The Role of The Campus Planning Framework
The University of Iowa campus, as well as most other campuses, must serve the needs of continually changing conditions.
To properly manage these changes, physical development planning can be neither static nor reactionary, but must instead be
a flexible, on-going process that anticipates and plans for future needs.
Campus planning, in its proper sense, is a process that manages change to accomplish the mission, goals and strategic
plan of the University in the most efficient and effective way possible. It analyzes where the University has been in the
past, where it is today and charts the course for desirable future outcomes. At the same time, it provides the mechanism
to efficiently use chronically limited financial resources to realize the set goals. Through the entire planning process
it must be kept in mind that planning is not an end in itself. It is a methodology to guide physical development of the
campus in a way that will meet the needs, desires, and expectations of the campus community. Planning is for people. To
be successful, it must therefore closely involve them in the planning process.
Traditionally, campus planning has been condensed to a campus development map. This type of specific physical development
plan too frequently became the planning goal itself. Such plans, because of their static nature, soon became outdated as
the conditions upon which they were developed changed. Furthermore, a fixed campus development map is not flexible enough
to be easily adapted to unanticipated development needs which often do not fit into the scheme of the map. Thus, little
guidance is provided as to how the new situation should be addressed. The alternatives were either expensive and time
consuming revision of the plan or a patchwork update that did not integrate the change into the overall campus scheme.
In contrast, the University's Campus Planning Framework has as its nucleus a mixture of goals, objectives and policies,
called planning principles. Implementation Strategies and Development Guidelines further prescribe the campus development
process. In this manner, the plan is stated in a general way to accommodate unanticipated changes and development needs.
At the same time, it serves as a specific decision framework to guide day-to-day planning decisions.
The Campus Planning Framework Summary Map expresses on-the-ground development implications of the principles, strategies
and guidelines. Accordingly, recommendations can be made for appropriate changes in the framework plan. The process also
incorporates a mechanism for periodically reviewing and updating the plan. The Campus Planning Committee and the
University Planning Office, working together, are charged with updating the plan.
The previous Campus Planning Framework, prepared in 1990, is the basis for this update. The update is intended to make
the analysis and recommendations of the plan responsive to the changes that have occurred since the previous plan was
completed. It prescribes campus development that is more in tune with today's vision of future needs. There has also
been a conscientious effort to broaden the coverage of the plan without diminishing the ease of application to day-to-day
planning situations. An effort has been made to seek involvement and input from the campus community as well. The
connection to the University's Strategic Plan has been strengthened to assure that the University's mission, goals and
objectives are supported by campus development. The update also separates implementation strategies into those that
guide campus-wide systems--which apply to the campus as a whole, such as vehicular circulation and open space--and those
which apply specifically to each of the ten functional planning areas. The ten functional areas divide the campus into
smaller more manageable planning units based upon similar building uses or functions.
The Role of The Campus Planning Committee In The Planning Process
The Campus Planning Committee has been assigned the responsibility of overseeing the planning process for the campus on
behalf of the campus community and advising the Central Administration on planning issues and initiatives. The Committee
has been structured to represent a cross section of members of the campus community. It is comprised of three students
representing the University of Iowa Student Government, five members representing the Faculty Senate and three members
representing Staff Council. Support for the committee is provided by the Director Facilities Services Group and the
Campus Planning Office.
Process For Updating The Framework Plan
- Committee Responsibilities:
- The Campus Planning Committee is a charter committee established to advise the University's President and Central
Administration. The committee is charged with evaluation of ideas and proposals for change and improvement to the
physical campus, including policies on space allocation and utilization, giving particular attention to aesthetic and
- The Committee should be involved throughout the duration of the planning process, serving in many capacities,
including evaluative, analytical, judgmental, and guiding activities.
- To perform these tasks, it is imperative that the Committee use the adopted Campus Planning Framework and other
available planning documents as the basis for evaluation. In addition, the larger or more complex projects should
have specific criteria developed by the Committee and Campus Planning Office for reviewing the project proposals.
The criteria are to be based on the Campus Planning Framework. The Committee places special emphasis on one of its
primary tasks of assuring that projects or proposals will conform to the Campus Planning Framework. Generally, only
proposals or projects which have a significant impact on campus as a whole or on a functional area of campus are
considered by the Committee. All other proposals or projects are managed by the Facilities Services Group.
- For the Campus Planning Framework to be an effective tool to guide development, it must be kept up-to-date. This is
a responsibility of the Campus Planning Committee, in conjunction with the Campus Planning Office, as part of its
- Every five years, each of the elements of the Campus Planning Framework is to be reviewed at public forums where the
campus community may introduce additions or modifications. The Campus Planning Committee and the Campus Planning
Office will then evaluate and modify the plan as changes are proposed and adopted. Proposed changes should be
incorporated only after adequate evaluation and study has determined the proposal to be in the best interests of the
campus. Changes in the Plan are to be well documented.
The following planning process provides an organized approach to decision making, allows for the development of planning
policies, encourages user involvement, and responds to change by establishing a mechanism for updating the Campus Planning
Framework. The overall process is a fairly simple, but structured procedure, involving participation by several campus
The Proposal Or Project Review Process
- Generators of ideas and potential projects.
- As with any other campus, there are constituencies who have particular interests along with their concern for the
University as a whole. Each of these groups may have particular points of view which can and should have an influence
on the direction of the campus physical growth. It is important that planning for these groups consider their needs and
desires. The following campus groups have been identified as having an important perspective, but there will likely be
other groups depending on the particular subject being considered:
Campus Planning Committee
Campus Planning Office
Deans, Directors and Department Officers
Facilities Services Group Personnel
- Any process developed for the campus must account for the perspective of these groups.
