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Planning for Higher Education Journal

The State of Campus Resilience in the Face of a Changing Climate

Journal Cover
From Volume 44 Number 1 | October–December 2015
By Karin Holland

The impact of climate-related events poses a major threat to campuses nationwide, a trend expected to only worsen as the climate continues to change. However, a recent study by Haley & Aldrich found that 94 percent of organizations across many sectors—including higher education—are facing significant challenges that are delaying resilience planning and deterring progress. Instead of undertaking measures to address longer-term changes such as increasing temperature extremes, these organizations typically focus on short-term events such as weather-related emergencies. Despite these issues, the study found colleges and universities to be among the most proactive groups in addressing climate change. This is encouraging, as the impact of increasingly severe climate-related events on the aging or otherwise vulnerable infrastructure of many campuses makes planning for climate change a priority. The welfare of students, the continuity of service, and the long-term soundness of the buildings that house some of the world’s finest centers of higher education depend on it.

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