The New School Opens Making Center At Parsons School Of Design With Focus On Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Social Engagement, And Manufacturing In New York

Parsons Making Center is the hub for a network of making spaces that provide all New School students with state-of-the-art tools to design projects in a range of disciplines

Opening continues a shift in design education toward a 21st century interdisciplinary practice that prepares students to succeed in a rapidly evolving workplace

Pictured clockwise, from left: Specialty garment stations, 3D printers, and tool checkout areas on the second floor of Parsons Making Center; New School students use an etching press to ink plates for a photo book; the open ork space on the second floor of Parsons Making Center; New School students create prototypes using 3D printers. (Photos/Matt Matthews and Michael Moran)

Pictured clockwise, from left: Specialty garment stations, 3D printers, and tool checkout areas on the second floor of Parsons Making Center; New School students use an etching press to ink plates for a photo book; the open ork space on the second floor of Parsons Making Center; New School students create prototypes using 3D printers. (Photos/Matt Matthews and Michael Moran)

NEW YORK, —Bolstering its global status as a center for design education and innovation, Parsons School of Design announces the opening of the Parsons Making Center at The New School. The Parsons Making Center is a space where students can explore innovative manufacturing methods, collaborate with their peers across a range of disciplines, and employ state-of-the-art tools to address pressing social needs related to sustainability, human well-being, and reviving urban making. Through their experiences at the Parsons Making Center, students will be prepared to thrive in a rapidly evolving workplace and make meaningful contributions to civic life.

Open to all university students and faculty members regardless of their field of study, the Parsons Making Center is a place where everyone—from designers, technologists, and activists, to managers, policy analysts, and entrepreneurs—can work together in flexible, ad hoc teams to design innovative projects, methods, and supply chains. The New School, a comprehensive, integrated university, has long demonstrated the efficacy of this approach; interdisciplinary teams of students have produced environmentally sustainable affordable housingwearable technology addressing human needs, and a multimedia project exploring the history of mass incarceration in the United States. Industries are increasingly adopting this approach, and New School students, having employed it in their studies, will be at an advantage as they enter the workforce.  

Completed with major support from the Kay Unger Family Foundation, the 28,000-square-foot Parsons Making Center (at Fifth Avenue and 13th Street) will serve as the hub for the 78,0000-square-foot network of making spaces across The New School’s Greenwich Village campus.

“This new space allows education and practice to shift from 20th century siloed industrial model, which separates disciplines and thus limits interaction and collaboration, to a cross-platform model, which allows different designers to work together and learn from one another to design the future,” said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons School of Design. “This approach prepares students to become 21st century leaders within design professions and across management and business.” 

Underscoring Parsons’ commitment to making as a way of problem solving, students will use the Parsons Making Center to design products and strategies that address social needs. Students will look no further than New York City, working with each other, as well as external partners, to tackle the challenges of civic life.

“Our students are committed to designing a better, more sustainable, and more beautiful world,” Towers said. “The Making Center—a dynamic environment housing a suite of cutting-edge resources—will provide the space for them to do just that.” 

The Parsons Making Center will play an integral role in the resurgent making and manufacturing culture of New York City. Maker hubs such as Industry City and The Brooklyn Navy Yard, and companies such as Theory and Dynotex, are leading the way in the business sector, and Parsons, in providing students hand-on experience in a range of creative practices, will provide the workforce to sustain this thriving ecosystem.

Parsons Making Center is a striking example of how art and design schools are using the built environment to shape the way students learn and interact. Designed by New York City-based Rice+Lipka Architects, the space features an open floor plan, including modular walls and tables, that encourage students and faculty members to work with and learn from each other. More than half of the 14,000-square-foot main level is “dedicated to not being dedicated,” according to Lyn Rice of Rice+Lipka Architects.

Added Rice, “R+L conceived of the Center as a de-siloed making place where design students from Parsons’ broad range of creative disciplines can work side-by-side.”

A drone video and images of Parsons Making Center are available, as is a fact sheet which includes a list of tools and resources housed in the space. Joel Towers, Executive Dean of Parsons, and Will McHale, Director of Parsons Making Center, are available for interviews and to lead tours of the space.

University of Kansas Sees Energy Conservation Savings

By SARA SHEPHERD, Lawrence-Journal World

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — At home, you might swap out a few lightbulbs for energy efficient ones and save a few cents a year on your electric bill.

At the University of Kansas that's happening on a much larger scale: Over the past year and a half KU has replaced more than 4,500 lights with LED lamps, leading to an estimated annual savings of $61,720, the Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reports.

KU reduced energy use enough over the past year to meet — and exceed — its overall energy consumption goal, according to the university's most recent campus-wide energy report.

The figures on light bulbs are among results tallied in the report, which was completed over the summer and announced this fall.

The university spends more than $12 million annually on utility costs including electricity, natural gas, water, waste removal and other services, according to the university's energy conservation policy. The policy says that consumption results in the release of more than 238,000 metric tons of carbon equivalents each year.

The policy, first adopted in 2009, states that the university's goal was to reduce total energy consumption to 100 kBTUs per square foot per year, using square feet so energy measurements can remain consistent as campus grows and buildings are added or changed.

Last year KU beat that goal. Consumption was 98 kBTUs per square foot in fiscal year 2016, down from 106 kBTUs per square foot in fiscal year 2015, according to an announcement from KU's Center for Sustainability and the KU Energy Office.

"We are excited to reach our goal, but the work doesn't stop there," KU energy manager George Werth said in the announcement. "There are still energy conservation measures we can implement to continue to reduce energy intensity further."

According to the KU Energy Office's fiscal year 2016 report, the year's energy conservation measures included:

—Communicating with departments to optimize the scheduling plan for shutting down heating and cooling for more hours at a time when buildings are not in use.

