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Monday, July, 23, 2012

Set in Stone: A Study of the Current Cultural Arts Building Boom


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Worth a look.

Civic leaders, arts organizations, donors and government officials can better plan new or expanded arts facilities by first focusing on the arts organizations’ missions and assessing demand for the projects, according to a new study from the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago. ...

The work was based on interviews with people in more than 500 organizations and drew data from more than 700 building projects, including both new facilities and major renovations. The costs of the projects ranged from $4 million to $335 million. It relied on rare, behind-the-scenes access to the discussions surrounding the buildings.

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

Without Credit: Who will be first to give graduate credit for MOOCs?


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According to Steve Kolowich, the University of Washington is planning for this: 

The University of Washington plans to offer “enhanced” versions of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) it will develop through a partnership with Coursera, according to the university’s provost.

The "enhanced" versions will add a number of features designed to make them more closely resemble conventional online courses -- including more assessments, direct interaction with instructors, and the opportunity to earn a certificate that hypothetically could be redeemed for course credit.

But the “enhanced” MOOCs will also come with price tags and enrollment caps. And while students might be able to redeem their completion certificates for credit toward a University of Washington degree, they could do so only if they enrolled as tuition-paying students at the university, says David P. Szatmary, the provost.

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

Taking Action on Active Learning


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This is a nice University Business magazine blog post that includes quotations from several SCUPers, including SCUP author Lennie-Scott Webber, author of In Sync: Environmental Behavior Research and the Design of Learning Spaces, which can be downloaded for free by SCUP members.

Lennie Scott-Webber, director of education environments at Steelcase, conducts research on how the built environment influences behavior. She sees a tremendous, but urgent, opportunity for higher education institutions to realize the foundational value of active learning and spaces. Kids are learning in entirely new ways, starting from their toddler years. “It’s not just developing another chair, another table, another thing,” Scott-Webber said at the panel event. “It really is solving a problem.”

Scott-Webber thinks faculty are often open to new ways of using space, but they don’t always have the tools or rationale yet to take action. Institutional leaders need to proactively talk about active learning, and identify how it can work. “All these entrepreneurial elements in 6–12, they’re coming to higher ed,” she said. “We can’t just stand and deliver anymore.”

Note that if this topic interests you, there is a SCUP webcast on September 13 that you should register for. Its title is “Building Brand and Culture: Planning for the ‘Phygital’ Generation” (physical + digital = phygital). Registration details soon at scup.org.

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

One-Third of Colleges on Financially Unsustainable Paths?


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Are one-third of colleges on a financially unsustainable path? Including Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton? Regardless of your opinion of the research methodology by Bain & Company, those who plan around resources and dollars will find it necessary to at last learn about and understand this analysis:

The new analytic tool classifies colleges based on whether their expense ratios increased or their equity ratios decreased, giving the harshest rankings to those with changes of more than 5 percent, moderate rankings to those with changes of 0 to 5 percent, and good rankings to those where expense ratios didn't increase and equity ratios didn't decrease.

For example, it lists Bennington and Rollins Colleges along with California State University-Channel Islands and Georgia Southwestern State University as being on an unsustainable financial path for several years because their ratios of expenses relative to revenues spiked up while their equity ratios fell. (For all four, the expense ratio increased by 25 percent or more.) Hundreds of other colleges were classified with that same designation if only one of the ratios changed by more than 5 percent.Higher-education leaders who say the Education Department's scores can be a flawed way of measuring a college's health say the Bain-Sterling analysis may suffer the same weaknesses.

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

Learning Space Design Toolkit


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Have you looked at this toolkit yet? Many SCUPers have been involved in its development thus far. It probably has “legs” as a project, so it’s definitely worth taking a look. We’ll be discussing this toolkit as part of this fall’s Campus-Space MOJO. Be sure to sign up. It’s divided into six components: 

  • Roadmap: The schedule and activities needed to plan and implement space. 
  • Space Types: The “building blocks that make up technology-rich learning space.
  • Services: Services provided within spaces to support their users.
  • Needs Assessment: What activities are envisioned for a learning space and assessing how well spaces are working to support those activities.
  • Technology: How to think about the range of technology within learning space.
  • Integration: How these space type building blocks go together nin terms of adjacencies and location.

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

A sobering Look at College Affordability


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Beckie Supiano summarizes a presentation by Brian Zucker, who spoke at the annual meeting of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NAASFE). In a very integrated look, Zucker brings out a web of related issues for students and families, which may not be visible to many on campus who are working with them, or to those planning the systems within which they and the institution interacts.

