CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

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Standard 8: Physical and Technological Resources  


Description


Central Connecticut State University’s physical resources consist of 317 acres and 3.4 million sq. ft. in 47 buildings. Forty-six buildings are situated on 163 acres on the north side of New Britain, one building in downtown New Britain, and 154 undeveloped acres in the towns of Newington and New Britain, adjacent to the main campus. Refer to CCSU’s Room Inventory and Campus Building Data  gross footage by building (Exhibit 8.1). CCSU owns and operates an independent energy center.

CCSU currently has 240 teaching spaces which include 64 labs, 21 lecture halls, 10 studios, and four seminar rooms. Additional educational support spaces include the gymnasium and annex, athletic training center, planetarium, three theatres, art gallery, dance studio, theatrical scene shop, pool and tennis courts. The University provides student access to a variety of computer labs on campus, totaling 1500 seats in 75 labs. Labs consist of the main computer lab with more than 200 computers, fully computerized classrooms of up to 40 computers, small computer labs with up to 20 computers, and residence hall labs with six computers. Additional support spaces not regularly scheduled for academic use have been used to relieve stress on academic spaces.

CCSU has nine residence halls with 1,033 rooms, housing 2,141 students. All have undergone building code improvement. Six halls have undergone complete renovation. The seventh is scheduled to start renovations in May 08. All rooms are equipped with high-speed internet and cable television in accordance with CSU standards. Students are also provided wireless network access in all residences halls.

The University¹s Network infrastructure is Ethernet following the IEEE 802.3 specs with 90 Mb bandwidth to the outside internet; 350 network switches are installed on campus and 200 servers are supported in the data center.

The Connecticut State University System (CSUS) Board of Trustees (BOT) has the authority to approve expenditures for physical and technological resources. The University President sets project priorities guided by the University’s Mission and Master Plan and advised by the Facilities Planning Committee (FPC). The State Legislature and Governor have ultimate authority over CSUS’s funding.

 

CCSU’s Capital Projects Long Range Plan (Master Projects) was approved by the CSUS Board of Trustees (Exhibit 8.2). This comprehensive plan addresses issues including infrastructure, accessibility, geographic unification, Title IX, parking, and building codes. CCSU is reconfiguring existing space and adding new space to meet the needs of its programs through the implementation of the Master and five-year plans, in addition to its two-year review. CCSU is in the final phases of receiving funding for most of the Master Plan projects from the CSUS 2020 program. The 2020 program allocates $950 million to CSUS over the next ten years, of which CCSU is to receive over $248 million.

 

The President makes final design decisions based on recommendations of the CAO. The CAO is advised by chairs and the Facilities Planning Committee (FPC). The FPC functions “in support of the academic mission of the University.” The FPC comprises Executive Committee members, two members of the Faculty Senate, and a representative from the School of Arts and Sciences. The FPC works with the Design Guideline Committee, University Health and Safety officials, and Facilities Management, which may collaborate with the State Department of Public Works.

 

Led by the CAO, the FPC addresses environmental concerns, security issues, and space allocation.  FPC subgroups evaluate policy and ensure continuous quality. The FPC follows a shared governance model (Exhibit 8.3).

 

Maintenance and management of plant operations, such as work order processing, HVAC control, fire detection, electrical monitoring, and inventory systems, are automated and centrally accessible. Maintenance and repair workflow is time-tracked by an automated maintenance management database.  Efficient monitoring of the physical plant and timely response to issues ensures that Facilities Management serves the needs of the institution.

Three senior managers with over 75 years of combined experience lead Facilities Management. Maintenance and Trades (M&T) personnel must pass job-specific civil service exams to be considered for university employment.  Once hired, they receive regular training and evaluation in job-specific areas, including client services and health and safety. M &T personnel are assigned tasks, and their performance is evaluated using an on-line system that enables real-time issue response. Representatives from Facilities Management and Residence Life meet biweekly to discuss and resolve residence hall maintenance and building issues. 

CCSU has been able to keep pace with its growing enrollment by using its limited existing space more efficiently. In 2006, the Registrar implemented Ad Astra, an online database, to more efficiently assign and track increasingly limited space. In 2007, the Registrar retained consultants to refine the room assignment process and establish more departmental control. A new classroom building is in the design phase.  Laboratory and classroom renovations are major initiatives of the Master Plan. Technological space improvements and media support are major components of these projects.

CCSU is committed to creating multimedia-equipped classrooms.  Currently, CCSU has 134 multimedia classrooms and plans to have all appropriate classrooms similarly equipped by 2010.  The Information Technology department and the Information Technology Committee continue to evaluate, and implement new technology as appropriate, and as funding permits (e.g., possible addition of interactive whiteboards).

