You are here

Articles: Facilities

More institutions are creating energy conversation plans that cover the entire campus rather than just individual buildings.

Conservation on campus is about saving money and electricity at a time of lagging state funding and soaring global demand for power. Colleges with successful energy sustainability programs have combined mechanical improvements with campaigns to get their communities to adopt new behaviors.

John Bostwick formerly worked in Harvard University’s central administration as a writer and developer of financial policy.

It’s no secret that higher education is an increasingly global endeavor. Besides sending a significant number of students to participate in study abroad programs, colleges and universities also engage in research projects, collaborations and countless other international activities.

Back in September, the Crough Center at The Catholic University of America (D.C.) became the first building in the world to be LEED certified by students as part of a formal course.

Developed in 2011 by Patricia Andrasik, assistant professor of architecture, the LEED Lab course not only teaches students about green building codes and projects, but certifies them in LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, or EB: O+M.

Mercer University Bears football fans who enter the Macon, Ga., campus through the Stadium Drive entrance now pass the school’s new fountain and surrounding rain garden. The garden, which is 1.5 acres, is not only attractively landscaped—it serves a dual purpose by collecting rainwater runoff from nearby parking lots.


The former tension pond near Mercer’s football stadium had been built to code to control runoff but was unattractive and occupied a lot of space, says James Netherton, executive vice president for administration and finance.

Marc C. Whitt is associate vice president for public relations at Eastern Kentucky University.

Crisis communications management is often a reactive measure. But the most effective public relations managers are those who are proactive. These tips can help as you develop a proactive crisis communications plan.

The roster of people flowing in and out of campus buildings changes frequently. New students come in, others graduate. Adjunct faculty and visiting scholars join the campus for a limited time; corporate partners and parents stop over for a day. Giving everyone access is a challenge that’s compounded when a mix of security systems have been installed independently.

The University of Baltimore set clear sustainability goals when it began planning its new law school building.

“It had to be [LEED] Platinum, but it also had to be an environment that would be exciting for staff and students to spend days and late nights studying in,” says Nebeye Sertsu, vice president for facilities management and capital planning. “We embedded in the design how we interact with students, how we represent the city and how we talk about our campus to prospective students.”

Tabletop emergency exercises are part of the drill for Greencastle, Ind., Police Chief Tom Sutherlin and DePauw University Director of Public Safety Angela Nally. They met in August for an exercise at the Emergency Operations Center in Greencastle.

Cooperation between college and local police is expanding--police at many institutions now run through emergency drills with their local counterparts and some schools have seen their officers’ jurisdiction expanded into surrounding communities. Sexual assaults, however, remain a major concern.

Many people question why campus police would need a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protection vehicle like the ones pictured here. (Photo: Creative Commons: U.S. Navy)

One of the more enduring images from the recent protests in Ferguson, Mo., was that of armored military vehicles rolling down the streets of the city. But many have been surprised to learn that this equipment is also showing up on college campuses.

Colleges and universities across the country are poised to lose more than credibility if they don’t comply with sexual assault regulations and policies.

At Dartmouth University’s national sexual assault summit in July, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education Catherine E. Lhamon spoke bluntly.

Paula V. Smith is a professor of English and director of the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Is enterprise risk management worth the effort? What’s gained by evaluating top risks across an entire college or university?

A recent survey of 921 higher education leaders found a “conflicted” attitude toward comprehensive risk programs. Academic leaders say that ERM is an institutional priority, yet many of them don’t follow through. At Grinnell, we examined risks across the institution and found these seven methods of ERM can help a campus learn to engage with risk in productive and creative ways.

The future Lassonde Studios at The University of Utah.

A 148,000-square-foot facility at The University of Utah combines 412 residences with a 20,000-square-foot “garage” space for students to build prototypes and launch companies. The University of Nevada, Reno Student Achievement Center will bring together academic and other services now scattered across campus.

Whether it’s purchasing textbooks every semester or meeting daily needs such as meals, snacks or health and beauty aids, students who find the right dining and retail stores on campus have a better college experience.

Many higher ed institutions are adding shops and brand-name eateries, as well as renovating bookstores to keep up with current technology trends.

Higher education institutions can venerate or perpetuate hallowed traditions. Institutions have had a reputation for infrastructure conservatism. William Rees’ 2003 article “Impeding Sustainability? The Ecological Footprint of Higher Education” states “the real challenge for higher education is to help articulate an alternative life-sustaining worldview.” Today, campuses lead the transformation to sustainability, demonstrating its value nationwide.

"There is no magic wand that can resolve our problems. The solution rests with our work and discipline."
—Jose Eduardo Dos Santos