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From the President

Update: University space utilization study

Posted September 19, 2017

To the Metropolitan State community:
As I promised in my message on July 27, I am writing to provide an update on the consultation process around our space utilization study. As I indicated earlier, the task before us is to obtain a professional assessment of our current space usage, to assess the alignment of space with our future opportunities, and to make recommendations about optimizing our finite space resources.

I want to underscore the priorities and themes that are guiding this space study, our discussions, and the phased, five-year implementation plan that I expect to have finalized by March 2018:

  • Our use of space must be student-centered, focused on enhancing the student experience and on naturally clustering student-facing services;
  • Our future choices need to be functionally organized; this includes how we situate connections with employees and the public as well as with students;
  • All of our planning, including space planning, is premised on growing enrollment: we will work toward enrolling and serving a head count of 15,000 students by 2025;
  • We will keep the future trends of our online capacity and our regional partnerships in focus as we assess the use of our space.

I have reviewed the assessments made by our consultants, BWBR. I am satisfied that their product is now ready for us to begin the process of review and discussion that will extend over the next few months. My goal is to gather initial feedback and questions from across the university over the next 8-9 weeks. Everyone will have opportunities to ask questions and share views.

The campus-wide consultation process began with our consultants' presentation to the President's Cabinet on Sept. 14. The President's Executive Council is reviewing the feedback from that session and will make any necessary adjustments. During the week of Sept. 25, we will preview the study with our bargaining units' leadership teams and with the Student Senate. Beginning in October, Cabinet members will arrange to share the proposal in their units and collect feedback. We will then organize a series of gallery walks, or forums with display boards and opportunities to view graphic plans, ask questions, and post comments. Throughout this process, a dedicated e-mail account also will be available for colleagues and students to submit comments, which will be shared with the leadership team. Arrangements for these steps will be shared campus-wide.

I want to emphasize that the plan that will emerge next spring will include actions that will extend from the near term to five years in the future, and will be implemented in phases. Many actions will be sequential and will depend on others. The goal of these actions is to create better learning experiences and service delivery, and to shape environments that foster effective work and creativity.

We are now entering into a stage in this process that depends on your best thoughts and frank contributions in order to be successful. I invite your engagement and your contributions to refining our physical platform so that Metropolitan State University can expand its capacity to serve our diverse communities' higher learning aspirations and to strengthen the world's 41st-largest regional economy. 

President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur, JD
Metropolitan State University