Letter to announcing the start of the Campus Master Plan process
Dear Members of the Reynolda Campus Community,
We are preparing to embark on an exciting year-long campus master planning process. Master planning does not happen in a vacuum — it flows from the historical development of the campus and from the mission and priorities that we articulate in our strategic plan. Therefore, I believe that our timing for undertaking this master planning is excellent.
The successful master planning process will include a comprehensive look at the physical environment of the campus and, most importantly, will look at how that environment helps us to succeed in our educational mission. We will assess our built environment and our green space, our utility infrastructure and our environmental impact, our roads and parking, as well as pedestrian traffic. We will consider the center(s) of gravity on campus. We will ask how students, faculty and staff use the campus at different points of the day. How do our major “ceremonial” spaces provide a context and connection to our history? We will look at the ways different groups of people “experience” the campus — our visitors and prospective students, as well as those who live and work here every day.
To ensure that we hear diverse perspectives and gather broad impressions from the many people who hold deep attachments to this place, the very first step of the planning process will be a series of listening sessions, forums and information gathering events. These sessions will kick off in mid-September.
We also have structured the process around two on-campus committees — a steering committee and an advisory committee. I have asked Matt Cullinan, our Vice President for Administration, to lead this initiative and to chair the committees. The steering committee will serve as the principal working group for the process. It will be comprised of cabinet members, faculty and student representatives. The advisory committee is significantly larger and will help us capture the views, input and feedback of a broad range of campus constituencies. Its membership will include students, faculty, deans, and staff from key areas. The Board of Trustees will have an on-going role in the master planning process as well.
We will be taking a slightly different approach to campus master planning than in the past. Our campus is complex and the issues we seek to address in moving forward will be more complicated. For this reason, we have engaged Ayers Saint Gross, a leading campus planning firm from Baltimore, to assist us. Ayers Saint Gross has a wealth of experience with campus planning at institutions with many similarities to our own.
The campus master planning initiative provides an exciting opportunity for the entire community to participate in shaping a critical aspect of the University’s future. I invite you to join in this discussion at the many venues we will hold over the course of the coming year. This extensive process will offer opportunities for you to provide feedback and input. I encourage all of you to stay abreast of our progress through the University’s web site, particularly Window on Wake Forest, and to participate in the various sessions as they are conducted throughout the year.
Thank you for your support.
Nathan O. Hatch