While Binghamton University students were relaxing over break, BU President Harvey Stenger and other University officials were hard at work preparing the Road Map Quarterly Report, which lays out Stenger’s plans for the continuation of his Road Map initiatives.
On Dec. 31, President Stenger released his report online, which highlighted the Road Map Renewal, as well as the enhancement and development of spaces on campus, as key focuses for the University moving forward.
Stenger began the report by paying tribute to Stefani Lineva, a student-athlete from Queens, New York who died as a result of a hit-and-run on Vestal Parkway on Dec. 3. Stenger added that as a result of the tragedy, University officials would be working with student groups to promote student safety off campus.
A large portion of Stenger’s report discussed the Road Map Renewal, which is intended to build ideas for the University over the next five years. Stenger stated that the proposal process for the renewal was still in progress, and that proposals would be due by the end of April.
Stenger said that the renewal had already identified some key areas that would require funding in the coming years. These proposals included an increase to campus internet bandwidth, enhancements to the Science V research and laboratory infrastructure, technology upgrades to the student Public Speaking Lab and the development of a smart laboratory for the Freshman Research Immersion program, which will include technological devices throughout the room.
“Our current road map is about five years old, and while its priorities and goals and metrics are still current, we need new ideas to reach our goals,” Stenger said.
The improvement of spaces on campus was a common theme throughout the report, with Stenger stating that a new parking lot will be constructed near the information booth on Glenn G. Bartle Drive. Brian Favela, executive director of Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), said that the new lot is expected to add roughly 200 spaces and is scheduled to be completed by next fall.
“Every single person on the [TAPS] team is working diligently to provide the highest level of service,” Favela said. “We know people are frustrated with the availability of parking and we believe the new parking lot will help curb these frustrations.”
In addition, Stenger indicated that there was a possibility that other parking solutions would be added in the future. In the meantime, Favela said that the TAPS team is working on ways to enhance the campus shuttle system and are encouraging students to carpool, as well as add TAPS on social media. During the spring semester the office will begin to communicate available parking on campus throughout the day via Twitter.
“We have been marketing the carpooling program, along with encouraging alternative transportation such as [Broome County Transit] and [Off Campus College Transport],” Favela said. “TAPS has a route planning event on Feb. 7. We have teamed up with BCT and other partners on campus to help our ridership figure out the best ways to utilize public transportation.”
The baseball facilities on campus will also be undergoing renovations, courtesy of an anonymous $2.2 million donation to BU’s athletics department. The donation will be funding new lighting and turf for the baseball field, as well as making it more weather-resistant. Stenger also reviewed the space enhancements that took place during the fall semester, which included the new Graduate Student Lounge in the Glenn G. Bartle Library.
Provost Donald Nieman emphasized that this is not a complete rewriting of the original Road Map initiatives, but an update and reassessment of the priorities outlined five years ago.
“It’s a document that guides decision making at all levels of the university, so it’s appropriate to bring people together to assess what we have accomplished and what remains to be done in our pursuit of excellence,” Neiman wrote in an email.
The Road Map Renewal will also fund a feasibility study for the University’s next comprehensive gifts campaign, which will project the likely size of next year’s fundraising campaign and determine levels of alumni support. Jim Broschart, vice president for advancement, said that funding derived from the Road Map has been instrumental in building better fundraising campaigns in previous years. The Road Map Renewal does not depend on this funding, but these donations could potentially help fund Road Map projects in the future.
“Giving contributes to the overall funding and success of our University,” Broschart said. “I expect that throughout the course of the study, we will hear that our closest supporters will agree that the time is right for the largest fundraising campaign in our history — one that plays a significant role in Binghamton becoming the premier public university.”