COO Update, January 2018
I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable holiday season. As we welcome the New Year, I wanted to look back on some recent highlights from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer and talk about some of the exciting things we have to look forward to in 2018 and beyond.
Back in November, I was pleased to be a part of the dedication ceremony for the newly renovated Plaza of the Americas. As I mentioned during the dedication, the Plaza is an inspiration for several other forthcoming civic spaces at UF, as part of our Strategic Development Plan. Like the Plaza, I hope each of these unique spaces will be timeless and memorable, each with its own character but part of UF’s campus fabric.
That same week, I witnessed the unveiling of internationally acclaimed artist Naziha Mestaoui’s installation of the Live Oak Tree of Life at Innovation Square. The intricate projection piece celebrates the network of connections linking all living things. The installation is also part of UF’s Strategic Development Plan; one of the initially funded projects that connects the University of Florida and the City of Gainesville.
I am pleased to announce that Gainesville has plans to launch its very first public autonomous vehicle later this year as part of a partnership between UF, the City of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Transportation. The Gainesville Autonomous Transit Shuttle (GAToRS) is planned to run from the Depot Park area, through downtown and across Southwest 13th Street. From the time we began thinking about how to better connect UF and downtown, the idea of an autonomous vehicle surfaced over and over again. I’m very excited to see this idea becoming a reality!
Finally, I want to invite you to fill out UF’s Transportation and Parking Survey. By participating, you will be a part of the largest and most comprehensive effort in the history of UF to study parking and transportation on campus. This survey will be integral in helping us prepare for our future needs as the campus continues to evolve. As an added incentive, if you follow the survey to the end, you will have the option to submit your information to be entered into a prize drawing for an Apple iPad Pro or one of two iPad Minis! We look forward to your input.
The Transportation and Parking Survey can be found at: https://ufl.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0AQhMQCxLkbK9Lv&Q_JFE=0
Happy New Year and Go Gators!
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer