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.
Two sessions this morning focused on techniques for dealing with the economic downturn, or at least that's what their titles implied. Neither one really dealt with the "doing more with less funding" problem, although each did provide some useful information. Still, it's tough for a presenter who's scheduled during the last half-day of a 2.5-day conference -- you know attendance will be down, and most of the people who do show up are already brim-full of information.
One presentation by a representative of Herman Miller, however, was helpful in terms of quantifying thinking on how rethinking and redesigning classroom space can affect both space utilization and learning outcomes. He didn't assume actual reconstruction of classrooms, but a lot of what he had to say correlated with the research on how increased daylighting and improved indoor air quality (both characteristics of green buildings) improve student and employee performance. It was just the tip of the iceberg, but it did indicate why first-cost-minimization approaches aren't just inefficient, they're ineffective. (Must be why we use them so often!)
The closing speaker was Michael Wesch, the K-State professor whose class's videos  went viral on YouTube a year or so back. His topic was the effect that media -- all media, from Writing 101 to Web 2.0 -- have on society and will have on education. Good stuff and, as is so often the case at a SCUP conference, a lot of references to books and sites I'll want to check out when time permits.
So, off to tour.