The University has made significant investments in its physical, technological, and educational infrastructure to support teaching and learning. The most significant academic enhancement since the last NEASC visit has been the construction of the Vance Academic Center, a state-of-the-art academic facility featuring classrooms, laboratories, and seminar rooms equipped to accommodate a wide range of instructional contexts. In addition, the laboratories in the Copernicus Science and Technology Building have undergone extensive renovations to meet the needs of new programs in biomolecular sciences and engineering, as well as technological enhancements to accommodate evolving programs in technology. The University’s technological infrastructure enables students and faculty to access instructional and informational resources from all locations on campus, including classrooms, residence halls, and offices.

Buildings and grounds are designed, constructed, and maintained in compliance with the American Disabilities Act, fire codes, and state building code.  These requirements are met through a partnership between the University and the State Department of Public Works. The State and University Fire Marshals conduct periodic inspections of work sites and facilities to ensure compliance and operation of fire protection systems. The Environmental Health and Safety Officers identify and address environmental concerns throughout the planning stages.

The CCSU Police Department prepares and publishes the University’s annual security report in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) publish recommendations regarding campus security and safety. In 2006, CCSU contracted Risk Solutions International (RSI) to respond to the recommendations of both FEMA and ASIS. The study, completed in 2007, is a comprehensive analysis of risks and vulnerabilities, as well as an assessment of the institution’s response capabilities.  RSI is currently engaged in revising the University’s response plans and identifying training needs. The recommendations of this study will be incorporated into physical plant and infrastructure planning processes (Exhibit 8.4). 

In 2006, the University retained Woodward and Curran to conduct an environmental sustainability audit. The study included evaluations of energy use, green space, building design, demolition, and construction. The purpose is to create a baseline from which the University can launch a major sustainability initiative.  The Sustainability Committee, formed in 2007, launched a campus-wide recycling program. Additionally, the CAO is incorporating “green initiatives” into building design and construction.

The Directors of Operational Logistics and Events and Facilities Management are developing a space inventory and allocation database. When completed in late 2009, this database will enable management to use current space more efficiently and improve forecasting of future space requirements.

To ensure reliability CCSU upgrades “out of warranty” equipment and conducts preventive maintenance of systems. In 2004, CCSU built a new datacenter consisting of 150 servers. Critical server data is stored off-site on tape backup. Technologies employed include RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), redundant hardware, enterprise manageable virus protection, WSUS (Windows Software Update Service) and network firewalls.

The University adheres to security standards established by CSUS Board Resolution 06-10 and outlined in the CSUS Information Security Standards document. The standards are a security program designed to ensure the security and integrity of CSU System’s tangible and intangible information resources. This security program addresses the administrative, technical and physical safeguards needed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information resources. CCSU’s IT department tracks compliance to the security program through a security matrix document (Exhibit 8.5).

Information security and integrity is reviewed yearly through audits conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers. CCSU’s IT department is committed to ensuring privacy of individuals through compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As part of this compliance, an information security officer position was approved and funded in July 2007.

 

Appraisal

 

Since the last NEASC study (1998), CCSU has been aware of its aging physical plant, its significant constraints on academic space, and the need to physically unify the physical plant. In 1999, the University commissioned a comprehensive study of its physical plant, which confirmed that the campus is significantly undersized for its enrollment and programmatic needs (Program for the Master Plan, Dober, Lidsky, Craig & Assoc., 1999). Based, in part, on these findings CCSU embarked on its reprioritized Capital Projects Long Range Plan, which is updated biannually by the University and the CSU System.

 

As a result of this study, CCSU has completed a number of significant physical plant projects since the 1998 NEASC study, which included removing a street that divided the campus; constructing the Vance Academic Center, the Vance parking garage, the Welte parking garage, the Energy Center, and the Arute Athletic Stadium; and renovating Copernicus Hall, the Student Center, Kaiser Auditorium, and several residence halls.

Employees rate the campus conditions highly in importance and satisfaction on the College Employment Satisfaction Survey. While the size and scope of the projects completed over the last ten years were ambitious, literally transforming the face of campus, the demands on the physical plant also increased. CCSU is able to keep pace with enrollment and department requirements through more efficient use of existing space. However, concerns about adequate physical space and appropriate space for academic programs remain. This may be a contributing factor to employees’ perceived institutional weakness in the areas of budgetary resource allocation and efforts to improve quality.

The Program for the Master Plan is an institutional strength, as it is regularly revisited and updated to address changing demands. The process of facility planning is also one of CCSU’s strengths. Employees generally perceive the institution’s ability to evaluate its physical and technological resources as important, and they were generally satisfied with its condition. However, respondents to the CESS Survey criticized their lack of involvement in facilities planning at the University. Students and employees perceive maintenance and management of plant operations to be good. Facilities Management manages the growing physical plant through outsourcing, automation, careful tracking of assets, and strategic personnel assignment.

Environmental sustainability is a major thrust of the University. It is now integral to facility design, building practices, and renovation as well as the daily operations.  The President’s Committee on Environmental Sustainability, formed in 2007, has implemented recycling programs and undertaken a review of the University’s water and waste management.

