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Blog Post

Published
April 1, 2024

Navigating Student Success

‘Navigators’ Are Critical in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Institution-Wide Initiative

To gain additional insight into how integrated planning to support student success can be a game changer, we turned to Paula Stossel, strategic advisor to the president for student success, and Amber Racchini, vice provost for student academic success, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They graciously accepted our invitation to address questions about their cross-functional effort to ensure a student-centered approach to delivery of support services at IUP.

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Published
March 5, 2024

Finding Your Swan: Reimagining Unloved Buildings at JMU

There are distinct advantages to both renovation and new construction; an optimal blend of these approaches can enable opportunities for physical growth, evolving programs, and a minimally disruptive reimagining of campus buildings.
Abstract: There are distinct advantages to both renovation and new construction; an optimal blend of these approaches can enable opportunities for physical growth, evolving programs, and a minimally disruptive reimagining of campus buildings. We’ll explore two case studies from James Madison University (JMU) ?the College of Business and the Carrier Library?that illustrate how to affordably transform outdated and stylistically unloved buildings into vibrant academic and student life hubs. Join us to gain a greater understanding of the hidden value of aging buildings, considering aspects such as functionality, cost, operations, sustainability, and stylistic potential.

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Conference Presentations

Published
March 5, 2024

Designing Campus Food Venues to Build Community and Connection

In our hybrid environment, it’s more important than ever to pull people away from their devices to build community and connection on campus. Food has the power to bring students and faculty from different backgrounds together and provide a fundamental academic experience. Through campus and workplace examples, we’ll show how food venue design can set a positive tone for interaction and support meaningful connections and wellbeing. Come learn how to plan campus food venues that serve an academic purpose, refine venue goals, and inform venue design through operations to make it more impactful and sustainable.
Abstract: In our hybrid environment, it’s more important than ever to pull people away from their devices to build community and connection on campus. Food has the power to bring students and faculty from different backgrounds together and provide a fundamental academic experience. Through campus and workplace examples, we’ll show how food venue design can set a positive tone for interaction and support meaningful connections and wellbeing. Come learn how to plan campus food venues that serve an academic purpose, refine venue goals, and inform venue design through operations to make it more impactful and sustainable.

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Conference Presentations

Published
March 5, 2024

Residential Life and Safety at the Intersection of Town and Gown

Colleges and universities must adapt to changing issues around student safety and determine how to address these concerns while maintaining connections with the local community.
Abstract: Colleges and universities must adapt to changing issues around student safety and determine how to address these concerns while maintaining connections with the local community. This session will discuss the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) Stouffer Hall, a recently renovated residence hall that exemplifies the evolution of attitudes towards community, security, and student life on campus. Come learn how to create programs for increasing community engagement, address housing security concerns, and align residential life and building goals with current attitudes around safety.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
February 12, 2024

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Institutional Process Mapping

A College Eliminates Service Gaps and Improves Efficiency and Collaboration

Minnesota State Community and Technical College coordinated and integrated processes for student onboarding to support institutional performance.

From Volume 52 Number 2 | January–March 2024

Abstract: Students experience institutional processes differently than employees within an institution. Process mapping and evaluation, or Value Stream Mapping, is a purposeful way to coordinate and integrate processes to support institutional performance through the identification of inefficiencies, increased interdepartmental collaboration, and ultimately the creation of new processes that eliminate service gaps. This article will introduce key elements in process mapping, process evaluation, and the process management lifecycle. Those concepts will be described through one collegiate institution’s practical application of student onboarding evaluations across several departments, including recruiting, admissions, financial aid, and advising.

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Example Plans

Published
January 5, 2024

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
September 26, 2023

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Analyzing Existing Campus Space for Hybrid Teaching and Learning

A Step-by-Step Process Helps Planners Reconceptualize Classrooms

In the aftermath of COVID-19, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan) rethought learning spaces, adapting them to the good practices that were used during the period of solely online teaching.

From Volume 51 Number 4 | July–September 2023

Abstract: This article describes the step-by-step process of campus space reconceptualization. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need to rethink learning spaces and adapt them to some of the good practices used during the solely online teaching period. Through cross-functional collaboration and joint governance, a purposefully established task force audited all classrooms at Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan). It came up with short-term and long-term recommendations. The audit results and recommendations outlined in this article might be useful to university administration and leadership interested in campus repurposing due to pandemic effects on teaching and new formats like hybrid learning that have influenced instruction.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
June 21, 2023

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Optimizing for Growth

Long-Term Planning Is Essential During an Institutional Merger, Acquisition, and/or Geographic Expansion

Thomas Jefferson University focused on culture, communications, and collaboration during a transformational period of combining institutions.

From Volume 51 Number 3 | April–June 2023

Abstract: Accurately planning long-term strategy can be a shaky task for quickly-growing organizations, especially those that desire to maintain a strong impression on their stakeholders and surrounding communities. History shows that mergers and acquisitions can negatively impact an organization’s culture, communication initiatives, and internal and external experiences. Thomas Jefferson University, a longstanding private medical research university in Philadelphia, educating scholars since 1824, in recent years merged with Philadelphia University and further expanded its footprint through the aligned Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. The authors of this article describe how to collaboratively optimize growth during a transformational period.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
February 7, 2023

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Managing Change from the Murky Middle

Offering Role Structure and Support Helps Middle Managers Effectively Lead Change

Middle managers are often blamed for change failure and portrayed as change resisters or saboteurs. However, what looks like obstructionist behavior could actually be the observable effects of role ambiguity.

From Volume 51 Number 2 | January–March 2023

Abstract: Middle managers are often blamed for change failure and portrayed as change resisters or saboteurs. However, what looks like obstructionist behavior could actually be the observable effects of role ambiguity. Absent clear expectations, middle managers might assume their own unsanctioned change leadership path or take on no role at all because they lack understanding about their responsibilities. This article explores the complexity of middle managers’ experience, examines how middle managers at a two-year college navigated the uncertainty of their role within the context of institutional change, and provides readers with suggestions for equipping middle managers to become effective change agents.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
September 29, 2022

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Campus Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse

Leverage These Tools to Achieve Your Planning and Sustainability Goals

By integrating historic buildings into your campus planning, their continued reuse can help solve some of the specific challenges facing university planners today.

From Volume 50 Number 4 | July–September 2022

Abstract: Historic campus buildings are often perceived as a burden, but by integrating them into your campus planning, their continued reuse can help solve some of the specific challenges facing university planners today, specifically in the context of sustainability. There are numerous case studies that demonstrate the successful adaptive reuse of varied campus buildings as well as an undeniable body of evidence showing the benefits of such an approach in working toward carbon neutrality. As long-term stewards of their built environments, colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to realize enduring savings from investing in the energy performance of existing buildings.

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