New Students – New Accommodations: A University’s Private Public Partnership; Tale of the P(3)
A view from the side office window
Housing and Residential Life professionals are accustomed to moving quickly and changing with whichever way the wind blows. What can we say, it’s a gift! Whether it’s working closely with student staff, helping to develop students or adjusting to departmental changes, we do it all. One relationship that is growing at a lot of institutions is the new connections and partnerships that Residence Life teams are making with business developers and private property owners creating modernized collegial spaces.
When you couple constricted capital with spiraling enrollment, colleges and universities begin to fall behind in the development of facilities that accommodate growth, aesthetically appeal to millennials and billet the needs of an ever-changing student population.
As the old saying goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” and that’s exactly what we do when striking deals with student housing developers to keep up with residential requirements.
Now more than ever, college and university leaders are exploring public-private partnerships (P3s) as a means of financing new on-campus student housing facilities and providing the latest accommodations to our campus communities. The most challenging aspect of creating mutually beneficial relationships in my opinion is finding a good partner and being a good partner.
As a true Res-Lifer, employed by a company that does Housing and Residence as well any large public or small private, I am in a fortunate situation to see the very best and worst of both sides of student housing, “public and private!”
In the long run, there are more advantages than disadvantages, one of which is providing an avenue for professional growth and experience for all of those in my position.
The positive attributes from my vantage point that I’ve seen from the side office window is;
- The ability to address immediate occupancy needs
- A commitment from the private sector to accelerate the development process
- The invaluable experience staffs (para & professional) receive working both sides of housing
- Providing highly desired accommodations for non-traditional students like “military veterans, international populations, graduate students, students with families, older students and of course upperclassman”
- And many more
One of the reasons that most “lifers” love this job is the ever-changing environment, each day providing a new set of challenges and opportunities, reaching a new group of students and this is no different.
P3s provide us a new way to provide to exemplary service and keep what we do relevant from the public to the private sector!
ACADEMY of ART UNIVERSITY