President Conner introduces Campus Master Planning project
Skidmore is embarking on a new Campus Master Planning project to determine how future changes to the physical structure of campus can best support the College’s strategic priorities, needs and aspirations.
Skidmore will engage a campus master planning firm to conduct a comprehensive study of the College’s campus layout and facilities, President Marc Conner told members of the Skidmore community during the all-staff and all-faculty meetings on Dec. 4. The process will involve collecting and assessing information about Skidmore’s existing spaces and how they are used, the College’s sustainability plans and prospects, Skidmore’s curricular and co-curricular needs and aspirations and the overall state of the campus. This analysis will help inform conversations about possible campus needs and projects of the future and the coordination and planning of such projects.
“Collaborative work across the campus will be key to this process,” President Conner said. “The work will be inclusive of all constituencies, and robust and transparent communication and community-based input are essential. The work will also be data-driven, with a commitment to preserving the culture of the College while preparing Skidmore for its aspirational future.”
In addition to helping the College determine and guide near-term and long-term campus structural needs — from access, to flexibility, to visitor appeal and student, staff, faculty, alumni and community needs for the next decade and beyond — the Campus Master Planning work will inform and coordinate with future strategic planning efforts and the next capital campaign.
The process will be guided at the highest level by a steering committee that will consist of the president’s cabinet and the vice chair of the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee. A campus master plan task force co-chaired by Associate Dean Pat Fehling and Director of Facilities Dan Rodecker will coordinate and provide information to the master planner. The task force will include two faculty members, one student and one staff member, as well as representatives in the areas of diversity, sustainability and student affairs. It will also develop a process for community engagement and establish working groups in many areas across campus.
President Conner estimates the Campus Master Planning process will take about 18 months. “The goal will be to present a finished master plan to the Board of Trustees for their consideration and approval by May 2022,” he said.
Since nearly all capital building projects — with the major exception of the Center for Integrated Sciences — are on hold due to COVID-19, “this is an excellent opportunity to devote this year and next to a coherent, rational planning process that involves the entire community, to make sure we all understand the highest priorities of the College and the building projects we will undertake in the years to come,” President Conner said.
The last Campus Plan was created in 2007.