The CCSU Police Department has made major improvements in crisis response policy and procedures, including the development of a dedicated Emergency Operation Center and crisis response exercises. The majority of employees view campus safety as important or very important, and they are satisfied or very satisfied with the performance of the Police Department. Students continue to identify campus safety as an institutional strength (Exhibit 8.6). Nevertheless, according to statistics by the US Department of Justice, the department remains under funded in operations and understaffed. The CCSU PD is also in need of new headquarters. The headquarters has been designed, but construction has been deferred, pending funding.

In recognition of weaknesses (Exhibit 8.6) in campus health, safety, and environmental protection, CCSU took steps to improve these areas for its community and neighboring residents by creating the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) in 2007.  EH&S’s charge is to develop policies and procedures to enforce compliance with state and federal regulations, and assist in future environmental programs. The EH&S manages hazardous waste on campus, provides fire safety reviews and system maintenance.  EH&S works closely with University departments to provide health and safety training that assures employees and students are protected while at the institution.  Faculty and staff are kept abreast of changes in federal and state requirements concerning chemicals, wastes, and workplace safety through regular informational sessions.

 

Projection

 

CCSU will receive a capital investment of over $248 million from the State in the CSUS 2020 plan.

These funds will provide CCSU with a new classroom building, comprehensive renovations of two classroom/office buildings, expansion of the Library, an infrastructure for CCSU’s East Campus to accommodate residence halls and a proposed magnet school, and a new public safety complex. 

The newly established Office of Environmental Health and Safety is planning to expand its training of university staff so they are equipped to spot and correct health and safety problems. Contractors will be required to be better OSHA prepared as they work on campus.  In the future, training will expand beyond facilities staff to personnel in other campus areas who will benefit from health and safety training, including academic faculty and administrative staff.

The CCSU Police Department (PD) expects to implement two major recommendations stemming from the security consultant’s report: the installation of the Whelen mass notification broadcast system (Exhibit 8.7) and the launching of the MIR3 electronic mass notification system.

To improve the capacity of the University to manage its own resources in an emergency, the CCSU PD, in concert with Facilities Management, will explore appropriate communication alternatives (e.g. trunked radio system and/or cell phones) to the current system.

Consistent with its leadership goals, CCSU is currently striving to become a leader in environmental sustainability by meeting current human needs without undermining the capacity of the environment to provide for those needs over the long term (Exhibit 8.8).  CCSU continues to be committed to this concept and will be instituting the following initiatives over the next ten years:

·         CCSU President Jack Miller will convene an Environmental Sustainability Council, consisting of faculty, administrators, and students.

·         Expand and improve existing recycling systems and processes.

·         Launch an educational campaign promoting water conservation, energy conservation, and waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.

·         Using more locally grown and/or organically grown food for campus dining service operations.

·         Reducing the carbon footprint of campus operations.

·         Reducing transportation impacts on the environment.

·         Adopting purchasing and green building policies

·         Developing a master’s degree in Sustainability.

 

Future technology plans include greater security auditing, protection of student data, improved disaster recovery, and network infrastructure improvements. New audit procedures of IT functions will be implemented to ensure compliance with FERPA, GLBA and CSUS security audit requirements. These audits will search for weak points in Social Security Number security, such as Excel spreadsheets. The IT department also plans to build a business process to audit changes in Microsoft SQL databases, Exchange mail servers and Active Directory using Net Pro change auditing software.   Changes tracked by Net Pro include new account creation and permission changes. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is being explored to remove GLBA data from physical machines; $100,000 has been set aside for this project.   The first implementation of VDI is expected in the lab environment followed by client desktops.   VDI ensures a more resilient lab environment, protects student by removing data from machines, especially laptops. 

Disaster recovery improvements are part of the CSUS Area Network project.   This project will enable same-day recovery of email and most share drives by migrating data to a remote CSUS site.  Servers will be replaced by VMware servers to ease the transfer of data as part of the project.  

Network infrastructure improvements include implementation of a new domain.  An added security feature of the new domain structure is a definition of roles driven through ERP Banner.    Other improvements are more network segments and firewalls—up to six network segments, each with a firewall, thus protecting the segments from each other. 

Media services will strengthen its streaming video plan so the campus can share our instructional resources remotely. It will increase promotional and outreach efforts to indicate that Media Services is available for instructional technology and pedagogical support. An Instructional Design and Technology Resource Center is under development, which will be the central location for online courses, as well as the area for instructional technology support and administration.

 

Institutional Effectiveness

CCSU has engaged consultants in the areas of sustainability, master plan, risk management, and public safety. These consultants produced analyses that, along with internal research, were incorporated into subsequent university plans. These plans seek to maximize the benefits to the institution while remaining within budget. The planning process, at all ranges, has been proactive, dynamic, and has incorporated constituents from relevant areas of the institution. The University continually monitors its physical and technological requirements to ensure continual support of its mission, enrollment, and programs.

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Last Update: Wednesday September 10, 2008