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July 22, 2009 - 4:53pm
OK, the main conference sessions are over, there are some local tours going on this afternoon. A few thoughts on the last sessions and speakers.
July 22, 2009 - 8:21am
I found the recent Wall Street Journal article about family-work balance blogs surprising. After all, in my own family my husband and I frequently check in with one another and analyze how we’re both feeling about the family-work juggle. We’re both guilty of being pretty intent on our navels much of the time. But we find that we haven’t just made static choices about how to divide our work and family lives.
July 21, 2009 - 10:01pm
Sometimes, there are no words.
July 21, 2009 - 8:44pm
As at all conventions, this one has a vendor showcase area. They call it the Idea Marketplace, although I always thought of the marketplace of ideas as more a metaphor than a specific location. The exhibitors are the usual suspects -- architects, engineers, campus planning consultants, furniture and equipment vendors. As I observed at last year's conference, it's enough to convince a person that "college and university planning" is limited largely to campus planning. From SCUP's mission statement, however, it's clear that that's not the case.
July 21, 2009 - 6:53pm
Only one session this afternoon -- it was scheduled long and ran even longer. The presenter was John Tagg, an emeritus at Palomar College, and the announced topic was "Framing Change in Higher Education -- Why is it so difficult? How can we make it easier?"Well, doing sustainability work on campus is all about framing change. Or rather, it's about achieving change, and it's hard to do that successfully without framing the change you hope to accomplish. Or maybe the issue you hope to address, even if the outcome has to be left pretty flexible at first.
July 21, 2009 - 2:59pm
One of the first sessions this morning was a presentation on the USGBC's Portfolio Program. Titled "From Building-Centric to Campus-Wide", it addressed USGBC's efforts to facilitate initiatives which address sustainability issued more scaled to campuses than to individual buildings. Examples include green cleaning policies and practices, access to alternative transportation, and selection of sustainable building sites.
July 20, 2009 - 9:28pm
This article is one of those think-tanky pieces that manages to mix the correct, the nearly-correct, and the wildly wrong in a seemingly coherent gumbo of its own. (It's about the cost and productivity spiral in higher ed.) It's worth checking out, though not only for the reasons the authors intend. That said, though, there's an undeniable kernel of truth to its statement that
July 20, 2009 - 9:16pm
Blogs are boring. Did you know? No less an authority than the Wall Street Journal has decreed it so; indeed, work-life balance blogs, like this one, are particularly boring. At least, that seemed to be where the above-referenced article began, with a side-swipe at the entire concept of a “national conversation” (especially one about something so potentially trivial, and certainly so elusive, as work-life balance).
July 20, 2009 - 8:55pm
Just a couple of additions to previous information.
July 20, 2009 - 6:31pm
One session this afternoon presented information from Michigan State U, and spoke to the need to correlate behavioral changes to reduce energy demand with operational changes to increase energy efficiency. While some of the early modeling pointed towards a 9% electricity savings potential among operations, behavior and technology taken separately, some of the early trial efforts are showing a 20% year-end reduction when evening and weekend classroom utilization is rationalized.

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