminent historian William Kingsley rightly wrote in 1871 that “from foundation stone to roof-top, Yale College is the growth of the soil of New Haven.”

The complementary nature of New Haven and Yale’s relations was strongly reaffirmed by the Board of Aldermen this week. Those citizen legislators, who reflect the full diversity of New Haven, voted unanimously for a development agreement to promote Yale’s growth. That unanimous vote for Yale’s development reflects the broadly held and historic belief that city and the University complement each other.

As it was from the beginning, now in the 21st century the common good of New Haven and Yale is mutual.

Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93

Oct. 18

The writer is the University’s associate vice president for New Haven and state affairs and has lived in New Haven for 23 years.

Administration shouldn’t assume students will support new colleges

To the Editor:

In last Tuesday’s article “New colleges may line Prospect St.,” Deputy Provost Charles Long is quoted as praising President Levin’s transparency in announcing that recently acquired land will be used for new residential colleges. Although it is admirable for Levin to make his intentions with the land public, it would be even more admirable for him to exhibit the same transparency in his plans for these potential colleges. If the administration is far enough along in its decision that it has purchased land, then an announcement should be made to the entire Yale community so that students, not just faculty members and administrators, can make their opinions on undergraduate expansion known. This is especially important because, for many students, one of Yale’s virtues is its size and close-knit community, which could be compromised by more colleges at a greater distance.

Julia Meisel ’10

Oct. 16

The writer is in Branford College.