Posts by Scott Carlson
August 28, 2012, 10:54 AM ET
As you know, we here at The Chronicle's Buildings & Grounds blog are not big believers in "best" or "top 10" lists. But when this list of the "top 10 college towns of 2012" arrived in my in box this morning, I couldn't resist passing it along. In doing so, I'm not saying the list is definitive—it's put together by a publication called Livability, which I have never heard of. But I thought it would spur conversation about everyone's favorite college towns. And for starters, we need a basic definition of a college town. "True college towns are places where the identity of the city is both shaped by and complementary to the presence of its university, creating an environment enjoyable to all residents, whether they are enrolled in classes or not," Livability's editors write. "They're true melting pots, where young minds meet old traditions, and political, social, and cultural ideas of all...Read More
November 7, 2011, 12:48 PM ET
October 27, 2011, 01:00 PM ET
March 22, 2011, 02:51 PM ET
February 4, 2011, 12:46 PM ET
Students hired by the coal industry picket for "clean coal" at Purdue U. in September. The Board of Trustees decided that coal was not clean enough. (Flickr photo by americaspower) Purdue University's Board of Trustees has killed plans for a $53-million coal-fired power plant, according to local reports. The board was concerned about the regulatory burdens and environmental impact of such a facility. The university will probably switch to natural gas. "It came down the economics," Robert E. McMains, vice president for facilities, told The Chronicle. He said the university had looked at the possibility of burning natural gas in the early 2000's and concluded that the fuel was too expensive relative to coal. But with new regulations on coal burning and ash coming from the federal government, the return on investment for a coal plant got longer and longer. "We rechecked the assumptions ...Read More
January 25, 2011, 11:08 AM ET
January 11, 2011, 12:33 PM ET
October 8, 2010, 12:05 PM ET
A news item this week caused a stir among people who pay attention to energy issues. But did any college administrators take notice?
Granted, the item on its surface had little to do with higher education: The U.S. military is increasingly nervous about its dependence on fossil fuels, reports The New York Times. That dependence presents some vulnerabilities in distant war zones, the Times reported:
Fossil fuel accounts for 30 to 80 percent of the load in convoys into Afghanistan, bringing costs as well as risk. While the military buys gas for just over $1 a gallon, getting that gallon to some forward operating bases costs $400.
“We had a couple of tenuous supply lines across Pakistan that are costing us a heck of a lot, and they’re very dangerous,” said Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.
The impetus for the Times story was a report released last month by a...Read More
October 6, 2010, 02:00 PM ET
You can say this about John A. Fry: The man has a formula for making a college successful, and he doesn't waste time putting it into action.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mr. Fry has outlined a plan to revitalize the neighborhood around Drexel University, where he was recently appointed president. You'll recall that Mr. Fry made a name for himself in higher education in part by leading a plan to revitalize the neighborhood around the University of Pennsylvania when he was a vice president there.
He then moved to Franklin & Marshall College, where he oversaw a major redevelopment plan that included tearing down an old flooring plant near the college and then cleaning up the site. Redevelopment also helped make a strip of old commercial properties across from the campus along Harrisburg Pike more attractive. In addition, he set up a program to control off-campus student housing,...Read More
October 5, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
The Chronicle has a new podcast featuring Harvey Kaiser and Eva Klein, two well-known consultants in the facilities and planning realm. Mr. Kaiser and Ms. Klein have published a new book that pushes colleges to adopt a more holistic and realistic approach to campus planning and maintenance.
"We can't go on acting like we can make a $2-billion list of wishes when we know we're only going to get roughly $50-million a year at best," Ms. Klein says in the podcast. "It doesn't work. We have to completely stop that behavior and get more realistic for the long run."Read More