Douglas Adams is chair of Provost’s Science Space Planning Committee

Provost C. Cybele Raver announced the formation of the Provost’s Science Space Planning Committee, a faculty- and staff-led initiative established to ensure that Vanderbilt’s physical spaces properly serve the needs and goals of scientific research and discovery. The committee, which was charged by the provost on Friday, includes faculty and staff from the School of Engineering, the College of Arts and Science, the School of Medicine Basic Sciences and the School of Medicine.

Douglas Adams, vice dean of the School of Engineering, is chair of the science space committee. Committee members from the school include Ethan Lippmann, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and Chancellor Faculty Fellow, and Sharon Weiss, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

The Provost’s Science Space Planning Committee will analyze the university’s science spaces and assess immediate and future needs. The interdisciplinary group’s work for the duration of the 2023–24 academic year will include a survey of constituent groups; listening sessions with faculty, staff, postdocs and students, and identification of best practices across university and research enterprises. The goal is to gather and analyze data that will inform next steps toward making sure Vanderbilt’s physical science spaces serve its ambitious objectives across all programs.

“We are deeply committed to providing best-in-class facilities to our exceptional students, faculty and staff,” Raver said. “Our built environment inspires and shapes the ways that we dare to grow by supporting our mission of excellence in scientific research and discovery.”

The committee’s work is the latest in a broader university facilities effort. Several projects reflect a range of approaches to making best use of Vanderbilt’s existing spaces: the renovation of Garland Hall, the renovation of Buttrick Hall, the expansion of Owen Graduate School of Management’s Management Hall and the nearly 92,000 square feet of renovations and additions in Peabody College of education and human development.

The provost’s science space planning initiative is supported by the Division of Administration, whose FutureVU initiative is working to establish and implement a framework for Vanderbilt’s future.

Krish Roy, the new Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering, hailed Raver’s initiative, calling the space review “essential to supporting new path-forging research in science and engineering.

“Transformative research to address the societal grand challenges of this century requires the most innovative minds collaborating seamlessly across disciplines, enabled by state-of-the-art resources,” he added. “I look forward to working alongside Dean Kuriyan and Dean McNamara as we pursue radically collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to maximizing our societal and scientific impact.”