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"The Lab of the Future: Building Facilities that Attract Premier Faculty and Students"
Author: Haley, Tim R.,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: January/February 2008

Does the physical environment improve an institution's recruitment efforts? More specifically, could a facility such as a laboratory of the future attract the best and the brightest students and faculty? This issue has been the subject of at least two studies--first, "How Do Students Choose a College?" in 1986 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and more recently in 2006, "The Impact of Facilities on the Recruitment and Retention of Students" by David Cain, Ph.D., and Gary Reynolds, P.E., for APPA's Center for Facilities Research (CFaR). Both studies reveal significant implications on the importance facilities have in attracting top students to educational institutions. The CFaR report included responses from over 16,000 students, from 46 institutions, across the United States and Canada. Various questions on the decision process were directed to the relative importance of the physical environment of an institution. At the top of the "essential" or "most important" characteristics list are academic-oriented facilities, with the top of the list being "facilities for their major." Although the study does state that "there is not a correlation of grade point with the satisfaction of campus facilities," it does clearly report that facilities do have an impact on the choice of an institution.

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