A space for local leaders to network and exchange ideas

NLC’s member networking councils bring together leaders from communities that are similar in size, type, or another important characteristic. The University Communities Council (UCC) is open to municipal officials from NLC member municipalities with an institution of higher education within their borders or within adjacent municipalities. University officials are welcome to attend UCC meetings. Participants share ideas and creative solutions to the unique challenges affecting university communities. Participation in the Council ensures that the needs of university communities are reflected in the NLC’s advocacy efforts. 

The objectives of the council are:  

  • To create networking opportunities for elected municipal officials from university communities 
  • To assist cities, NLC, and State Municipal Leagues in gathering, sharing and analyzing information about opportunities, issues and policies of interest to university communities 
  • To foster a spirit of cooperation between universities, colleges and city and town governments


Gloria Betcher, Councilmember, Ames, Iowa (Chair) 

Tanaka Vercher, Councilmember, Nashville, Tenn. (Vice Chair) 

Steve Patterson, Mayor, Athens, Ohio (Vice Chair)


The UCC welcomes new members at any time throughout the year; the group meets in person at the Congressional City Conference and City Summit. There is no extra cost for NLC members to join UCC.  

Leadership nominations for the council are solicited every Fall and their term begins at City Summit by the group’s membership.