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UK getting community input for campus master plan

An aerial view of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. UK is conducting a survey to get input for the campus master plan.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2012) — The University of Kentucky (UK) is introducing a new survey to collect information for the Campus Master Plan – Update 2012.

Based on the principle that the campus “is more than the mere functional arrangement of buildings, roads, walkways, parking lots and landscapes,” the Campus Master Plan process is a community concept that “has the potential to define a collective experience of place and community, which is an essential part of the teaching, research and learning experience for students, faculty and staff,” according to UK President Eli Capilouto in his online introduction of the current Master Plan process.

“Perhaps more than any other single aspect of the University, the physical environment has the power to embody and express the purpose and mission of the University of Kentucky,” he added.

Collaboration is an essential facet of this process, as is an assessment of the current conditions of campus life. To assure the success of the UK Master Plan, a process was sought that would reflect the needs, values and aspirations of all members of the university community — its students, faculty, staff, government partners, and residential and retail neighbors. The goal is to encourage and facilitate input from all these groups through individual interviews, public forums, work sessions with the Master Planning Committee and Board of Trustees, and, most significantly, online survey tools.

To put it succinctly, it will take a village to build the university.

Sasaki Associates, a planning firm with extensive experience in higher education campus master planning, developed an interactive survey — called My Campus Survey — that will allow anyone on and off campus to participate in the development of UK’s Master Plan 2012. Anyone who takes the time to complete the survey will be involved in the exceedingly personal experience of developing a collective expression of place and community. As an added bonus, UK students who complete the survey can enter to win an iPad — an incentive sponsored by UK Student Government.

The My Campus Survey is now operational and will remain available through Nov. 7, time to give everyone who wishes the opportunity to weigh in on the university’s future.

“The more feedback we get from students, faculty, staff and community members, the better informed (we) will be and the better decisions we can make for the future,” said Bob Wiseman, vice president for facilities management.

The interactive My Campus Survey allows participants to record their daily activities at UK, such as the route they take to campus and how they travel (by bus, foot or bike), where they eat, socialize, study, work or just hang out during the day. However, instead of clicking answers to multiple-choice questions, the interactive My Campus survey participants can drag icons onto a map to indicate their activities on campus. For example, if respondents wish to mark a favorite outdoor area, they can drag an icon of a tree to that spot on the map. If someone wants to mark a street that feels unsafe, there is an icon of a caution sign to drag into place. It is also possible to trace walking, biking and driving routes frequently taken. Participants are encouraged to make comments on any icon they place. Once the data is evaluated, information collected will show how campus is used today and where improvements are needed for the future.

In addition to those who live, study or work on campus, Lexington community members who live or work near campus are especially encouraged to complete the My Campus Survey. These university neighbors will be directed to a special section of the survey that better reflects their areas of concern. UK faculty and staff living near campus are encouraged to complete the survey twice, once as UK Staff and once as Community Members.

The survey will be open until Nov. 7. Take a few minutes today to impact tomorrow.

If you have any questions or problems completing the My Campus Survey, call 257-5911 ext. 251 or write [email protected] .

For more information about the UK Master Plan, click here.  A monthly newsletter about the Master Plan process as well as a great deal of additional current and historical information is available here.