Wake Forest University has hired the SmithGroup to complete a campus space utilization study beginning in October and continuing through April 2022. The study will bring into focus the diverse and evolving space and facilities needs of the campus today and for the future. When completed, the study will take into account lessons learned during COVID-19, forecasted future trends for academic work and the administrative functions needed to support it. Wake Forest hopes to identify opportunities to leverage and optimize use of the University’s real estate portfolio in service to the University’s academic mission.
“Careful and thoughtful campus space planning work is critical to positioning Wake Forest for the future,” said President Susan R. Wente. “The SmithGroup is known for its in-depth approach to analyzing space utilization and truly understanding campus needs in order to identify planning priorities and projects with the greatest potential for impact. I am confident they will lead this important process effectively for us.”
Guided by a steering committee of campus academic and administrative leaders, the study will prioritize the infrastructure in which the academic and residential experience takes place. As a member of the steering committee, Dean Michele Gillespie will provide leadership and engagement with the SmithGroup to ensure faculty voices and departmental needs of the College are communicated during the process. The committee will work with the SmithGroup to identify current and future solutions for ensuring that Wake Forest is equipped to offer exceptional academic experiences across all areas of study.
The SmithGroup will deliver a detailed space utilization strategy to assist the University in responding to its unique capacity and utilization challenges and opportunities on the Reynolda campus as well as off-campus University properties. The utilization study will identify investment, innovation and opportunity areas to ensure support for the University’s educational mission and continued investment in excellent academic, residential, research and athletic facilities that support a vibrant collegiate experience. Additional goals for this project include:
- Addressing the need for additional instructional space, academic offices and support service space on Reynolda campus;
- developing strategies to expand existing dining venue seating and assessing the need for a new dining facility;
- identifying potential academic and/or administrative uses for University-owned commercial properties;
- assessing recently acquired real estate for its potential academic, administrative, student activities and recreational uses;
- and assessing spaces currently under University lease for future use.
“The buildings and spaces where we teach, learn, work and live on this campus are a huge part of what makes Wake Forest so special,” Wente said. “We will continue to invest in all of our physical spaces – academic, residential, athletics and administrative – to ensure we are able to offer environments that inspire creativity, deep learning, thriving, success and community connection.”
More information and ongoing updates about the space utilization study will soon be available on the WFU facilities website.
The following announcement from Provost Rogan Kersh was e-mailed to faculty and staff on Nov. 18:
Greetings Wake Forest colleagues—I hope this finds you thriving as the fall semester draws to a close. I write to follow up on my announcements last spring regarding a Plan for Academic Excellence (PAE; originally termed an ‘Academic Master Plan’). The PAE will be a comprehensive statement of our academic mission and programs as they stand at present, and as we strive to shape them for the future. In preparing this document, we will consider the fast-shifting landscape of higher education as well as highlights and significant developments across our academic practices in recent years.
Over this year, a steering committee (listed below) comprised of faculty and staff from all schools and major academic offices across the Reynolda Campus will affirm our current—and explore evolving—ways of providing learning and producing research and creative work consonant with our core institutional values, in a higher education system undergoing tectonic change. I am deeply grateful to Michele Gillespie (Dean of the College) and Charles Iacovou (Dean of the School of Business) for agreeing to co-chair this project, as I am to faculty and staff colleagues across the university for your willingness to provide advice/counsel, serve on the steering committee, and otherwise help chart our hoped-for future of teaching/learning and scholarship at Wake Forest.
Please join us next week at any of three open forums on the Plan for Academic Excellence. Charles and Michele, along with PAE committee members, will provide a snapshot of their initial planning, and outline the intended process from here. Details about those forums:
Tuesday, November 19 | 10:00-11:00 am, ZSR Auditorium 404
Thursday, November 21 | 12:30-1:30 pm, Farrell Hall A17
Friday, November 22 | 2:00-3:00 pm, Benson 401A
Over the coming weeks, a website and email address will be created and distributed to continue community exchanges as the Plan takes shape. You also will likely see me, Charles, and/or Michele at one of your faculty meetings or staff gatherings to discuss in detail the PAE. Looking forward to engaging with you throughout this vital work.
Yours in Thanksgiving gratitude, Rogan
The following message was sent to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 28:
Dear Wake Forest community,
Three weeks ago, seven individuals and five offices on our Reynolda Campus received vile, anonymous emails, spreading messages of white supremacy and hate. Recipients of the emails felt threatened, and concern for the wellbeing and safety of our community continues to spread with each retelling of what our campus has experienced. We continue efforts to protect the campus community, comfort those who were targeted and to support all of you who feel the trauma of these toxic words.
Three questions continue to arise—from some of you, as well as your family members and Wake Forest alumni.
Do we know the emails’ source? Our own cybersecurity team worked swiftly to determine the source, and contracted with an expert national cybersecurity firm to assist in that effort. The emails’ sender—as all too often with hate-speech trolls—is untraceable. Other universities have been targeted with similar emails over the past year and all have proven difficult to track.
Is our campus under threat? Immediately following these emails’ arrival, Wake Forest police chief Regina Lawson contacted local, state, and federal law enforcement specialists—including the FBI’s hate crimes division and the domestic terrorism division that specailizes in white nationalists —to review the emails and conduct a thorough threat assessment.
As Chief Lawson communicated to faculty and staff after this review, and as indicated in the email to campus on September 19, while none of the emails contained actionable threats or detailed a specific attack on our campus, they still elicited the fear the sender likely intended.
