March/April 2004
Issue 02


this issue...

Taboo Topics

When NOT to Initiate
a Campus Plan

Good Client/Bad Client



Taboo Topics
As a rule, we find our role as planners is to help our clients confront the truth, even if it means raising difficult topics. This issue of Perspectives will be no exception. We are confronting themes that are good, bad, and conceivably ugly — topics that some would rather avoid.

Our lead article focuses on an idea that may raise the anxiety levels of campus planners; it explores what may be a downright ugly possibility to self-regarding consultants. When is it not appropriate to initiate a campus plan? We have some suggestions and thoughts that will produce positive outcomes for an institution. Curious? Read on.

Good and bad are not accusations, but choices. We share some tips on how to prepare for working with a planning consultant and how to be ready to plan.

If you have reactions or ideas to share, please let us know what you think by e-mailing:

Charles Craig


When Not to Initiate a
if you can avoid it and what to do when you can't

The most productive campus plans are organic processes that require stable, sure leadership; an inspiring vision of the institution's future; accurate, current information; and meaningful, timely engagement by an active campus community.

When you lack an internal advocate for the outcomes
This is the most crucial requirement. Without a respected, authoritative internal point person, any plan process is likely to falter at some stage. It must be obvious to the leadership team on campus who this person will be before starting a plan. If, for reasons of institutional culture or politics, the president will not be the lead person, it is the president's responsibility to identify, cultivate, encourage, and support the best person for this role.

Institutional planning is a continuous activity at well-managed campuses. Having the right person leading the effort is essential to producing meaningful, vibrant, successful plans, and eliminates the possibility of its becoming a going-through-the-motions routine.

When changing administrations
Campus planning processes benefit from strong leadership at the highest levels. When a president or a vice-president involved in a plan suddenly moves on or is due to retire, it can have a crippling effect on plan process and quality. People are often too unsure of the new administration's direction to participate confidently. The re-ordered priorities of the incoming leadership can reconfigure academic, student life and administrative initiatives championed by the outgoing administration, creating a difficult environment for planning.

If this happens, design the process to go into hiatus when the campus and program analysis is complete and initial plan concepts have been drafted. The incoming administration can then get settled and take the leadership of the development of plan alternatives.

When you have a micro-managing board
While an institution's board must have solid connections with campus planning processes, hands-on direction from an overly enthusiastic individual will not result in excellent planning, no matter how well intentioned the person may be.

Effective campus planning is an administrative responsibility that the board needs to participate in, but should not direct.

Before you have agreement on enrollment projections or enrollment scenarios
Without a holistic understanding of enrollment goals and a strategy for achieving them, the campus plan's attempts to accommodate future needs become mere conjecture. Have an enrollment plan in place early so it dovetails with the physical planning.

When you don't have adequate documentation of your physical assets
This seems obvious, but it is not fully in place at many institutions. This documentation is essential to the integrity of planning efforts. You can't manage what you don't understand. If materials such as an up-to-date campus map and building floorplans, a room-by-room facility inventory, and building condition assessments do not exist in useful formats at the outset of a plan, then include them as a part of the effort and appropriate funds to this fundamental data generation.

George Mathey



Good Client/Bad Client
Colleges and universities hire planning consultants, architects, and other design professionals to address institutional issues and needs. In doing so, both parties enter into a legal, corporate, institutional, and personal relationship.

Whether or not the assignment is productive depends as much on the skills and experience of the consultants as on your preparedness and on the degree to which you are a responsible client.

Planning should be an on-going institutional endeavor. Bringing in a consultant to help your institution demonstrates good stewardship. However, the presence of a consultant does not eliminate your responsibilities -- setting priorities, making decisions, and becoming engaged.

"The planning effectiveness of a campus depends on the planning effectiveness of its presidential leadership. There is no escape from this situation.”
John Millett

As the institution's leader, you are responsible for describing the problem.

You are responsible for establishing priorities. Consultants can then help you understand the implications of your choices. Here are some useful rules-of-thumb.

If your project involves new construction, be realistic about the expenses above basic construction costs. For planning purposes, a new construction project can be 1.25 to 1.35 the cost of construction.

Be realistic about schedule.
A campus plan, should take about 9 months to complete.
A facility program usually requires a minimum of 3 to 4 months. New construction for an academic building will take 18 to 24 months.

If you set a challenging schedule, then you need to recognize the impact this will have on your institution. Consultants are experienced in meeting deadlines, but be sure the institution does not cause delays.

Don't be shy about being a demanding client -- of your consultant and yourself. You will both be more successful.

Arthur Lidsky





Facilities Manager article
The March/April issue of the APPA's Facilities Manager features an article by Arthur Lidsky entitled “Changes in Technology and Pedagogy Are Having a Significant Impact on Facilities.” The article explores the connections among facilities, technology, and pedagogy and how the latest research on the way people learn impacts the way faculty teach, the way students learn, and the facility resources required.

DLC+A Speaking at No Name Conference
Charles Craig will be presenting with Philip Soule of the URS Corporation and Dr. Edward Grose of Marshall University at the 2004 Annual No Name Facilities Conference, to be held May 9-11, 2004 in Pittsburgh. The session will focus on strategies and techniques embedded in the recently completed Marshall University Facility/Land Use Master Plan. In the context of uncertain economic times, the new plan has been developed to advance the University's current strategic initiatives focusing on expanded research and academic excellence.

DLC+A Speaking at SCUP 39
Arthur Lidsky and Richard Dober will each be speaking at the Society for College and University Planning's thirty-ninth annual, international conference and expo. SCUP 39 takes place July 17-21, 2004 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Ontario. Presentations include:

Similarities and Differences -- Three Institutions Plan New Facilities
Presenters: Thomas C Greene, St. Lawrence University; Arthur J. Lidsky, Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates; David Sullivan, Syracuse University; Douglas A. Weldon, Hamilton College This moderated discussion will focus on planning similarities, differences, tips on what works, and potential problems to avoid.

New Campus In Great Britain -- Forty Years Later
Presenter: Richard P. Dober, Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates, Inc. This presentation will revisit the development of new campuses in Great Britain, first visited in 1964 through the auspices of the Educational Facilities Laboratories.

The National Campus Facilities Inventory -- What the Study Has Shown Us
John Byrd, University of Alabama, and Arthur J. Lidsky, Dober, Lidsky,Craig and Associates. This concurrent session presents a summary of the first SCUP CFI Survey -findings, comparisons, and related bench marking information.



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Creating Campus Solutions

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