A series of over 80 meetings was held with Deans, departments and other constituencies throughout the university to establish the plans and intentions of each for the next ten years. One important purpose of these meetings was to discover the aspirations as well as the more finite intentions of each group, so that a comprehensive view of facilities needs for the whole campus could be constructed. This was aligned with the community and social aspects of the university, and with academics. Attraction and retention of quality faculty and students are important, as is the goal of producing well-rounded students with capabilities that reach beyond their academic credentials.
A ten year period was selected because that period is short enough for realistic speculation, yet long enough to enable key projects to be identified, programmed, funded, designed, constructed and occupied.
The challenge of leaping ten years into the future was easier for some than for others, and inevitably, scenarios included a lot of detail about current facilities needs, and a certain number of unrealistic demands. However, all colleges and departments rose to the challenge, identifying current trends and making informed estimates of future needs. Expected increases in research and inter-disciplinary programs gave rise to many of the facilities improvement requests, but there were other recurrent themes too, such as the need for spaces for collegial interaction among students, faculty and staff. The program of requested facilities needs appears later in this document. A list of the meetings from which they were derived appears in the Appendix, and notes on each meeting are included in a technical appendix.
Some principles emerged from the meetings held with many of the groups whose members have different experiences and perspectives on the campus. For example, conflicts between vehicles and those on foot should not occur in the campus core, and should be reduced to a minimum elsewhere. There are some places on campus that accurately portray the spirit of this university, but there are many that need to be greatly improved. Similarly, the campus landscape is exceptional in places, but lacks coherence and consistency overall. These and many more issues emerged and were addressed in the framework plans and other analysis detailed later in this document.