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 Strategic Planning

Vision Group 7: Physical environment, infrastructure, and sustainability


John King

Vision Group Members

John King
Linda Olcott
Josh Richards (for Linda Deneen)
Rick Smith
Denise Osterholm
Judith Kritzmire
Mindy Granley
Tim Bates
Ann Pellant
Liz Minor
Patrick Keenan
Taylor Glynn
Tyler Kruzel
Sean Finn
Anne Rittgers

Proposed Vision for UMD in 2020 Related to this Topic

UMD serves as a regional model for sustainability. The campus is recognized as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly and welcoming campuses with engaged students, staff and faculty taking personal responsibility in everyday sustainable actions.

The campus physical environment and infrastructure ensure the success of our students. Faculty, staff, students, and visitors experience a vibrant campus, featuring buildings and landscapes capturing the unique character and natural features of northern Minnesota. The campus engages the learner, satisfies the curious, inspires the creative and attracts the surrounding community. The campus is operated effectively and efficiently, and supports multiple modes of transportation. UMD residence halls, a renovated student center and numerous gathering places connect the students to the campus and each other. Modern classrooms and laboratories, advanced informational technologies and a regional fiber optic hub make the campus a leader in innovation, teaching and research.

Proposed Goals for UMD to Achieve in the Next Three-Five Years Related to this Topic

  1. Reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions 15% (25% by 2020).
  2. Establish a campus physical environment development program.
  3. Develop emerging technologies.

Proposed Action Steps for UMD to Achieve in the Next One-Two Years Related to this Topic

Goal #1: Reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions 15% (25% by 2020).

  1. Implement a campus Energy Policy to set expectations for indoor air temperatures and energy use. *
  2. Implement energy conservation and retrofit projects on priority buildings, to upgrade ventilation and heating/cooling systems, replace inefficient laboratory equipment, install building metering for electricity/steam, and/or replace lighting systems.

    *Explanation: Heating and powering buildings account for over 90% of the total greenhouse gas emissions at UMD. An Energy Policy could also recommend individual actions for energy savings (such as appliance use, office equipment, etc.) Building system upgrades and metering will help UMD save energy and reduce emissions. Note: this goal and these action steps align with the UMD Energy Action Plan, Version 1.0, December 2010.

Goal #2: Establish a campus physical environment development plan.

  1. Renovate Kirby Student Center.
  2. Update the Campus Master Plan to address:
    • Effective and welcoming campus entrances.
    • Efficiency of land use, e.g., green space, parking.
    • Inclusion of outlying properties.
  3. Lead initiatives that improve community connectivity for alternate modes of transportation (bike and walking paths).
  4. Investigate Woodland School property for potential development as a vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use university village.

Goal #3: Develop emerging technologies.

  1. Establish UMD as an anchor tenant for regional fiber optic hub.
  2. Assess classroom and laboratory technologies to meet student learning expectations and outcomes.
  3. Continue to improve Heating, Ventiliation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Building System Automation Center (BSAC) processes to utilize the existing network resources.
  4. Complete the final phase of campus steam study to determine course of action for upgrading the campus district heating system.


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