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Facilities Focus


DON'T WORRY IF YOU can’t express the difference between long-term planning and unified design on a campus. Even architects say they’re fuzzy on the difference.

WHEN UPS NEEDED EMPLOYEES at its Louisville hub, the University of Louisville's (Ky.) students presented the perfect candidate pool. UPS sweetened the pot with full scholarships, a 401(k) plan, housing and book allowances, health care services, and union wages. But to be able to work odd hours through the night, students needed a place to crash where their comings and goings didn't disturb normal dorm activities. The state of Kentucky and the university saw one clear answer: bring in a private developer to create, finance, and operate a 1,200-bed housing unit.

SCIENCE PROFESSORS BEGAN shifting their classroom curricula in the early 1990s. Turns out, studies showed that they could attract more students to their disciplines if the kids were allowed to get their hands on the good stuff. Participating in research as early as freshman year-and we're talking not talking about dissecting a frog-fosters a contagious excitement. Ricky Cox, a biomedical chemist at Murray State University (Ky.), invites his undergraduates to help him in the lab, and as a result, one girl recently graduated with five publication credits to her name.

IT'S A PERK THAT TENDS TO BE MORE DREADED THAN WEL-comed by institutional leaders. The official president's house could be the grandest property on campus, but actually residing there requires a balancing act between public and private lives that many presidential families would rather not perform.

Come one, come all: That's the concept behind a trend gaining momentum, as institutions of higher ed open facilities to the community. But shared use isn't just about open doors. Some IHEs are partnering with local public entities to fund, design, and operate buildings jointly.