Planning for Equity and Resilience in Higher Education

As higher education student demographics - and needs - shift over time, colleges across the country are finding themselves addressing housing shortages, food insecurity, and other factors that hinder student success, putting issues of affordability, equity and community at the forefront. Both small, private and large, public institutions such as the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) are grappling with solutions to these challenges. UCSC is addressing these issues through an integrated campus planning process, which can serve as a model for other institutions in becoming more physically, socially, and financially resilient.

Page Associate Principal Elizabeth Foster, who is currently managing the UCSC 2020 Long Range Development Plan project team, explains the importance of applying the lens of social resilience in planning. In crafting the plan, UCSC is actively identifying ways to integrate equity and social resilience into the fabric of its campus. The university has committed to expanding educational access for a more diverse student body, addressing housing affordability and other cost-of-living challenges, enhancing campus access for working students, and expanding student services to support a changing demographic. The project team is engaging UCSC stakeholders in discussions about the institution’s long-term flexibility and adaptability, which will position the administration to better evaluate growth options that maximize benefits within a changing economic and social climate.   

Beth also led the consultant team preparing the Oregon State University – Cascades Long Range Development Plan which took a holistic approach to campus resilience focused on economic and social as well as environmental strategies. Before joining Page, Beth was a principal at Sasaki Associates and oversaw their campus planning practice in the western United States. She is an expert at engaging campus administrators, faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders in the planning process. In addition to those above, she has completed plans for academic institutions such as UC Berkeley; University of San Francisco; Portland State University and Pikes Peak Community College.

Beth presents frequently on the topic of resilience and planning and recently co-authored the article Integrating Resilience in University Planning in the SCUP (Society for College and University Planning) Journal of Higher Education. She also will co-present UC Santa Cruz Charts an Equitable and Socially Resilient Path with Page Principal Barbara Maloney and their university client at the upcoming SCUP 2018 Pacific Conference in Los Angeles, CA, on Monday, April 9 from 9:45 - 10:45AM. 

To see where else Beth and her colleagues are presenting, visit Where's Page? Find Us at These Events

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