- A basic premise of the process is that any group or any individual who has an idea that represents a change to the
University campus may initiate a proposal or project and will have an opportunity to submit the proposal to the Campus
Planning Office for review. The planning office will give the idea serious consideration and direction. Ideas that are
determined to have sufficient merit and support will be presented to the Campus Planning Committee for review and
- Proposals or projects can be submitted as a draft or as a formal proposal. The proposals should include information
such as description of the project, expected source of funds, documentation of project need, when project is needed and
other pertinent information to explain the request. The Campus Planning Office will review conformity or nonconformity
to the adopted Campus Planning Framework and determine what additional information will be needed to clarify and explain
the request. Assistance in providing information to document and explain the request may be provided by the Campus
Planning Office or Design and Construction Services as appropriate, depending on the merits and feasibility of the
proposal or project.
Proposals or projects of sufficient merit and feasibility will be submitted to the Campus Planning Committee by the
Campus Planning Office and will proceed through the following review process.
- Evaluation by the Campus Planning Committee--Committee Decision Options:
- Reject the Proposal or Project -- After weighing the proposal and finding it not to be in the best interest of
the campus, the Committee may recommend rejection. It is particularly important that established criteria or
documented reasons be provided by the Committee to justify its decision.
- If a proposal or project is recommended to be rejected, supporters have two options:
- Allow the proposal to die, taking no further action.
- Refine their proposal to incorporate the comments and judgment of the Committee and then resubmit
- Endorse the Proposal or Project--At this point, the Campus Planning Committee forwards its recommendation to Central
Administration or to the Director, Facilities Services Group, depending on the scope and nature of the proposal. The
recommendation can by forwarded by way of meeting minutes, or by memorandum if circumstances warrant it.
- Review by Central Administration and Facilities Services Group:
- Proposals or projects referred by the Campus Planning Committee to the Central Administration will receive review
as appropriate for the proposal.
- The Central Administration has the authority to:
- Reject the proposal or project.
- Return it to the Campus Planning Committee for restudy or refinement.
- Accept the idea of the proposal or project and forward it to the Director Facilities Services Group
- Request a program development or feasibility study from the Director Facilities Services Group if
appropriate. The Director may assign preparation of the study to the Campus Planning Office or Design
and Construction Services.
- Recommend other action as might be appropriate.
- Proposals/projects forwarded to the Director Facilities Services Group may receive further study to verify
- Determine Funding--If at this point funding is necessary to implement the proposal or project, it is directed into one of two possible funding routes:
- Request funding from the Board of Regents and State Legislature by channeling it into capital budget
Major capital items such as new buildings require application for funding through the Central
Administration and the Board of Regents to the State Legislature. Funding, when granted, will be
channeled back through that system and will be applied to the specific project. Often, when a
University college is proposing the project, a campaign to solicit funds from private sources will be
initiated to supplement the State funding. In some cases, private funding for the entire project may be
solicited. Capitol funding requests from the State are not only prioritized according the UI needs, but
are prioritized in conjunction with the other Regents' institutions by the Board of Regents. Depending
on how the projects ranks in priority, it might be several years before it is actually funded, or
perhaps it might receive no funding at all. The University must then reevaluate priorities and either
seek funding from other sources, accept the funding delay or drop the project.
- Identify or designate an internal funding, grant, gift or other source(s):
If the project is funded internally or by grant, gift, etc., it will be prioritized with other
University funding needs. It might be several years before the project rises to a priority that it is
funded or it might die due to other higher funding priorities.
After funding has been identified, the proposal or project becomes a project for implementation and is forwarded to the
Director Facilities Services Group to begin the detailed planning, design and construction process:
- Project Design--depending on the nature of the project, the Director will assign it to the Campus Planning Office or Design
and Construction Services for implementation. Generally, projects of a planning nature will be assigned to the Campus
Planning Office and projects involving construction will be assigned to Design and Construction Services to begin the
- Large projects might require, a preliminary planning or feasibility study to determine the need for the project and
provide data for its evaluation and establishing a more accurate project cost. A simple statement of need and
estimated cost might be adequate for small projects in lieu of a feasibility study. Projects of intermediate scope
might require appropriate additional documentation, but not an actual study.
- A design team, including the user group, may be formed to assist in development of the project, depending on the
scope. A user group to assist with the planning and design will be formed for large projects. For small projects,
it may simply be a matter of keeping stakeholders informed. When a user group is formed, it should include all
stakeholders in the project, including faculty, staff and students who will occupy the structure or facility, as
well as appropriate staff who maintain and service the facility. The group will actively participate in determining
the form that the new facility takes by working together at one or more workshop sessions, developing design
criteria, interrelationships of spaces and similar types of input. These sessions can be carefully planned to
maximize the use of participants' time and energies.
- The user group or stakeholders, as the case might be, will continue to be involved in the design process in a
review capacity. Periodic review of design and construction plans by the user group will be a part of the process.
- Project Construction--the final step in the implementation process:
- During the construction phase of the project the role of the designer will decrease. As construction documents
are developed, responsibility for construction will shift to a construction manager to manage the project during
- The user group may elect to remain intact to monitor progress of plans and construction. Recommendations of the
user group should be reported to the Campus Planning Committee and any new design or planning knowledge may be
incorporated into the Campus Planning framework. Updates might be incorporated as new principles and guidelines
and/or as changes in the mapped recommendations.
The process above is intended to provide a framework in which logical, orderly planning for future development of the
campus may occur. It involves University-wide participation and allows various campus groups to feel they are a part of
the place they inhabit. It requires the periodic review and update of the Campus Planning Framework as the basis for
recommendations for future change to the campus. The process also provides a framework for comprehensive recommendations,
allows for policies relating to the future to be established, and responds to incremental changes in conditions in an