Changes in the physical and/or biological environment may have a significant impact on university operations, including but not limited to the following:
"The new medical school building will greatly strengthen our region’s academic health center, a consortium of affiliated teaching hospitals and health care systems. Academic health centers combine medical education with superior clinical care and research to provide the most advanced care to patients....The new medical school building is the largest medical education building under construction in the nation. Once open, it will bring more than 2,000 UB faculty, staff and students to downtown Buffalo daily." Medical school’s move downtown, UB Now, 10/11/2017
"UB’s medical school has been located on the South Campus since 1953. Some buildings are now more than 60 years old, with significantly outdated classrooms and laboratories. These facilities don’t allow faculty and students to achieve the world-class education and research they aspire to and don’t foster the cross-disciplinary synergies that are so critical to medicine today.
"This made it increasingly difficult to attract top faculty and students. Since breaking ground for the new building, we have seen a major improvement in our ability to do both these things." Medical school’s move downtown, UB Now, 9/12/2017
The move of the Jacobs School for Medical and Biomedial Sciences downtown creates opportunities for the revitalization of South Campus. Concurrently, departures from North Campus to South will create space-reallocation considerations for the campus in Amherst.
"The Heart of the Campus, the UB 2020 initiative to enhance the student learning experience by creating a “learning landscape” in the center of the academic spine... A goal of HOTC is to build community and a sense of place in the 'heart' of the North Campus; it will enhance the undergraduate experience by facilitating access to student support services and offering new opportunities for collaboration among students, faculty and staff outside the traditional classroom. When completed, the project also will create a memorable 'front door' to the North Campus and provide a positive first impression to visitors. The revitalized facilities will support student success, as well as help recruit the top students, faculty and administrators to the university." Construction to begin on Heart of the Campus, UB Now, 10/11/2017
If climate change intensifies, resulting in more weather extremes, it may necessitate adjustments to University Facilities’ operations.
Evidence suggests exposure to extreme and abberant weather does not change perceptions of anthropogenic climate change. Extreme Weather Has Little Effect on Attitudes Toward Climate Policies, Study Shows, Association of American Universities, 9/7/17
Higher education food-service operations are increasingly emphasizing sustainable practices and locally sourced inputs, while accommodating students' dietary needs and preferences.
In line with best practices across the industry, UB Campus Dining and Shops seeks the freshest, locally sourced food whenever possible. Food and Purchasing, Campus Dining and Shops, 2017
UB Campus Dining and Shops engages in many sustainable practices, including energy and water conservation, and ecosystem preservation. Green Scene, Campus Dining and Shops, 2017
"UB is a leader in sustainability in higher education. Our commitment spans 30 years—from the origins of the environmental movement at Love Canal to the innovative operational measures we take that continue to save the university millions of dollars a year and reduce UB’s environmental footprint on the future." What We Do, UB Sustainability, 2017
Effective allocation of university library space for user needs continues to be a priority.
University Libraries are involved in large- and small-scale changes in physical environment relating to space reallocation efforts as well as student experience-related facility enhancements (e.g., cafés and other types of formal and informal study spaces incorporated into Silverman and Health Sciences libraries)
"As campus libraries increasingly shift from offering physical books to a greater range of digital resources, colleges are repurposing space that formerly held helves of books to make room for: Collaborative learning spaces; Technology spaces; Dining areas; Research support; and Other academic services.... Helping students develop soft skills needed in the job market has become another important service for campus libraries, with many facilities providing resources such as writing and tutoring centers, as well as technology help desks." Campus libraries aren't only about books anymore, EAB, 9/22/17