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Articles: Facilities

Many higher ed librarians say they have found new ways to navigate the journal-subscription system.

Librarians and their advocates are also pushing for systemic change: a transition away from the subscription-based model of scholarly communication and toward open access. This transition to free availability of published research is one librarians say university administrators should work to accelerate.

To academic librarians, the serials crisis—the budget squeeze caused by the rising cost of subscriptions to scholarly journals—is old news.

Library spending on serials rose 402 percent between 1986 and 2012, according to the Association of Research Libraries, and costs for individual subscriptions rose by an average of 12 percent over the past two years alone, a Library Journal survey found. 

Five years ago, a researcher in Kazakhstan frustrated at the inaccessibility and cost of so many scholarly journals launched Sci-Hub, a website that today provides quick, free access to 47 million articles, often by illegally bypassing paywalls.

A recent article in Science found that in a single six-month period, Sci-Hub received requests for a staggering 28 million papers.

To the publishers whose copyrights are being subverted, Sci-Hub is nothing but piracy.

The Fair Housing Act defines only dormitory accommodations that should be made for therapy pets. (Photo: Gettyimages.com/mssponge)

Pets can help students cope with stress, depression and other mental disorders. But until recently, this well-documented remedy did not guarantee a space for therapy animals on campus.

The first new academic building added to Trinity’s historic Washington, D.C. campus in more than half a century, provides much needed instructional space for the school’s growing nursing and health programs as well as a step into modern architecture.

At schools such as Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, therapy dogs are brought in during finals week to help manage student stress. It’s an example of “universal design” because those diagnosed with anxiety aren’t the only ones to benefit.

Common oversights can occur even on campuses where leaders believe they have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To avoid running afoul of the law, constant vigilance and ongoing review are essential because there are so many factors to consider.

Although some professors prohibit the use of laptops during class because of the distraction factor, laptop use for note-taking is one accommodation colleges may offer students, such as those with a mobility impairment. (Photo: Marist College)
  1. ADA awareness training should be mandatory and ongoing across all departments. If students come to a staff member requesting an accommodation, they should be referred to the disabilities services office, which will help ensure consistency and fairness. 
  2. Campuses see a range of disabilities that must be covered, from mental and emotional (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, PTSD, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, etc.) to physical (asthma, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Type 1 diabetes, allergies, celiac disease, traumatic brain injury, etc.).

Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building

Berea College (Ky.)

Berea’s new $72 million Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building will house the biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and nursing departments.

An eye-catching new home for STEM departments and programs at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven is part of the university’s efforts to boost its curriculum in those disciplines.

In addition to physics, biology and chemistry classes, the building hosts the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies as well as the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology. 

Herman Bulls is vice chairman of JLL Americas, specializing in delivering comprehensive real estate solutions to federal, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions.

The phrase “town and gown” is rooted in the notion that universities and the surrounding communities are naturally at odds. But forward-looking colleges and universities are finding deep value in blurring those lines, and instead are leveraging mixed-use developments to improve the community and campus alike.

The WaterHub reduces by 146 million gallons the annual amount that Emory University drains off the Atlanta municipal water system.

The landmark WaterHub at Emory University in Atlanta is an eco-friendly water recycling plant that cleanses 400,000 gallons per day of wastewater for purposes other than drinking.

Harnessing biomimicry processes, WaterHub uses beneficial bacteria, microorganisms, plants and hydroponic technology to treat black water, gray water and stormwater for later use in steam and chiller plants, as well as for toilet flushing in a number of residence halls.

This fall, travel funded by the student government at Whitman College in Washington state will be taxed based on emissions generated in getting to and from the destination.

Passed in February as a two-year pilot program, the rule is likely the first of its kind imposed by a student government at a U.S. college.

Students traveling as part of a ski club or flying to New York City for a journalism conference, for example, will calculate the cost of their emissions, but not be charged directly.

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

Health insurance, along with everything from faculty recruitment to information technology, is one of the emerging areas of shared services that regional consortia are now tackling. Their success in saving money and improving efficiencies has fueled a wave of new collaborations.

Colleges or universities looking to join a higher education consortium have two major options: alliances that are regionally based or those focused on a common goal.

Schools that choose to participate in a regional consortium have the advantage of being able to easily meet with other members to discuss common issues.

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