May 17, 2004




  1. The Task Force approves the plans for the Universityís development at the Manhattanville site as shown on the physical model presented to us, and the design principles governing its execution, as thus far stated. It takes no position on issues as to which it has insufficient information, including:

a. the incorporation of the restrictions and principles of the model in zoning laws or otherwise binding arrangements;

b. the desired uses of buildings within that model;

c. the role of community and/or non-University uses in the model;

d. the presence or absence of affordable housing connected with the development (the Task Force would particularly appreciate being informed on this issue);

e. the mechanisms for making decisions as to uses and developments at the site during the interim phases before full build-out.

  1. The Task Force asks the administration to provide the schedule for academic planning in connection with the proposed University expansion. In particular, we would like to know the planned timetable for

a. receiving and collating the responses to the Provostís request for a statement of each schoolís likely space needs for the foreseeable future;

b. evaluating those requests in the context of academic priorities

c. evaluating those requests in the context of potential for funding;

d. projecting the implications of the result for physical development;

e. setting priorities for implementation at the Manhattanville site, with attendant implications for building size and location.

  1. The Task Force requests a report by Associate Provost Marian Pagano on the status of school responses to the provostís solicitation, with a summary of responses to date.
  2. The Task Force calls upon the Administration to initiate an academic plan to inform the programming and design of the future School of the Arts building. The planning process should be a faculty-led discussion, incorporating student input, and should consider the role of the school in relation to the University, the surrounding community, and the wider artistic community, as well as issues of space, cost, facilities, and, in particular, the challenge and use of future technologies. The Task Force recommends the fullest direct communication among Columbia administrators, architects, and school faculty in this planning.

We believe the planning processes already underway for the School of the Arts and the new science buildings may provide valuable inputs for a generally useful process of further academic planning for development in Manhattanville. We request that resources and necessary information be made available to optimize the planning process and document the lessons learned for wider benefit.

The Task Force further has heard with interest about the planning process now underway for the Arts and Sciences, including suggestions for a consistent form of response incorporating a grid dealing with student numbers, space needs, and academic objectives. We commend this A&S approach as a possible model for other planning efforts, including the responses of Columbia schools to the provostís solicitation last fall. We stress the need for full involvement of faculty, students and staff in preparing these responses.

5.††† The Task Force lauds creation of a university-wide committee for academic planning in the natural sciences. It recommends setting up parallel committees promptly for academic planning in the social sciences, including the professional schools (where substantial funded social science research is going on), as well as in the humanities.

The Task Force looks forward to continuing its oversight in current deliberations, focusing on the integration of academic and physical planning for Manhattanville.

Peter Marcuse and Sharyn OíHalloran, co-chairs