Longtime Yale administrator Bruce Alexander ‘65 will retire from his position as vice president for New Haven and state affairs and campus development next month, University President Peter Salovey announced in a campus-wide email Thursday morning.
Alexander, the first person to hold his position, will remain at Yale on a part-time basis to work on specific projects. In his 20-year tenure at the University, Alexander spearheaded Yale’s efforts to revitalize Broadway, Chapel Street and the Whitney Avenue Arts District, helping the University’s commercial project arm — Yale University Properties — amass more than 100 storefronts.
In 2007, Alexander negotiated the purchase of the area now known as West Campus from Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Under his leadership, the University also partnered with the Board of Alders and other local groups to create New Haven Works, a non-profit that connects the city residents with local job opportunities.
“Bruce has steered Yale’s physical growth and campus development with tremendous wisdom and foresight, bringing his deep understanding of the university’s mission and legacy to every decision and opportunity,” Salovey wrote in the email announcement.
Moving forward, Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan and General Counsel Alexander Dreier will take over Alexander’s responsibilities, Salovey wrote in the email. The vice presidents for facilities, Yale Hospitality, and New Haven affairs and University Properties will report to Callahan. Under Dreier’s direction, Salovey wrote, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations Richard Jacob will continue Alexander’s work with the state of Connecticut.
Before Alexander assumed a full-time position at Yale, he had chaired former University President Benno Schmidt’s urban advisory committee in the 1990s, at the nadir of Yale-New Haven relations, a few years after a Yale student was murdered on Hillhouse Avenue. Years later, Schmidt’s successor, former University President Richard Levin, recruited Alexander — who had previously worked as a community developer and as an executive for a Baltimore-based shopping mall — to spearhead Yale’s city and state relations.
In an email to the News, Levin said that the state of New Haven’s downtown and the conditions of Yale’s buildings and grounds were “deplorable” 25 years ago, noting that Alexander interacted with city officials and helped Yale negotiate real estate transactions even before he joined the University as a full-time vice president. For his work on downtown redevelopment, the West Campus acquisition, campus renovations and building projects, the University “will be forever in his debt,” Levin said.
Alexander changed the University’s relationship with its host city, said New Haven Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson, adding that Yale’s acquisition of commercial properties has vastly improved interactions between Yale and New Haven.
Hailey Fuchs | firstname.lastname@example.org