PRINCETON: University president to meet with council, discuss strategic and campus planning processes

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
The future growth and direction of Princeton University will be among the discussion topics when university President Christopher L. Eisgruber meets Monday night with Mayor Liz Lempert and the council.
Mr. Eisgruber will make some remarks on the strategic and campus planning processes the university is undertaking, said university Vice President and Secretary Robert K. Durkee by phone Friday.
Mayor Lempert said Friday that she expects the conversation to focus on the community impacts of both plans. She said there are “concerns” about growth on campus and how that impacts adjacent neighborhoods and the wider community.
Mr. Eisgruber has spoken favorably about increasing the student enrollment at the university, although no decisions have been made. Princeton has a low admission rate; this year, it announced it had accepted 6.99 percent of the more than 27,000 applicants seeking to be part of the class of 2019.
For her part, Mayor Lempert said increasing undergraduate enrollment would not “necessarily” have a great impact on the community given that most undergrads live on campus and don’t drive. She stressed, however, that was dependent on where any new dorms are constructed.
She said that other parts of the university would have to grow to accommodate an increased enrollment, such as corresponding growth in faculty and staff and instructional space and other facilities.
She believes it is important that the town retain its “essence” as a small community that has a vibrant downtown and neighborhoods with unique character, yet at the same time is a place that has a world-renowned university.
As for other topics, she said the discussion would look at ways to achieve “shared goals” that include having a better-integrated transit system.
Monday will be the third time that Mr. Eisgruber has had public face-to-face meetings with the mayor and the council since taking office in 2013, an opportunity that he finds value in, Mr. Durkee said.
The session will give council members and the community an opportunity to ask him whatever is on their minds. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., in the former Borough Hall.