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Articles: Facilities

A link to Virginia Tech’s We Remember website, created immediately after the tragedy, holds a prominent place at the top right of the university’s home page.

Each spring, updated commemoration event information gets posted to the site, www.weremember.vt.edu—with all previous content remaining accessible and the victims’ photos and biographies easy to find.

“Nothing has ever been taken down,” says Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information at the university. “It’s there as public record.”

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

Many small towns and rural regions rely on the nation’s 600 rural community and tribal colleges to provide employees who will keep local economies alive.

But these institutions, which also serve as cultural centers, face a range pressures in supporting the day-to-day needs of a dwindling number of high school graduates with less money to spend, says Randy Smith, director of the Rural Community College Alliance.

For instance, Sisseton Wahpeton College in South Dakota—where Smith is president—provides campus shuttle service to students who live as far as 30 miles away.

In uncertain political times, some higher ed lobbyists say their most important role may be blocking legislation that could harm their client colleges and universities. 

Ten years ago, few universities employed chief information security officers. Now these administrators—known as CISOs—lead teams dedicated to shielding information, systems and research from internet thieves, and to keeping up with federal regulations.

STANDARD CARE—Research college labs are required to meet federal animal research standards, which includes the need to provide a clean environment and adequate care.

Following a spate of violence aimed at animal research facilities in the late 1990s, universities have worked to create greater transparency around scientific testing while maintaining stringent security to protect staff and animals. 

Campus discussions about spend analytics might sound like a late night infomercial: Implement the technology and save millions!

The newest addition to the Boca Raton campus is a 96,000-square-foot state-of-the-art football practice facility and academic space.

If colleges choose to simply shutter older structures and let them sit unoccupied, it's important to remember that honesty is the best policy during campus tours, says David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. (GettyImages.com: FozzyB)

The combination of the campus expansion boom of the past decade and the recent flattening of enrollment rates continues to create a significant backlog of deferred maintenance at many institutions, says report.

Trends in campus chapels mirror those of places of worship in general: New and renovated spaces are becoming more tech-enabled and multifunctional, with added emphasis on creating a gathering place for an entire community, regardless of religious denomination.

The largest capital project in Central Michigan University’s history, a new four-story, 170,000-square-foot Biosciences Building is a science showcase—right down to the numerous glass-walled labs that facilitate observation of ongoing research.

Kevin Wayer is an international director and co-president of JLL’s Public Institutions group, providing real estate services to higher ed institutions.

To bridge the gap between dwindling public resources and the growing cost of infrastructure and facilities, a public-private partnership (P3) can be a solution that infuses capital into an overstretched budget and makes new development financially feasible.

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey—Montclair State had been a university for only a few years when Susan Cole took over as president in 1998. She wanted the job—her second presidency—because she saw vast, untapped potential on the campus of 12,000 students. She also felt certain that she could, pretty quickly, ensure the institution lived up to its new name.

The University of Notre Dame, University of the Ozarks and Ursinus College each announce an upcoming facility to be constructed on their campuses in the future.

American higher education in 2016 faced increased pressure on performance. Colleges and universities were also being pushed to eliminate administrative and academic silos to help students of all ages and backgrounds succeed. Here’s a look back at what made headlines in higher ed this past year and how campuses responded.

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