Update on Campus Facilities Planning

12 December 2023
Vice President Eric Runestad

One of the first initiatives of the 2033 Strategic Direction is to undertake a campus facilities planning process. President Byerly recently appointed a planning committee to guide this effort, and the group will begin its work in January. The campus facilities planning effort is a necessary and important next step toward improving the alignment between priorities of the 2033 Strategic Direction and the way our campus is currently constructed and utilized.

The process will be led by a planning committee with faculty, staff, student, and trustee representation. We will also benefit from the guidance of external campus planning experts throughout the project. We recognize that our campus is central to Carleton’s identity and as we approach this work collaboratively, we will offer many opportunities for input from other campus constituents. 

The 2033 Strategic Direction identifies a number of facilities questions and needs to be explored in this process. Building on the 2014 campus facilities plan, we will develop a better understanding of our current space utilization and needs, including those for classrooms, offices, and meeting spaces. This will be complicated work, as space management at Carleton is dispersed among many people and groups and in some cases, serves a very specific set of needs. Add to that the new ways that we are sharing and using office space, and you have a complex formula for identifying ways to improve our utilization of campus space. Although this will be challenging work, it is important to ensure that we are fully utilizing our existing campus buildings before investing in the construction of additional square footage.  

We anticipate that the campus facilities planning process will reveal a variety of needs that will augment those identified in the Strategic Direction. These include space for sustainability, humanities, recreation sports and athletics, faculty and staff housing, as well as reimagining possibilities for the Alumni Guest House, Sayles, and 200 Division Street. Our goal over the next 18 months will be to provide a set of prioritized recommendations that will inform how campus facilities should be changed and better utilized to support the implementation of the 2033 Strategic Direction and help advance the College’s mission.

I look forward to this work and to co-chairing this planning effort with Eric Egge ’94, associate provost and professor of mathematics. Other members of the planning committee include:

Lee Clark, director of student activities
Laura Goering, William H. Laird Professor of Russian and the Liberal Arts
Heidi Jaynes, professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation
Dillon Johnson ’26
Jonathan Lafky, associate professor of economics
Michelle Mattson, provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of German
Lori Pearson, professor of religion
Dan Rustad, interim vice president for external relations
Beth Vivant, coordinator for the Summer Liberal Arts Institute
Linda Weingarten, associate vice president for facilities and capital planning
Candace Williams ’73, trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees building and grounds committee

—Vice President and Treasurer Eric Runestad