The Big Picture: Student's help plan UAF's future

Fernanda Chamorro/ Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 25, 2011

The Master Planning Committee (MPC) sculpts UAF’s future by managing new construction, facilities services, and landscaping on campus.

The current Campus Master Plan (CMP) 2010 was created in the summer of 2009. The committee is a group of no more than 21 chancellor-appointed members, consisting of faculty, staff, students and community members. They get together every two weeks to update and make recommendations on the CMP. The MPC is the advisory committee to the chancellor, who is currently Brian Rogers. The committee plots out recommendations and Rogers decides whether to accept or decline them.

Members of the Master Planing Committee meet in the Nanook Room, at the Patty Center. Oct. 20, 2011. Fred Monrean Jr/Sun Star

The Board of Regents requires a master plan for each campus and it must be renewed every five to seven years, according to their policy. The University of Alaska Fairbanks has made campus master plans since in 1922.“A CMP is a planning document that supports the campus academic, strategic, and capital plans, providing a framework for their implementation. A CMP identifies the existing and preferred campus land uses, buildings, landscapes, open space, pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, and conceptual plans for development and improvement,” according to the CMP website.

Among that group is Lydia Anderson, director and representative of Student Services. “I enjoy being part of a team that continually looks at the big picture for the UAF campus in terms of planning,” she said. “I’d like to think that I am making a difference by helping to envision a more workable and livable campus… to help shape a future campus for students and staff.”

The MPC follows its bylaws which can be changed by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee and authorization by the chancellor. All of the regular MPC meetings are open to the public. They are held every two weeks, usually on Thursdays from 9a.m. to 11a.m. Sept.-May in the chancellor’s conference room in 330 Signers’ Hall and when necessary in summer. The first scheduled meeting is in fall and announcements about meeting changes are made there and on the website.

Anyone served by UAF Facilities and academic programs is welcome to bring in proposals to be considered by the chancellor. The MPC is in charge of writing them out for Rogers to revise.

The chair is a faculty member of the committee chosen yearly by the chancellor. Richard Boone currently holds that position and he is in charge of the MPC meetings and making sure the MPC accomplishes its work.

“Most importantly I enjoy helping the university move forward with respect to planning how our facilities best serve the university’s mission,” he said in an email. “The only difficult aspect of being Chair is helping to resolve conflicts when proposed activities have both positive and negative impacts. However, I enjoy the process of conflict resolution. Oftentimes compromise solutions develop when information is provided and when groups communicate.”

Members usually serve three-year terms except students, who serve one term, unless renewed at the chancellor’s discretion. Committee members are selected from various areas of interest, but are expected to take all aspects of UAF’s mission into consideration.

Subcommittees and groups may also be created to help with more specific plans. They must have three to nine members with one serving as chair. The subcommittee chair and members are reviewed by the committee chair and finalized by the chancellor. At a minimum, one MPC member must serve on each subcommittee and working group.

So far this year, 16 recommendations have been made by the MPC including an outdoor ice rink in front of the SRC and a solar panel project. The full 2010 plan can be found at http://www.uaf.edu/files/fs/CampusMasterPlan2010.pdf.

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