REPORT OF THE
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2006-2007
beginning of the 2005-2006 academic year, the Physical Development Committee of
the University Senate began its study of the decision-making, planning and
capital project management of the Northwest Corner building. The Committee undertook this study as a way
of increasing understanding by the internal
The Case Study was presented to the full Senate at its Plenary Session of February 23, 2007. The three recommendations of the case study were as follows:
A. That all information, proposals and plans, including Five Year Plans, submitted by the Administration to the Board of Trustees Physical Assets Committee be submitted simultaneously to the Physical Development Committee for its review and for its comment through its two non-voting representatives to the Trustees’ Physical Assets Committee.
B. That the Committee work with the Provost, the Senior Executive Vice President, and the Executive Vice President for Facilities to develop the necessary communication platforms and protocols for their use so that the internal University community is appropriately informed regarding programmatic planning and other similar processes.
C. That the Committee exercise its powers more fully by proactively communicating with internal University constituencies regarding their needs and acting in an ombudsman role in voicing concerns and priorities regarding physical development and related issues to the President, Provost and Trustees.
Significantly, the Committee, after much discussion, chose to put forth these recommendations without attached resolutions, believing them to be within the existing charge of the Committee as set forth in the Senate Bylaws.
II. The balance of the Academic Year
During the remainder of the academic year, and with the Case Study special project behind it, the Committee focused on incorporating the recommendations of the Case Study in its ongoing operations. On February 23 (after the Plenary Session) and again on May 23, Joe Ienuso, the Executive Vice President for Facilities, presented the project documents that would be presented at the quarterly meeting of the Physical Assets Committee of the University Trustees. This served to inform the Committee in accordance with Recommendation A, as well as better prepare the two non-voting representatives of the Physical Development Committee to the Physical Assets Committee. On April 27, the Physical Development Committee in joint session with the Budget Review Committee met with Mr. Ienuso and Al Horvath, the departing Executive Vice President for Finance, for a briefing on the current Five-Year Plan. These meetings, as well as the informal reports made of Committee activity to the Physical Assets Committee, suggest that the first recommendation of the Case Study is already being fulfilled. It is recommended that the Committee continue its quarterly briefings with Mr. Ienuso immediately prior to the meetings of the Physical Assets Committee, as well as an annual joint meeting with the Budget Review Committee for a presentation of the Five Year Plan.
On April 13, the Committee was briefed by Nilda Mesa, the University’s Director of Environmental Stewardship, on the University’s various green initiatives, and with Joe Ienuso, who presented the current designs of architect Rafael Maneo for the Northwest Corner building.
On May 11, at his invitation, the Committee met with President Bollinger at the President’s House to discuss the Case Study. Toward the end of the wide-ranging discussion, the President suggested that the Committee could play a useful role by identifying issues that needed to be tackled as a consequence of Mantattanville, such as the process by which vacated space on the Morningside Campus would be reassigned.
It should be
noted that the presentation of the Case Study to the full Senate elicited
numerous comments from Senators from the
The fostering of such a dialogue between different constituencies of the University clearly echoes Case Study Recommendation C, and the Committee should endeavor to continue to foster such dialogue and facilitate the flow of information within the University community. In committee discussions, it was suggested that periodic emails to the rest of the Senate solicit concerns and issues for exploration.
III. Moving forward
The work of the past two years has set a strong foundation for the Committee. In order to keep that momentum, the following tasks and issues can be identified:
Sen. Richard Bulliet (Ten., A&S/SS)
Sen. Jeffrey Fagan (Ten., PH and Law)
Mr. Kevin Fox (Admin.)
Sen. Karen Green (Lib. Stf.)
Sen. Sharyn O’Halloran (Ten. SIPA)
Sen. Ron Prywes (Ten., A&S/NS)
Sen. Antonios Saravanos (Stu., TC)
Sen. Daniel Simon (Stu., SCE)
Sen. Henry Spotnitz (Ten., HS)
Mr. Domnic Stelline (Ad. Stf.)
Sen. Richard Wald (Non-ten., Journalism)
Mr. Geoffrey Weiner (Admin)
Sen. Paige West (Non-ten., Barnard)