Navigating a higher education institution’s unique combination of constraints and opportunities to find integrated strategies that are agile, cost-effective, and resilient is no easy feat. It requires teams that include experts from education and research, architecture and engineering, real estate and facilities, information technology, human resources, and finance. Capitalizing on these synergies, the higher education experts at JLL and SmithGroup's Higher Education practice partnered to share insights and to develop a range of strategies that are helping campus leaders prepare for a safe return to campus. As we synthesized information gained from clients across the nation, the value of place was further reinforced despite the challenges of the current health crisis.
The Value of the Physical Campus
The campus provides a unique value through intellectual immersion, cross pollination of ideas, and alignment of social and academic modes. Though higher education will continue to evolve, demand for quality campus environments remains an institutional differentiator because of the connection to enhanced student outcomes.
Retooling for a Safe and Thriving Campus Community
The current challenge for university leaders is to enact measures that, for a time, will limit the potential spread of the virus while preserving valuable on-campus experiences into the future.
Finding the "Next Normal"
Successfully navigating toward the “next normal” will require holistically evaluating the interrelationships between people, education, and research delivery processes; the physical environment; the use of technology; and financial realities. This process should begin by examining lessons learned from this interim period as society reopens with the virus’ threat still present. From this vantage, institutions can determine which strategies deployed in response to immediate needs have resulted in durable innovations that should be adopted for the long term.
Curious to learn more about the steps your institution can take to successfully reintegrate students back onto campus? CLICK HERE to access the JLL | SmithGroup "Roadmap to the Resilient Campus."