So where does that leave colleges? Back in the day, tuition discounting was a way for colleges to get ahead, Mr. Zucker said, bringing in a better class than they otherwise could. Now, he said, with all of those economic forces working against students and their families, discounting is “necessary to live to fight another day.” 

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

Land-Grants are 150 Years Old. What's next?


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Land grant institutions are 150 years old this year, having then been created by the Morrill Land-Grant College Act. The New England Journal of Higher Education takes a look at land grants in its current issue, beginning with Morrill at 150: Creating American Manufacturing Universities. 

The following quotation is from a brief essay in which Robert Atkinson takes a look at a proposal to designate a core of 20 leading “manufacturing universities”: 

[T]hese universities would do several things. First, they would revamp their engineering programs much more around manufacturing engineering and, in particular, work that is more relevant to industry. This would include more joint industry-university research projects; more training of students that incorporates manufacturing experiences through co-ops or other programs; and a Ph.D. education program focused on turning out more Ph.D. engineering grads who would work in industry. These universities would view Ph.D.s as akin to high-level apprenticeships (as they often are in Germany), where one can’t get a Ph.D. unless one has done some work in industry. Likewise, criteria for faculty tenure would consider professors’ work with and/or in industry as much as their number of publications. In addition, their business schools would focus on manufacturing issues, including management of production, and integrate closely with engineering.

Also in this issue, Mark W. Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire, takes a look at the visionary behind the Land-Grant Act, “U.S. Sen. Justin Smith Morrill[,] would say about our handling of his legacy.”

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Monday, July, 23, 2012

College Planners Discuss How They Push for Change


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Scott Carlson interviewed three SCUP-47 presenters and served up podcasts with them on The Chronicle's website:

The first is a conversation with Sanford Shugart, the president of Valencia College in Florida. Mr. Shugart is giving the opening talk at SCUP this year, which will address changing the culture in higher education, and how that stands as the major challenge for the industry. Four cultures have been prominent in higher education history: the monastic culture, the culture of the German institute, the industrial culture, and the "retail culture," where students are "customers" at the higher education "spa." He's not sure what culture is emerging now.

"Maybe it's a convenience culture," he says. "Maybe it's a digital, open-source culture.... It's in the nature of culture that you cannot see it emerge. You only see it in the rear-view mirror." 13:07
The second conversation is with Robert Brodnick, an associate vice president at the University of the Pacific. He proposes bringing something new to institutional planning: design thinking, an approach that blends analytical thinking with creative thinking. It's a process that is not currently widely used in institutional planning, he says. "Given what is happening politically, economically, and in terms of technology, I think people need to think differently about how we plan for the future." 8:38
 
The third conversation—with Ira Fink, a well-known college planner—focuses on "the time value of campus space." Higher education tends to apply a one-size-fits-all pricing model to its spaces, while other entities—like travel companies, for instance—change the cost of their airline flights or hotel rooms, depending on whether you want to use them at times of peak demand. Should higher education do the same? 10:31

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Monday, July, 16, 2012

Remarks by Victor E. Sidy, a 2012 Juror for SCUP's Excellence Awards


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At SCUP–47, the awards jurors took the time to make several presentations about themes and trends they observed among the awards applications. We captured the remarks of three jurors on (handheld) video. These are the remarks of Victor E. Sidy, Head of School and Dean, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, served up from YouTube. An organizing slide from his presentation is also shown below. (Click on them to see a larger version.)

He shares juror observations, using examples from award recipients and from those which did not receive awards (not each project illustrated in this talk received an award) about some of the best new trends and campus buildings this year.

 

A Summary Slide

 

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Monday, July, 16, 2012

Remarks by Cathrine Blake, a 2012 Juror for SCUP's Excellence Awards


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At SCUP–47, the awards jurors took the time to make several presentations about themes and trends they observed among the awards applications. We captured the remarks of three jurors on (handheld) video. These are the remarks of Cathrine Blake, Associate Director/Landscape Architect, Stanford University, served up from YouTube. Some of the slides from her presentation are also shown below. (Click on them to see a larger version.)

She shares juror observations, using examples from award recipients and from those which did not receive awards (not each project illustrated in this talk received an award) about:

  • Sustainable landscape planning;
  • Transit Transitions; and
  • Urban campuses.

 

Some Summary Slides

 

 

 

 

 

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