Insight Blog

SCUP Conferences To Focus on Key Issues Impacting Higher Ed Facilities and Capital Planning

by Sami Barry
University building

Facilities Management and Capital Planning have become instrumental components of short- and long-term strategies for colleges and universities. The most effective departments function strategically and work alongside senior administration on initiatives and programs related to all aspects of facilities and capital planning, including technology integration, sustainability, and energy efficiency - all of which make positive impacts upon the financial stability and future success of institutions. 

As search consultants who specialize in partnering with colleges and universities across the country in conducting executive searches related to facilities management, capital planning, and construction, we have an inherent understanding of the challenges and opportunities being presented to these institutions, and are continually educating ourselves on issues impacting our clients so that we can address their needs when retained for searches.  

As such, three of Helbling’s consultants are attending upcoming regional conferences of Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), a prominent association and valuable resource for professionals involved in this field. Jim Lord, Managing Director – Northeast with Helbling says, “Increasingly, we are seeing our clients looking to leverage advancements in technology to enhance both the efficiency and customer service level of their facilities operations. Innovative tools range from CMMS systems, BIM, and REVIT to building automation systems. Institutions are constantly strategizing on how to best apply the ‘Internet of Things’ to their facilities organizations. SCUP’s forums provide great opportunities for professionals to discuss these and other key issues and to learn what other institutions are finding to be effective strategies and solutions.”

If you haven’t yet heard about SCUP’s upcoming regional conferences, we thought we’d fill you in because we are confident these programs and information to be shared could be beneficial to your institution’s existing plans and initiatives, as well as those that you may be considering. 

Lord will be attending SCUP’s North Atlantic Regional Conference March 10th – 12th in Rochester, New York. The program, appropriately titled “Campus as Catalyst,” will focus on how colleges and universities are catalysts for local and regional transformation, innovation, and revitalization, including the University of Rochester. The program will feature sessions such as: Repurposing Mid-Century Campus Buildings for a New Generation and Exploring the Role of Campus Architecture in Revitalizing Urban Downtowns. Among the speakers are: Charles Gantt, Director of Planning & Project Management for University of Rochester; Anne Kress, President of Monroe Community College; Tonga Pham, Associate Vice President for University Facilities, University of Buffalo; and Paul Streeter, Director, Institutional Planning & Assessment for Cornell University.

Tom Dunn, Managing Director – Mid-Atlantic, and Wendy Zang, Managing Consultant, will be joining in on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, which is March 20th – 22nd in College Park, Maryland.  Both consultants also attended the 2018 conference. “SCUP provides a wonderful opportunity for collaboration across industry professionals," says Zang. "We’ve found it to be a welcoming group with members eager to share their ideas and experiences, as well as learn from others in their field. And I’m especially excited to attend this year’s Mid-Atlantic conference at the University of Maryland, a client we’ve been working closely with for several years.”

This year’s program will cover a broad range of topics that higher education facilities professionals will find beneficial, such as: Planning and Designing Effective Shared Facilities; Add More Space in Less Time Using Modular Construction; and Student-Guided Facilities Planning at UVA: True Partnerships Between Students, Administrators, and Consultants. The last session of the conference, The Greater College Park Initiative: Partnerships in Planning and Development to Enhance the Broader Community, reflects the focus of the aforementioned North Atlantic Regional Conference. To be presented by Carlo Colella, Vice President for Administration & Finance for University of Maryland – College Park, this session will discuss the institution’s strategic plan, local and regional planning initiatives, as well as campus and community development projects being done in collaboration with municipal, organizational, and private-sector partners. Other speakers include Carl Elefante, Principal and Director of Sustainability, AIA President, Quinn Evans Architects; and Debbie Sydow, President, Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary

If we’ve piqued your interest in these events and you haven’t yet registered, you still can by visiting their registration sites:


There’s no doubt both conferences are going to provide valuable learning experiences for facilities and capital planning professionals in higher education (and for our consultants). If you’ll be attending either event and would like to get acquainted with Jim, Tom, or Wendy, feel free to reach out to them directly.

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Hope to see you there!