A Letter from John Fogarty, Regional Chair of North Atlantic SCUP Regional Council

Over 400 college and university planners are assembling from all over the New England region and beyond to attend SCUP’s March 4-6 regional conference: “Gown, Gown, Gown, Gown and Town!” Meet senior thought leaders, be part of the conversation, and learn what’s happening and what’s about to happen on our college and university campuses.

It is fitting that this conference will be held along the banks of the Charles River in the biggest college town in the nation: Boston and Cambridge. Home to over 35 colleges and universities, its unique cultural, professional, and social landscape will set the stage for our conference. Possibilities and problems of every type abound in this hub of academia, whether it be demographic change and enrollment, changing levels of public support, shifting political landscapes, new entrepreneurial initiatives, or new capital funding mechanisms. Come and hear how Boston institutions and government leaders have addressed these issues, and then tour the results of their planning: Some of the best modern living, learning, and research facilities in well-appointed campus environments will be on display on our hosted campus tours.

One such success story is Kendall Square, featured in our Sunday Plenary. Hear how the M. I. T. Investment Management Company transformed Kendall Square into the Cambridge Innovation Cluster, an epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship, and how MIT’s research and investments there are helping redefine the urban research campus, attracting the likes of Apple, Facebook, Pfizer, and Novartis and dozens of small startups.

Turning to strategic, academic, and resource challenges, Monday’s program will feature a distinguished panel of the state’s departmental executives and institutional leaders, who will discuss the process and outcomes of Governor Baker’s new strategic planning approach to the state’s higher education capital programs.

And looking to the future of urban campuses, Stephanie Pollack, the state’s secretary of transportation, will discuss how rapidly changing modes of transportation and the advent of electric and driverless cars will affect the layout and planning of colleges and institutions and their transportation networks and needs.

These are but three of 36 provocative sessions that the SCUP North Atlantic regional conference will offer to its attendees. SCUP is a 53-year-old nonprofit professional organization whose sole mission is the betterment of its membership and their institutions, through integrated planning, personal advancement, and engagement. Be a part of this assembly of academic and facility thought leaders and be ready for what comes next. For more information about SCUP, and registration for this conference, go to: http://www.scup.org. And remember — whatever happens in higher education, it happens first in Boston.

John Fogarty

John Fogarty is director of capital planning at Stony Brook University and the regional chair of the North Atlantic SCUP Regional Council.