Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

October 8: The challenges and process of getting institutional teams to flourish

Essays, Stories & Reports:

  • The politics and process of change: institutional building-planning teams
    - Cahal Stephens, AIA, FRIAI, President and CEO, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering, PC
    - Charles Kirby, AIA, Principal, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering, PC
    - Leila Kamal, AIA, Senior Associate, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering, PC
    - Kip Ellis, AIA, Project Manager and Associate Architect, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering, PC
    Design professionals, engaging with campus communities to dream about, design, and construct new spaces for science, are experienced with bringing people together around a common vision, gaining the strong sense of shared understanding, accomplishment, and institutional loyalty that leads to a productive outcome for their work: ". . .it is essential that good decisions are made, as the consequences of poor decisions can be far-reaching in both time and money, as well as on the institutional mission over the long-term." Colleagues from the Science Facilities Planning and Design Group at Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, Cahal Stephens, Charles Kirby, Leila Kamal and Kip Ellis, share their insights.

Responses by the PKAL F21 community:

PKAL is inviting Faculty for the 21st Century (F21) Members to respond to the lead Volume IV essays posted each week. In reflecting on The politics and process of change: institutional building-planning teams essay, one F21 member discusses how the politics of change affects making a vision a reality.

  • A shepherd's view of The politics and process of change
    - Timothy L. Lewis, Professor and Chair of Biology, Wittenberg University
    Focusing on his experiences as Wittenberg's "building shepherd" from 1999-2004, Timothy Lewis emphasizes the outstanding impact a new building can have on a campus and the instructional process of creating a new science space.

Resources from PKAL:

  • Communication, communication, communication: connecting assessment to enhancing student learning
    - Donna L. Sundre, Center for Assessment and Research Studies, James Madison University
    Donna Sundre's essay from her experience at James Madison University (presented in earlier postings of PKAL Volume IV) offers suggestions to catalyze communications on campuses, exploring new or reshaped assessment programs. Although the specific focus of reform is assessment, the lessons learned from the JMU experience can be guides for leaders tackling other institution-wide issues:

    • Clear communication of intentionality. Begin with a strong statement of why an institution-wide assessment program is to be established and how it will serve the mission of the institution.

    • Broad involvement. Convene a task force of all campus constituents, including faculty, academic administrators, student affairs administrators and students. All have important contributions to make and any group that is left out- formally or informally- has the power and autonomy to sabotage the very best efforts of others.

    • Clear communication of the process of planning. The task force should establish a mechanism to keep the larger community informed about and involved in the process and progress of planning an institution-wide assessment effort.

    • A formal policy statement. The task force should craft a formal policy statement that outlines how constructive assessment serves the institutional commitment to student growth and development, and how it offers further enhancement of a campus community with shared values, with leaders assuming their intellectual and professional responsibility. Drafts of the statement can be vetted by the larger community, as appropriate.

Resources from the PKAL workshop at the University of Chicago

On September 10-12, 2004, PKAL's University of Chicago workshop on "Shaping environments for undergraduate learning in STEM fields: Opportunities for research & comprehensive universities," focused on emerging science building projects on university and college campuses.

William Odell of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Inc. explains some key design goals in creating the Center for Science, Health Careers, and Emerging Technologies at Harper College:

  • Create a new "forward thinking" image and identity for Harper.
  • Extend campus connectivity by providing internal linkages to existing campus buildings.
  • Define campus open space by creating connecting and overlapping exterior spaces with adjacent existing buildings.
  • Provide a diversity of open public spaces to support classroom environments and promote student & faculty interaction.
  • Utilize new and innovative building technologies to support a world class teaching environment.

Listed below are case studies of science building projects from the workshop presented by the following architecture firms:

For a list of more architects involved with PKAL, view the Facilities Index.