—Tracking monthly energy use of buildings, flagging the ones where it's repeatedly or largely increasing and then trying to figure out the problem and fix it.

—Investigating buildings with high energy use or "severe comfort problems," and trying to fix those, too.

—In a pilot effort, deploying "Green Teams" in the following five buildings to identify energy saving opportunities and encourage behavioral changes: Ambler Student Recreation Center, Blake Hall, Dole Institute of Politics, Multidisciplinary Research Building and the Shankel Structural Biology Center.

The team in the Multidisciplinary Research Building, on West Campus, was particularly active.

Occupants of one room have put away their space heaters after a thermostat was fixed, and users of first- and third-floor bathrooms that were too cold are now more comfortable, too, after hot water coils were investigated and fixed, according to the energy report.

More dramatically, the building conducted a "Shut the Sash" campaign to curb climate-controlled air from, basically, going up in smoke through laboratory fume hoods being left wide open.

Fun fact, according to the energy report: Based on 29 fume hoods, the campaign prevented more than 322 million cubic feet of air from being air conditioned and exhausted to the outdoors. That's enough air to fill Allen Fieldhouse more than 43 times.

"We are excited to combine technical and behavior efforts to reduce energy use even more at KU," Jeff Severin, Center for Sustainability director, said in KU's announcement. "We have seen as much as a 10 to 20 percent reduction in electricity with these practices combined in the past."

The KU energy conservation policy's stated goal is to put measures in place to "realistically and comprehensively reduce energy consumption, and improve energy efficiency on campus consistent with the needs for a safe, secure, inviting campus community." It calls for "an aggressive and progressive approach."


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

UND to Retain All 20 Sports Currently Offered by School

U of North Dakota logo.jpg

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota will continue to sponsor the 20 sports it currently offers, although the fate of men's golf and baseball remains uncertain, the school's president said.

The Grand Forks school announced in April it would no longer offer men's golf and baseball programs due to state budget cuts, then reinstated golf in August after the program secured the necessary $144,400 in funding for the fiscal years 2017 and 2018. But the athletics department ended the fiscal year with a shortfall of about $1.4 million, prompting President Mark Kennedy to ask a committee to examine the school's overall athletics program, including the number of sports and the cost of the programs.

Kennedy said in a statement Tuesday that the committee recommended retaining all 20 sports currently offered, and he concurred. Priority will be given to high-profile sports such as hockey, football and basketball.

"We will do everything possible to prudently support the programs that attract a wide audience," Kennedy said.

The decision does not reinstate the baseball program, and Kennedy said the long-term fate of the golf program will depend on the program meeting future fundraising targets.

The committee's recommendation includes reviewing contracts with Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Alerus Center, raising ticket prices and increasing student fees.

Kennedy said "the advisability of increased ticket prices when attendance for most sports is below capacity needs to be examined." A student fee increase ultimately would have to be approved by students.

College of Saint Mary Reduces Student Tuition 33 Percent To Take a Stand Against the Trend of Rising Tuition Costs

Undergraduate student tuition will be reduced $10,000 and
continuing undergrads will receive a minimum reduction of $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs

OMAHA, Nebraska – In an attempt to stem the national trend of rising post-secondary education tuition costs, the College of Saint Mary Board of Directors today announced a plan to lower tuition costs by 33 percent for all of the university’s undergraduate students.

The board decision was announced today and cost savings will be shared among all undergraduate students, continuing and new. Tuition will be reduced by $10,000 and continuing students should see a reduction in out-of-pocket costs of at least $1,000 each after grants and scholarships.

“This is an effort to curb the rising cost of tuition in reality and perception,” said Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, president of College of Saint Mary. “We are taking this action because it is the right thing to do for our students. High post-secondary education costs and student debt loads are spiraling upward and out of control. Something must be done to make college education more affordable and accessible to all.”

According to a study by the American Action Forum, over the past 30-plus years college tuition has more than doubled, outpacing inflation by 2 percent to 4 percent, while pushing the volume of student debt to more than $1.3 trillion.

“Our board has been concerned for several years about high educational costs for our students and their families,” said Richard P. Jeffries, College of St. Mary board chair and an Omaha attorney. “This action supports our mission and, because of our strong enrollment and financial position, it provides an opportunity to lead a conversation on this national issue.”

Shabnam Waheed, a sophomore human biology-physician assistant studies major from Elkhorn, Neb., is pleased that College of Saint Mary is taking steps to simplify financial aid and reach more women.

“I applied to more than a dozen schools across the country before deciding to attend college in my own backyard. Understanding what my family and I were actually going to pay was all very confusing. This new plan will help others understand the real costs, and more women like me will look at College of Saint Mary instead of thinking it is too expensive.”

“Because administration has done an excellent job of getting College of Saint Mary enrollment to record-high levels, kept educational quality high, developed new and innovative programs and provided financial stability to the institution,” Jeffries added, “the board’s task of doing what’s right for our students is easy.”

Dr. Stevens said the board formed a task force three years ago to study the problem of an unsustainable tuition model of high-sticker price, high discount for its students and their families.

“We wanted to lower tuition and make actual costs more transparent to the students,” she added. “The board’s challenge was to find ways to lower tuition while using financial aid for its original intent - to provide educational opportunities to needy students.”

In previous actions, the board approved eliminating student fees to be more transparent with students and simplify their financial planning. Students will receive an estimate of their 2017-18 net costs later this month. Financial aid staff and counselors will be available to answer any questions. The board task force will monitor results of the tuition reduction as well as continue efforts to keep education affordable and accessible for College of St. Mary students. For more information, go to