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Articles: Facilities

Many small institutions wrestle with the annual assessment of how to manage routine capital projects. A backlog of deferred maintenance items can further complicate planning.

For decades, academic libraries have been distinguishing elements of campuses across the nation. Providing abundant resources along with quiet environments conducive to individual study, these buildings withstood the test of time, serving the needs of students and faculty alike. Today, modern technology, along with rapidly changing student study habits and expectations, are significantly reducing the demand for brick and mortar resource centers.

Similar to their corporate counterparts, institutions of higher education have to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, which means managing budgets and achieving bottom line results. While there are many factors that contribute to success in this arena, the recent decline in state support for higher education is making it more difficult for colleges and university to grow and thrive. Today’s reality is that reduced funding puts more pressure on colleges and universities as they compete for limited dollars.

In fall 2012, Sage launched the Achieve Degree program, an online degree designed for students on the autism spectrum or with other special needs, who generally work from home or their local library.

The future Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall at West Virginia State University.

West Virginia State University broke ground in October on a 291-bed, $20 million residence hall, the first to be constructed on campus since 1969. The four-story building will sit prominently on the main lawn of campus and provide a “pass through” between the student union and quad.

Repurposing an old campus building may not have the wow factor that comes with creating a new facility from scratch. But colleges and universities driven by financial, environmental and sentimental forces sometimes find rejuvenating the buildings they already have is a more practical solution.

Today’s up-and-coming millennials are taking different learning style and lifestyle trajectories than our country’s one-career, suburban dwelling baby boomers. Young 20- and 30-somethings have flocked to metropolitan centers seeking upscale amenities, edgy culture and a more sustainable way of living and learning. They are attracted by underground music venues, microbreweries, artist galleries utilizing nontoxic materials, and Wi-Fi cafes that serve free trade coffee.

Todd Kelly, Vice President for Library and Information Services

It was clear four years ago that Wisconsin-based Carthage College needed a new system for managing help requests from the campus community. The Library and Information Services (LIS) staff of 25 was manually handling nearly 12,000 questions each year from faculty, staff and students about everything library or technology-related. Additionally, many of the requests were sent made informally directly to technicians. That made tracking and follow-up nearly impossible, especially given the rapid growth the college was experiencing.

Colleges and universities nationwide marked the 10th annual Campus Sustainability Day in October with events and discussions that reflect on the success of the sustainability movement in higher education.

With its amphitheater and café, the atrium area of Bloch Executive Hall is a popular informal meeting area. It was also the scene of a dinner celebration with hundreds of guests.

Sitting adjacent to UMKC’s historic School of Management building, and now complementing it, is the new Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Rob Thompson, director of academic and core applications, Wayne State University

More is not always better, as Wayne State University discovered. Like many universities, Wayne State relied on a dual system where applicants submitted some information online, and other information using paper forms. The result was a clumsy and redundant process.

On college campuses, students are often reluctant to report a crime, whether it’s being committed by a fellow classmate or a stranger.

One way to combat this problem is for universities to train bystanders on the need to do something when a potential crime or suspicious activity occurs, says Middle Tennessee State University Police Chief Buddy Peaster.

Newer campus security systems capitalize on the ubiquity of mobile devices.

Police officers at the University of South Florida sprung into action one afternoon last February when a text message flashed on a computer screen at the campus 911 operations center, alerting the dispatcher that a student had a .25-caliber pistol in his dorm room.

University of Dayton freshmen pledge to ride with two wheels rather than drive with four.

One hundred freshman at The University of Dayton were given bikes this fall after the students signed a pledge not to bring a car to campus during their first two years at the Ohio school.

The lock and key is going the way of the VCR. An electronic access control system is more convenient, efficient, and secure. Access control has become an indispensable part of an overall campus security plan.

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