Given lingering campus concerns, the University retained a separate, third-party threat assessment firm to provide an additional level of scrutiny, and to determine if any further security measures were appropriate. The firm delivered its findings on Friday, which underscored the initial law enforcement conclusion that the campus remains safe. Specifically, the assessment concluded, “nothing in the emails indicates an immediate, ongoing, or likely threat of physical violence.”
How can I help? The latest threat-assessment report offered helpful suggestions to empower us all to be better stewards of our community’s safety. The experts recommend:
- Maintaining situational awareness; noticing undue focus or interest in activities, relationships or patterns of behavior
- Noting and confronting inappropriate behavior in a timely and respectful way
- Reporting concerns about the behavior of individuals that is disruptive, disrespectful or harmful to members of the campus community
The mantra that we are all familiar with from traveling through airports, train stations and other public areas, “if you see something, say something,” holds true for our campus. Looking out for one another and caring for those who feel unsafe is a vital step we can take to restore a sense of security in our community. If you see something of concern, please contact the University Police Department at 336-758-5911.
Finally, the threat assessment by the contracted third-party experts suggests the more public attention drawn to the emails, the greater the gratification for the author. However, we understand the importance of assuring our community that we are taking all prudent steps to keep you safe and that our conversations around the vital topics of equity, privilege, race, gender and empowerment will not be silenced.
For those who feel unsettled or uncomfortable, we ask that you seek support from these helpful resources: The University Counseling Center (336-758-5273), the Chaplain’s Office (336-758-5210) and the Employee Assistance Program (336-716-5493). These dedicated and talented professionals in our community are eager to provide care to those in need.
We strive to be one community and one Wake Forest. Please seek to see the good in others, and to extend your hand of understanding and friendship first. Our community is not perfect, but we can make it better each day with our own actions toward one another. As Dr. Maya Angelou used to affirm to her Wake Forest students: “Change happens at the speed of trust.” Our trust is in each of you, as we build paths to inclusion and belonging by walking them together.
Nathan Hatch, President
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Jane Aiken, Dean of the School of Law
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Business
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
José Villalba, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan L. Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity
Categories: University Announcement
The following announcement is from Dean of the College Michele Gillespie:
I am delighted to announce that Erica Still, Associate Professor of English, has been appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion, effective January 1, 2019. Please join me in congratulating Erica on her full-time position in the Office of the Dean of the College (ODOC).
In her new administrative role, Erica will oversee faculty recruitment and hiring practices as well as develop and lead programs to increase diversity and support for inclusivity within the College. Her three-year appointment will run through December 30, 2021.
Erica joined the Department of English as an Assistant Professor in 2007. In addition to teaching courses in African-American Literature, she has served as a lower-division advisor and a senior faculty fellow.
Erica has shown a long history of commitment to faculty governance at Wake Forest through her roles as Chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs and Chair of the Curriculum Development Task Force for the President’s Commission on the First-Year Experience. She has also served as a member of the Honors and Ethics Council as well as the Student Code of Conduct Review Committee. She is also a Collegiate Senator.
In additional ODOC news, Anthony Marsh, Professor of Health and Exercise Science, will become Senior Associate Dean for Faculty on January 1, 2019, as he begins his second three-year appointment in ODOC.
Tony’s responsibilities in ODOC have been extensive over the years. He has overseen faculty tenure and promotion processes and managed faculty development awards in his current role as Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity while serving as acting Associate Dean for Faculty since July 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, Laura Giovanelli, Assistant Teaching Professor of Writing, will be appointed Associate Dean for Learning Spaces, effective January 1, 2019. She accepted a half-time position as Assistant Dean for Learning Spaces on July 1, 2018, but we quickly discovered that the scale of her responsibilities and her expertise warranted a full-time appointment.
Laura serves on all space-related university-wide committees and helps coordinate classroom, office, and academic building renovations and allocations.
Tony and Laura have been highly effective advocates for the College, and Erica will be a great addition to a strong team committed to supporting faculty in her new position with ODOC. I look forward to collaborating with each of them on behalf of our wonderful students and teacher-scholars, as I know you will too.
Katy Harriger, professor and chair of politics and international affairs, has been named faculty director of Wake Forest’s new Wake Washington program, which will combine academic and internship experiences in the nation’s capital.
Scheduled to launch in fall 2017, the program will provide students with “outstanding opportunities to explore what it means to be a citizen, a policy maker, and a leader,” said Michele Gillespie, dean of the College.
As faculty director, Harriger will oversee the program and serve as the on-site faculty member for the first semester of the program.
“Katy Harriger is one of our very best teacher-scholars and the perfect person for this new role,” Gillespie said. “Her commitment to students, unwavering expectation of rigorous learning in and out of the classroom, important scholarship on American politics, and leadership abilities are all exceptional.”
Each year, Wake Forest will offer a fall and spring semester program. Modeled after Wake Forest’s study abroad centers in Venice, Vienna and London, the new program will offer close faculty-student engagement and high academic standards. A faculty member will take 16 undergraduate students with them to Washington and teach courses in their area of expertise capitalizing on learning experiences available there.
The first set of classes will include “U.S. Policymaking in the 21st Century” and “American Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers and Federalism,” taught by Harriger. They will include visits to Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and the White House. Future semesters could focus on art, communication, science or other fields of study. Go here for the full story.