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Articles: Facilities

For years, universities have taken advantage of an insurance solution known as Owner-Controlled Insurance Programs (OCIPs) or “wrap-ups.” OCIPs provide general liability insurance and workers compensation for the length of a construction project for all or a majority of the parties involved rather than requiring each participant to be responsible for the procurement of insurance. OCIPs are used on large individual projects or on a “rolling” basis by aggregating smaller projects completed over time. A well-run OCIP can save a university 1-1.5 percent of hard construction costs.

The contemporary campus recreation center has graduated from yesterday’s dingy weight room. In fact, at many institutions, the rec center serves as a multipurpose space, hosting celebrations on special occasions and promoting student wellness in body and mind throughout the semester.

Colleges and universities balance questions of safety and discrimination when asking about criminal histories on applications.

In an era where many campus security efforts are being amplified, some schools are relaxing certain policies around prospective students’ criminal backgrounds.

The needs of those who work and learn in institutions of higher education require environments that reflect their preferences and culture more than ever before. That’s why experiential branding and wayfinding have become integral parts of an institution’s architectural expression. While the brand—the story of who you are and why you exist as an institution— builds distinction (beyond curriculum choices) in the marketplace, wayfinding serves to direct, inform and inspire.

Increasing enrollment is a priority for many institutions. The race is on to create a marketplace distinction in order to attract new students and to retain current students. As if this challenge weren’t enough, colleges and universities are faced with rising costs, reduced endowments and smaller budgets. As campus leaders look for ways to leverage their resources and still accomplish their enrollment and growth goals, one viable strategy is to recognize the role that physical facilities have on student attraction and retention.

In the business world, products sometimes price themselves out of the market and provide an opening for competitors.

Taught by Jennie Stephens, associate professor of environmental science and policy, Clark University, Mass.

Through The Pizza Box Composting Project, six bright green dumpsters with a pizza painted on them have been placed near North Carolina State's residence halls.

The order: large pizza, extra green.

To increase composting efforts on campus, North Carolina State University has been focusing on the proper disposal of a popular item used by students: pizza boxes.

Many administrators say a significant number of students are willing to pay for residence halls that have more in common with modern hotels than with the cramped, concrete-block dormitories built in the 1960s and 70s. However, questions of who can—and can’t—afford the higher rates may arise around the housing allocation process as campus living becomes more luxurious.

Capital fundraising retains a top slot among institutional fundraising priorities due to renovation and construction imperatives, new program requirements and the need to update technology. In addition to broader capital campaigns and a razor-sharp focus on major donors, more institutions are seeking support from the business sector.

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.

Challenge 

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.

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